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Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks

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I believe I heard this is only the second JR in the country to serve alcohol. The other being in the L.A. area.


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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Not to foretell doom or anything, but I mostly think of Johnny Rocket's locations in places like Forest Fair and City Center Malls.

I don;t know about the one in Forest fair mall but the one in Kenwood was paid for after only a month and a half. I have heard.

 

Heheh, that's always what people always say with Cincinnati malls. "Screw it, we're going to Kenwood so we can make some actual money."

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Tin Roof to open at The Banks

Business Courier

Date: Friday, October 7, 2011, 10:23am EDT - Last Modified: Friday, October 7, 2011, 10:26am EDT

 

The Tin Roof at the Banks will be the company's ninth location.

 

The more than 5,000-square-foot bar and restaurant will be located on Freedom Way next to the Police Welcome Center.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2011/10/07/tin-roof-to-open-at-the-banks.html

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Tin Roof to open at The Banks

Business Courier

Date: Friday, October 7, 2011, 10:23am EDT - Last Modified: Friday, October 7, 2011, 10:26am EDT

 

The Tin Roof at the Banks will be the company's ninth location.

 

The more than 5,000-square-foot bar and restaurant will be located on Freedom Way next to the Police Welcome Center.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2011/10/07/tin-roof-to-open-at-the-banks.html

 

Hmmm... I thought that's where Ruth's Chris was going.  Not that we really needed another steakhouse downtown, but I'm also pretty sure we don't need 2 country-music themed bars within 100 yards of each other.

 

Maybe I was wrong about the Ruth's Chris location and they still plan on opening one at the Banks.

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The Ruth's Chris was rumored for the 9,300-square-foot two story space which is west of the Current @ The Banks apartments entrance and Police Welcome Center. Tin Roof will only occupy 5,000-square-foot so they must be going in on the east side of the Police Welcome Center.


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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Hmm. Other than Ruth's Chris, and Holy Grail which is already open, I'm not bursting with excitement about any of these announcements...

 

Ps Thanks for the parking info OC

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The Ruth's Chris was rumored for the 9,300-square-foot two story space which is west of the Current @ The Banks apartments entrance and Police Welcome Center. Tin Roof will only occupy 5,000-square-foot so they must be going in on the east side of the Police Welcome Center.

 

That makes sense.  That 2-story space is where I heard Ruth's Chris was going; I assumed (apparently incorrectly) that was the space being referred to.

 

I thought with Holy Grail's expansion there would not be enough room for a large bar between the police station and the Grail, but I guess I was wrong. 

 

Really, the Moerlein Brewery is going to be by far the best thing down there (even though it's not part of the Banks proper), and really the only thing with any uniqueness or local flavor.  (Holy Grail is local, but really nothing more than a [barely] adequate sports bar.)  But as others have said in this thread it's really a matter of just getting a critical mass, and getting it off the ground, and then tenants will come and go.

 

 

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Hmm. Other than Ruth's Chris, and Holy Grail which is already open, I'm not bursting with excitement about any of these announcements...

 

Ps Thanks for the parking info OC

 

As I alluded to in my last post, just pretend the Brewery is part of the Banks and then it makes the group of proposed opening tenants seem much better.

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Tin Roof will only occupy 5,000-square-foot so they must be going in on the east side of the Police Welcome Center.

 

Picture of the space looking northeast towards Holy Grail and GABP. Police Welcome Center is directly to the left:


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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And Johnny Rockets sign installation:


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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In the past I would take my kids and out-of-town friends downtown to eat and look for something to do.  Now I have to decide if we're going to Fountain Square, OTR, Backstage, Main Street, or the Banks (soon).  Too many choices, but a good problem to have!

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I'll give it this: Even with a rather homogeneous mix of initial tenants down there, it's increasingly likely that Cincinnati's center city is poised to flatten all but Chicago's, especially if the Banks, OTR and downtown can build out without cannibalizing each other. Not even Minneapolis or Columbus are poised to have so many moving pieces click into place simultaneously. Rather like firing off a cannon.

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I have found a bright side to most of the announcements at the Banks, but WTF is the deal with two chain country music bars at the Banks?  Cincinnati has been doing just fine with none, so adding one...I suppose it's something new.  But two, really??  Maybe they can fill the rest of their spaces with piano bars.  If they need a chain I would have rather seen a House of Blues type venue down there than a a second country bar.  Maybe they'll sell wrist bands that get you into both bars during the weekend and have a mini redneck Midpoint. 

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^-The Country music statement was a misreading of the original press release, it was corrected in the article.

 

From the Enquirer comment board:

 

My mistake....I misread the press release. I just fixed it. The bands will be from around the country, not country bands. Sorry about that! -- Laura Baverman

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The opening of Johnny Rocket's appears to be imminent.  I walked by last night and the place looked completely finished and a group of managers were having a meeting.  It has a walk-up window instead of a drive-thru. 

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^lol, I just walked by and a guy was outside on his mobile phone having a heated conversation about delays in opening and contacting a CEO of whatever company is to blame.

 

Ribbon cutting is 10/27 per this: All-American Restaurant Hits Homerun with Opening at Cincinnati's The Banks


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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The Tin Roof in Lexington has a mix of pop-rock from the late 90's to 00's with live bands usually doing covers of said time period. It was an alright atmosphere and got downright packed on thursdays, but thats probably just a college town thing.

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I'll give it this: Even with a rather homogeneous mix of initial tenants down there, it's increasingly likely that Cincinnati's center city is poised to flatten all but Chicago's, especially if the Banks, OTR and downtown can build out without cannibalizing each other. Not even Minneapolis or Columbus are poised to have so many moving pieces click into place simultaneously. Rather like firing off a cannon.

 

Cincinnati has great momentum, no doubt, but flatten Minneapolis?  It's not even an apple's comparison.  For starters, the downtown population is about 35,000 compared to Cincinnati's ~8000.  It would take quite a lot of momentum to catch that.

 

Riverfront-

New Mill Ruins Park integrated with city wide Grand Rounds system, stone arch pedestrian bridge, and Pritzker Prize winning Guthrie (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/31/arts/design/31prit.html)

 

Major proposed residential-

2 30+ story apartment towers and a large Whole Foods-anchored project ( http://tinyurl.com/6j222ox

, http://tinyurl.com/62xsamj , http://tinyurl.com/635s2du).  This is among many other smaller projects.

 

Hotels-

New W, Hilton, and Aloft

 

Retail-

Existing multi-level Target, Lund's grocery under construction

 

Entertainment-

2nd year Target Field drew the 4th highest season attendance in the MLB in 2011 and is integrated into a thriving 1st ave entertainment district.

Hennepin Ave theater district helps Minneapolis have 2nd highest per capita # of theater seats outside of NYC, add to this a newly renovated Shubert used for a dance center.

 

Office-

Target recetly made a large land acquisition across from its HQ and speculation is they are building a new another tower (its third)

 

Transit-

LRT to Mall of America and airport already operational

New $1bln line to St. Paul under construction (with support of a then-GOP governor)

New commuter rail operational

High occupancy toll and other transit advantage lanes feeding downtown and new dedicated bus lanes on downtown streets

Proposed $70mln transit center for linking rail lines

Proposed $900m LRT to SW suburbs breaking ground in 2014.

 

Biking-

Comprehensive bike share program

100 miles of dedicated ROW bike lanes, many feeding downtown.

 

I am not even going into what is happening in the Uptown and University areas.  I am amazed at how much my hometown changes every time I go back for a visit.

 

Cincinnati has great momentum and is forging ahead with some great work, but really, I think these projects are allowing it to keep pace.

 

The Banks apartments are suburban quality buildings with anytown-USA tenants done with heavy public subsidy.  It needed to be done and is enhancement to be sure but is really pretty average.  OTR, however, is really unique among major cities and represents Cincinnati's best opportunity to stand out.

 

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Actually, I am from Minneapolis. It is a great city. It is certainly a league above Cincinnati in size.

 

However, it's arguably a bit bland. It's a classic flat, Midwestern metropolis of broad streets and fine houses. There are some bursts of urbanity, certainly, like Nicolett, but the city really doesn't have a strong genius loci despite its considerable metrics. It's on a prairie, the river is somewhat in the background, and it lacks a rich historic context.

 

Cincinnati is practically ancient by inland American standards, is relatively intact, and has a very dramatic (again, by inland standards) waterfront location. It has things, despite its small size, that most Midwestern cities will just never have.

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I'd agree totally with the lack of quality of The Banks apartments.  I was told to not be fearful when walking out on the balcony of one of the apartments because they apparently always shake by design.  Then there are the unpainted wooden beams that hold them up that look really, really tacky.  I could go for an entire page with many design flaws and poor materials.  I would have to imagine if they were being sold as condos most people would take a pass.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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Johnny Rockets is now open!  We were standing outside having a beer on the Freedom Way side of Holy Grail prior to the UC game today, and saw the servers across the street waving at everyone to come in.  So we went over and had lunch.  There was a decent crowd inside, but very little signage outside to indicate they were actually open. The burger was ok, and the staff was very friendly.

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From The Banks Twitter account: Commemorative plaques honor @Reds and @Bengals on the former site of Riverfront Stadium at The Banks

 

Picture:

 

http://twitpic.com/75mi8s

 

 

Press release:

 

Messer / MBJ Consultants marks Reds and Bengals Riverfront Stadium sites with commemorative plaques at The Banks

 

CINCINNATI, OH (October 25, 2011)  As The Banks neighborhood grows between Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium—on land that was formerly Riverfront Stadium—it is only fitting that the project pays homage to this former home to both Cincinnati professional sports franchises.

 

Messer / MBJ Consultants, construction manager for The Banks project, recently placed two plaques in the concrete floor of Central Riverfront Garage, part of the Intermodal Transit Facility below Freedom Way East and the structure that supports residential, dining and entertainment development at street level.

 

The two brass plaques—one for the Cincinnati Reds, one for the Cincinnati Bengals—identify two noteworthy locations in the former ballpark: the exact sites of the Reds home plate, and the Bengals end-zone goal post in the former Riverfront Stadium.

 

The plaque on the site of Cincinnati Reds home plate replicates the shape and size specifications of a major league baseball home plate. Both plaques commemorate the on-field accomplishments of their respective franchises. The Reds 1975, 1976 and 1990 World Series titles are prominently displayed on the home plate plaque; and the Bengals’ 1981 and 1988 AFC Conference Championships are noted on the football.

 

“Messer/MBJ Consultants is proud of its work on The Banks, and equally as proud of our professional sports teams. The Cincinnati area along the Ohio River is rich in history—and these plaques are intended to document that history, as The Banks continues to enrich, enliven and extend the history of Cincinnati’s riverfront by commemorating these important landmarks,” said Mark Luegering, senior vice president for Messer Construction Co.

 

The two landmarks should serve as great conversation starters for people who happen upon them while using the intermodal transit facility for years to come. 


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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Johnny Rockets is now open!  We were standing outside having a beer on the Freedom Way side of Holy Grail prior to the UC game today, and saw the servers across the street waving at everyone to come in.  So we went over and had lunch.  There was a decent crowd inside, but very little signage outside to indicate they were actually open. The burger was ok, and the staff was very friendly.

 

They have milkshakes with booze in them

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A lot of times when a business first opens up, they don't get to open with all the intended signage in place because it's running late, the wrong size accidentally came or whatever. The choice is to either go ahead and open and make some sales or wait for the signs to arrive while paying rent. It kinda sucks, but you just gotta open up.

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Tried out the Johnny Rockets tonight. (Ironically, we managed to time our meal during Seattle's offensive coup, and left right before the Bengals came back to score all those 4th quarter points.)

 

It was about 1/4 full. The food was unremarkable. I couldn't quite decide what kind of vibe they were going for. Polished burger joint chrome booths and overzealous waitresses, but with a full bar of men drinking and muttering at the football game.

 

That was the first time we'd used the (ENOMROUS) main garage, though, so that was interesting. I think next time we'll just go to Holy Grail.

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Ate at Huey's in NYC the other day. Interesting vibe, pretty upscale for a diner. Sounds like it will compete head to head with Johnny Rocket's new upscale concept. Service was slow but the food was pretty solid. Not really a ringing endorsement but I'll probably stop by every once and awhile.

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Tried Johnny Rockets via their carry-out window last week. They don't have "combo-meals" so my Bacon Single Cheeseburger, Onion Rings, and a drink was $16.22. $16.22!! Their onion rings were terrible and the burger was just so-so.


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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