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The Banks trying to round out retail tenant mix

Business Courier by Dan Monk

 

The first phase of The Banks retail leasing was heavily focused on bars and restaurants, as evidenced by Tuesday’s news about Yard House opening its first Cincinnati location one block south of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

 

But the man chasing retail tenants for the Cincinnati riverfront project is planning a different approach with phase two. Mark Fallon, vice president of leasing with Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate Inc., has 125 meetings booked with potential tenants at the International Council of Shopping Centers annual convention in Las Vegas starting May 20. He’ll try to round out The Banks retail product mix in the yet-to-be built block west of the Freedom Center.

 

Cont


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

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WKRC had an incredibly positive piece on the Banks.  Also, they had some facts wrong... but it wasn't too bad.  Overall The Banks has gotten great coverage in the last year. 

 

 

Does anyone know when:  Tin Roof, Wine Guy & Mahogany's are going to open!?  I don't think they are even under construction. 

 

I've seen a lot of work at Crave and am under the impression it will be opening in about a month, but haven't seen any work in those other three locations.

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It sounds like a good fit for the Banks. Perfect for a special night on the town for the Applebee's crowd.

 

My thoughts exactly, but hey...their money is as good as anybody else.

 

But c'mon retail!!!! and especially grocery!!!!

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Yard House coming to The Banks

Business Courier

 

Cont

 

This past March, I went the Yard House in Glendale AZ at the Westgate Center. I didn't even know it was a restaurant. It had a huge bar in center and was packed. We had a few drinks before a concert and it did attract a steady amount of concert goers.

 

I can't say it was that unique, but it was in a good location near the arena for the concert, movie theater, shops, etc. I guess we'll find out how many bars/restaurants the Banks will support.

 

So this will be a stand alone building!??! Wow.

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Yeah baby!

 

He said there is growing interest among grocery operators for The Banks project, but declined to identify any prospects on his meeting schedule because talks are at an early stage. Only 12 percent of the 96,000-square-foot first phase is still available for lease at The Banks. That’s generating some excitement for phase two, he said.

“There’s a line to get in the Banks now, so we’re kind of picking and choosing,” Fallon said.

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The Applebys comment is just plain stupid.  Comments like that are as short-sighted and negative as the many people in the community that hate downtown and the negative hipsters that populate it.

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I'm curious what kind of retail is realistic to expect at a project like this. I think some is obviously needed to serve the residents there and to help ensure that the restaurant/bar market doesn't become oversaturrated but as I look at The Banks, CBD, and OTR, it seems logical that each area evolve with its own character, offerings, and niche in which it appeals to.

 

A grocery store and possibly a Joseph-Beth or Barnes & Noble are entirely realistic options for The Banks. With all the young people moving to The Banks and elsewhere in downtown and OTR, you can't go wrong with a Gamestop. Victoria Secrets look good from the sidewalk. Move the I Love Cincinnati shop from Tower Place down to The Banks into one of the smaller spaces to capitalize on the tourism draw of The Banks - sell some UK, UC and OSU shirts and jerseys along with Reds and Bengals. Then, maybe even a movie theater to keep the year-round activity going when the Reds and Bengals aren't playing? And, sooner or later, Cincinnati is going to get a second Apple store ... I can't think of a better location for that.

 

On a side note regarding Crave: Did anyone notice the group of about 20 people picketing on the sidewalk outside today? I didn't get close enough to read their signs, but they were marching in the standard picket circle just outside Crave's construction entrance along Main. Is there an issue with the construction company or Crave itself? I hope it's not directed toward The Banks.

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WKRC had an incredibly positive piece on the Banks.  Also, they had some facts wrong... but it wasn't too bad.  Overall The Banks has gotten great coverage in the last year. 

 

 

Does anyone know when:  Tin Roof, Wine Guy & Mahogany's are going to open!?  I don't think they are even under construction. 

 

I've seen a lot of work at Crave and am under the impression it will be opening in about a month, but haven't seen any work in those other three locations.

 

Wine Guy and Crave have pending liquor licenses, the other two do not have anything registering in the OHDLC system

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good responses so far.  Seriously, the condescending attitude from many on here is so silly.

 

I honestly don't understand what you mean. If you were referring to my Applebee's comment, I was being dead serious. This restaurant seems like a good one to appeal to people who like Applebee's. I didn't mean that in a negative way. Quite the opposite, I think it's a good fit for the Banks. I see the Banks as an appropriate place to put that type of thing. It's a part of Downtown which is ideal for attracting a more mainstream crowd that might be more into football than musicals at the Aranoff. There's nothing wrong with that.

 

Downtown should have something to offer everyone, and one of the demographics that isn't catered to enough currently is Joe Suburb and his wife and kids. The Banks is a perfect showcase to get those people accustomed to coming Downtown. Come for the game or the park, see that there are places to eat, enjoy it, keep coming. Maybe get adventurous and walk up to Fountain Square or, heaven forbid, ride the trolley folly to OTR. This restaurant helps make that kind of scenario possible.

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On a side note regarding Crave: Did anyone notice the group of about 20 people picketing on the sidewalk outside today? I didn't get close enough to read their signs, but they were marching in the standard picket circle just outside Crave's construction entrance along Main. Is there an issue with the construction company or Crave itself? I hope it's not directed toward The Banks.

 

The "Rat Busters" at work... protesting GC Midwest Construction. Usually 2-3 people there everyday. They've ramped it up the past two days.


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

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Yard House seems more akin to Moerlein Lager House than it does Applebee's, but then again that's coming from a guy who's never been to a Yard House and hasn't been to an Applebee's in a decade.

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WKRC had an incredibly positive piece on the Banks.  Also, they had some facts wrong... but it wasn't too bad.  Overall The Banks has gotten great coverage in the last year. 

 

You mean incredibly amazingly energetically positive! LOL.

 

http://www.local12.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoId=3479350&navCatId=20036

 

That last line from Kit Andrews was lifted from UrbanCincy.com this morning. Compare:

 

UrbanCincy [http://urbn.cc/p2hm] at 11am said, "Cincinnati Mayor Mallory has already hinted that groundbreaking could take place this summer."

 

Kit Andrews for WKRC at 5pm said, "Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory has hinted that the city could break ground for the second phase of The Banks sometime this summer."

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Yard House seems more akin to Moerlein Lager House than it does Applebee's, but then again that's coming from a guy who's never been to a Yard House and hasn't been to an Applebee's in a decade.

 

I stand by the "upscale Applebee's" comment, though I haven't eaten at one, either. Frankly, you could make that same argument about the Lager House if it weren't for the fact that it is not a chain and has an acclaimed chef there making a menu for the specific restaurant and overseeing the kitchen...both of which cannot be said about the Yard House.

 

Poke around on their menus. I think you'll agree they are similar. I guess Applebee's is "American Fusion". LOL.

http://www.yardhouse.com/menus/house-favorites.aspx

 

http://applebees.com/menu/sizzling-entrees

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WKRC had an incredibly positive piece on the Banks.  Also, they had some facts wrong... but it wasn't too bad.  Overall The Banks has gotten great coverage in the last year. 

 

You mean incredibly amazingly energetically positive! LOL.

 

http://www.local12.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoId=3479350&navCatId=20036

 

That last line from Kit Andrews was lifted from UrbanCincy.com this morning. Compare:

 

UrbanCincy [http://urbn.cc/p2hm] at 11am said, "Cincinnati Mayor Mallory has already hinted that groundbreaking could take place this summer."

 

Kit Andrews for WKRC at 5pm said, "Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory has hinted that the city could break ground for the second phase of The Banks sometime this summer."

 

Awesome. Too bad they didn't credit UrbanCincy. Rando, did you catch this?:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,27294.0.html

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Yard House seems more akin to Moerlein Lager House than it does Applebee's, but then again that's coming from a guy who's never been to a Yard House and hasn't been to an Applebee's in a decade.

 

I stand by the "upscale Applebee's" comment, though I haven't eaten at one, either. Frankly, you could make that same argument about the Lager House if it weren't for the fact that it is not a chain and has an acclaimed chef there making a menu for the specific restaurant and overseeing the kitchen...both of which cannot be said about the Yard House.

 

Poke around on their menus. I think you'll agree they are similar. I guess Applebee's is "American Fusion". LOL.

http://www.yardhouse.com/menus/house-favorites.aspx

 

http://applebees.com/menu/sizzling-entrees

 

It's not exactly Applebee's, but doesn't this count as "acclaimed chef." Haha! I kid. I kid.

 

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So there's been a lot of debate lately on the blags about local vs. national.

 

Right now, the Banks (& riverfront park) have:

 

Crave (regional)

Tin Roof (regional)

Johnny Rockets (national)

Ruth's Chris (National)

Yard House (National)

Wine Guy (local)

Mahogany's (local)

Moerlein Lager House (Local)

Holy Grail (Local)

 

That's not a horrible balance.  If anything, I think the attach shouldn't be a local vs. national, but that they are all basically the same type of food.

 

American. American Fusion.  German American. American Sports Bar. etc.

 

Mahagony's is really the only difference, and it's still not a huge difference.  It will be american, but in a much more southern style.

 

I'm not really complaining, because we do love our general american fare here, and I'm sure I'll love all those places once they open, but it is a bit interesting to note.

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Yard House seems more akin to Moerlein Lager House than it does Applebee's, but then again that's coming from a guy who's never been to a Yard House and hasn't been to an Applebee's in a decade.

 

I stand by the "upscale Applebee's" comment, though I haven't eaten at one, either. Frankly, you could make that same argument about the Lager House if it weren't for the fact that it is not a chain and has an acclaimed chef there making a menu for the specific restaurant and overseeing the kitchen...both of which cannot be said about the Yard House.

 

Poke around on their menus. I think you'll agree they are similar. I guess Applebee's is "American Fusion". LOL.

http://www.yardhouse.com/menus/house-favorites.aspx

 

http://applebees.com/menu/sizzling-entrees

 

Alright-  If you're saying you put Appleby's and the Lager House in the same category than you are just going to put anything that isn't Japanese, Chinese, Indian or a straight up McDonalds in that category. 

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TBH I haven't been to the Lager House (dying to go!) so I shouldn't really talk. But, going from memory, the menu seems a little on the "safe side".

 

But it has all the local flavor, the brewery, a mini-museum, etc., etc., so no it's not Applebee's-like other than not getting too adventurous with the menu. And even there there are some things that you would never see at Applebee's, like the German stuff.

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If you get your food pre-prepared from a central commissary and reheat it, then you are applebees. If you buy real food and assemble that food into dishes then you are not. If Banks establishments fall into the latter category then I am far less concerned. I agree with natininja that Banks being attractive to suburbanites is a good thing. However, I want the restaurants to have some integrity even if they lack creativity.

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These conversations are bothersome for two reasons...first it's unlikely that more than 1 or 2 of these restaurants will still be there in 10 years and second it's obvious from the tone of a lot of these posts that people, like so much of the rest of consumerism, want to have this cake more than they want to actually eat it. 

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I'm not so worried about the long-term prospects of any individual restaurant/bar here (with the exception of maybe the Lager House, which I have a homeristic fondness for). The idea behind the Banks (or at least one of the ideas behind this phase) is to make it a nicer proposition for people to stick around downtown after Reds/Bengals games instead of driving back to the burbs. The idea seems to be to put on a nicer face to visitors (local, regional, national, whoever). I don't have to like what's actually there to like that SOMETHING is there that isn't an enormous pile of gravel and dirt.

 

What would worry me is if restaurants/bars start systematically failing at the Banks, and if the whole project looks a bit like a ghost town eventually. People won't want to come downtown (to work, eat, drink, etc.) if it seems that way.

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I'm not so worried about the long-term prospects of any individual restaurant/bar here (with the exception of maybe the Lager House, which I have a homeristic fondness for). The idea behind the Banks (or at least one of the ideas behind this phase) is to make it a nicer proposition for people to stick around downtown after Reds/Bengals games instead of driving back to the burbs. The idea seems to be to put on a nicer face to visitors (local, regional, national, whoever). I don't have to like what's actually there to like that SOMETHING is there that isn't an enormous pile of gravel and dirt.

 

What would worry me is if restaurants/bars start systematically failing at the Banks, and if the whole project looks a bit like a ghost town eventually. People won't want to come downtown (to work, eat, drink, etc.) if it seems that way.

 

Which is why it's imperative to continue to boost the residential numbers not only at The Banks, but throughout the rest of downtown and OTR. The more people who are actually living there and using these restaurants/stores on a regular basis - and not just once every two months when they go to a game, the less that they'll have to depend on suburban visitors or out-of-town travelers. It would be nice if the visitors were the icing on the cake, not the actual cake itself.

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So there's been a lot of debate lately on the blags about local vs. national.

 

Right now, the Banks (& riverfront park) have:

 

Crave (regional)

Tin Roof (regional)

Johnny Rockets (national)

Ruth's Chris (National)

Yard House (National)

Wine Guy (local)

Mahogany's (local)

Moerlein Lager House (Local)

Holy Grail (Local)

 

That's not a horrible balance.  If anything, I think the attach shouldn't be a local vs. national, but that they are all basically the same type of food.

 

American. American Fusion.  German American. American Sports Bar. etc.

 

Mahagony's is really the only difference, and it's still not a huge difference.  It will be american, but in a much more southern style.

 

I'm not really complaining, because we do love our general american fare here, and I'm sure I'll love all those places once they open, but it is a bit interesting to note.

 

 

 

You forgot Toby's!!!

 

 

I'm not so worried about the long-term prospects of any individual restaurant/bar here (with the exception of maybe the Lager House, which I have a homeristic fondness for). The idea behind the Banks (or at least one of the ideas behind this phase) is to make it a nicer proposition for people to stick around downtown after Reds/Bengals games instead of driving back to the burbs. The idea seems to be to put on a nicer face to visitors (local, regional, national, whoever). I don't have to like what's actually there to like that SOMETHING is there that isn't an enormous pile of gravel and dirt.

 

What would worry me is if restaurants/bars start systematically failing at the Banks, and if the whole project looks a bit like a ghost town eventually. People won't want to come downtown (to work, eat, drink, etc.) if it seems that way.

 

Which is why it's imperative to continue to boost the residential numbers not only at The Banks, but throughout the rest of downtown and OTR. The more people who are actually living there and using these restaurants/stores on a regular basis - and not just once every two months when they go to a game, the less that they'll have to depend on suburban visitors or out-of-town travelers. It would be nice if the visitors were the icing on the cake, not the actual cake itself.

 

This is very important! More people living downtown. Does anyone know when the second apartment building is set to start construction?

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It was stated in one of the Business Courier articles that Phase 2 will feature more fewer restaurants and more businesses (perhaps even a grocery store) aimed at downtown residents. This is similar to the strategy with the Gateway Quarter -- start with bars and restaurants that get people attracted to the area, bring in more residents, and the services will follow.

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^I think the Gateway Quarter had the opposite strategy. If you look at their first businesses (Park + Vine, City Roots, Outside, Metronation, Switch, Lavomatic) they were heavily retail focused. Now they are almost all restaurants they are putting in.

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^I think the Gateway Quarter had the opposite strategy. If you look at their first businesses (Park + Vine, City Roots, Outside, Metronation, Switch, Lavomatic) they were heavily retail focused. Now they are almost all restaurants they are putting in.

 

I had a conversation with Kathleen Norris back when she was in charge of leasing that retail space, and she said her main goal was making it a shopping/dining destination and not worrying so much about providing services for residents at first. You are right, though, that many of those early businesses could be considered neighborhood-oriented. I would say that Park + Vine became significantly more neighborhood-oriented when they moved to their new location and added groceries and a cafe. Lower-priced restaurants like The Diner are more for residents as well.

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Crave Opens June 11th

 

The next restaurant to open on The Banks will be Crave. This multi-location out of Minneapolis will open on June 11.

 

Their CEO and founder, Cam Talebi, told me they have hired their management team, and are hiring the rest of the staff now-at least 100 people.

 

The “eclectic American”  restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Their menu encompasses salads, pasta, pizza, seafood, steaks and chops. Talebi used the words “vibrant” and “energetic” to describe Crave’s atmosphere. It’s centered on an oversized circular lighted bar made of wood and onyx. A huge wine tower will separate the bar from the dining room.  “It’s very chic, but approachable. The menu is value-driven, so you can have a fine-dining experience with no stuffiness,” said Talebi.

 

Cont


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

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