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Cincinnati: Over-the-Rhine: 3CDC Development and News

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Seems like an odd business move. All the action seems to be happening around Vine these days, and with the remake of Washington Park, you would think that Park+Vine would like to stay further West in OTR. Main Street, while it has a fair amount of businesses, always seems kind of out of the way and isolated (even in downtown).

 

True, but wouldn't you say that their move to Vine Street was an "odd" business move as well?  I think Park + Vine is a pretty solid business with a  loyal following.  The majority of their clientele will have no problem walking a couple of blocks to Main St.  Also, the owners could be hoping that their move will help Main St fully come back now that Vine is in a pretty good place.

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I'm not sure either, and it takes up most of the sidewalk. I watched a user in a wheelchair basically squeeze along the brick pavers, which is not the minimum 4' required.

 

My only guess would be a technicality.  Most cities do not calculate based on sidewalk width, but rather right-of-way.  The recent streetscaping project there might have extended the sidewalk somewhat thus putting a majority percentage outside of the City's ROW.  Once it is outside of the ROW, you can do whatever you want as long as it adheres to the Zoning Ordinance.

 

Most Zoning Ordinances only regulate sign heights as things relate to the sidewalk (signs must be higher than 8' off the ground for example).  Zoning Ordinances also say that property owners can not stick things into the ROW, unless of course, they get a Variance approved.  I'm not sure what Senate had happen, but I know they had to get special approval for their sign with the historic review board since they mounted it directly to the historic facade.

 

Sounds like the gig is up. The following was posted on their Facebook page:

 

No more patio! Thank you City Architect and thank you relish group for your constant complaining to the transportation dept. I wouldn't come borrow towels, olives or cherries anytime soon.

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Maybe if Lavomatic wants to attract more business, they should focus on improving the quality of their food, not trying to shut down competition.  Lavomatic's food has decreased significantly in quality from the Jean Robert days.

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I actually called a while back asking what the minimum clearance was for a sidewalk for it to be in compliance with the ADA. I did not mention Senate by name or mention any example, but a city engineer got back to me last week.

 

Title II, A, of the ADA, states that the DOT oversees all matters relating to transportation -- streets, sidewalks and so forth, which is overseen by the FHWA. Ultimate enforcement comes down to the DOJ.

 

Within this, the distance between the property line and the street is the working distance with which the ADA has to work with. Within this path-of-travel, accommodations must be made to conform with modern ADA guidelines -- such as curb cuts, slopes and widths.

 

Minimum width is 3 feet, or 36 inches. Recommended width is 5 feet, or 60 inches. For shared use paths, this is 120 inches, or 10 feet. In addition, extra width is required -- 4 feet, or 48 inches, to meet guidelines for wheelchairs when turning corners, such as from the sidewalk to Senate's entrance.

 

The sidewalk in front of Senate did not meet the minimum width, and the restaurant was out of compliance.

 

I think it would be in bad taste for the Relish Group to whine constantly, but it is unsubstantiated. But Senate did put itself out of compliance by constructing a large patio on public ROW -- which could not have passed any sort of code or guideline by the city, and was thus illegally constructed.

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I'm with Sherman.  There is no way that the City Engineer agreed to an encroachment that large.  It had to be done without proper permits. Other places such as Ruby's seem to consistently allow half of the sidewalk or at least 6 feet open.

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I saw Michael Moore patronize the place. Reminds me of when I saw Kenneth Fangman in the Phoenix Cafe during their four-odd year stretch when they had no liquor license. 

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The Senate claimed 4 feet, or 50 inches, before they erased their posts off of the Facebook wall. That puts it below the recommended and above the minimum. Codes requires anything over 4 feet. From what I wrote:

 

"I assumed that you had applied for a Revocable Street Privilege for sidewalk encroachment, per Sec. 718-1-R and Sec. 723-6, and that you believed it was in compliance with Sec. 723-14. Was the fire escape that runs between the Senate and the vacant space next to it blocked? Was there any utility boxes, meters, lighting equipment and so forth in the utility strip? There are a lot of unanswered questions, which is why I believe there is more to it than just a competitor."

 

I know that their original patio space was half the width it once was, which would have provided 4 feet of space between the patio and the utility strip -- which isn't considered part of the path-of-travel. When they decided to double the size of the patio and force the users of the sidewalk to squeeze onto a utility strip, which is shared with street lights, parking meters and other obstacles, they ran afoul of the permit and it was revoked.

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Well, about 3/4 of the comments on their original post, and 1 made after, were in opposition to the removal, and the remainder went along the lines of, "Well... it left the remaining sidewalk really narrow." They removed all referencing posts to that, and mine. That's a big no-no in social marketing/media...

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I do not see the point of engaging a popular restaurant on their own facebook page and being consumed with this issue. Maybe there is a point, but I do not follow. They built too far and they got caught, it was inevitable. they certainly have to follow the law like everyone else. End of story, far as I can tell.

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Engaging? Hell, they were the ones who began the whole debacle by poking at the competitor across the street and ranting on their wall.

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They removed all referencing posts to that, and mine. That's a big no-no in social marketing/media...

 

Within the first few weeks of getting a Facebook page, my girlfriend asked via their Wall if they got their meat locally. It was deleted within an hour. We ended up going to the restaurant anyways. We asked our server we were told all meat came from Eckerlin. Why would they not want to promote this fact?

 

Maybe it's because we can head over to Findlay Market and find out much less we could be pay for an all-beef hotdog...


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

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That's what it all comes back to.. you're just still angry about the "racist" hot dog, Sherman!

 

Anyways, on street dining like they had is an excellent urban feature, and Cincinnati should make an effort to make it easier for restaurants to have it.  It’s difficult now because of an abundance of narrow sidewalks, but a variance issued here or there would be fine by me.

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They recently completed some new streetscaping in Ft. Thomas, near the fort itself, and in front of some of the restaurants they bumped out the curb to provide enough room for some sidewalk dining.  That eliminates one or two parking spaces, but leaves enough room to put some buffer planting boxes or some such between the tables and the road.  It seems like a nice solution.

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I don't understand why you find that offensive Sherman.  I don't get offended when someone calls me an American, and if I went overseas and saw a cheeseburger on the menu named "The American" I would also not be offended.

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Their "Korean" hot-dog, while it sells for $10, costs only $1.50 to make

They could give you an itemized bill at the end of your diner that looks like

 

Hot Dog -1.50

Rent-1.00

Insurance-.50

Build out-4.00

Carrying cost on working cap loan-3.00

 

Total-10.00

Tip____________

 

So really he almost lost money on selling you that hot dog.

 

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Randy, it was a joke. Good god.

 

Re Michael: I could see that, but that would mean that every other hot dog stand and venue would be charging inflated prices. It would be like opening a bar on Main Street and selling $6 OTR's or $10 Bourbon Barrel Ales (which one downtown location did for a short while -- not sure where that went), and saying it is because of the costs of renovation, cost of living, et. al. I think that increased competition on all price points, such as the opening of the diner, would help drive down prices elsewhere (Lavomatic, Senate) and increase affordability.

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Re Michael: I could see that, but that would mean that every other hot dog stand and venue would be charging inflated prices. It would be like opening a bar on Main Street and selling $6 OTR's or $10 Bourbon Barrel Ales (which one downtown location did for a short while -- not sure where that went), and saying it is because of the costs of renovation, cost of living, et. al. I think that increased competition on all price points, such as the opening of the diner, would help drive down prices elsewhere (Lavomatic, Senate) and increase affordability.

 

I don't believe hot dog carts have build out costs or carrying costs on working cap loans to deal with, but I could be wrong.  I would also assume the rent is very different.

 

In Denver I paid $4.50 for hot dogs from Biker Jim's Dogs.  It's a gourmet hot dog cart in downtown Denver.  So he's still charging $4.50 for his dogs even though he lacks the aforementioned costs.

 

With that said, I don't pretend for a second to know what Senate's business model is, so I'll leave that to them.  So far the prices don't seem to be keeping people away.

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If you think $10 for a hot dog "is a bit much," folks need to go to the Shake Shack in New York for a reality check.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I shouldn't have been specific to hot dog venues, but restaurants in general. Selling a cheap item at very high prices, and justifying it via high rent costs and so forth, is not a sustainable long-term business policy. At some point, the price points will become trade-offs once competition arrives, and thus the price points will need to be lowered.

 

Lavomatic used to charge far higher prices for some of their menu items, but after their menu was redesigned, many of the price points were lowered. I am not sure if that is because Senate was opening across the street, or if they switched to cheaper food products, or realized they were not going to simply survive. Remember that they eliminated their lunch dining at one point -- a bad sign.

 

I'll be looking forward to the diner opening on 12th and seeing what that does to the other restaurants.

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I went to Papaya Dog down the block from my office in NYC for lunch yesterday, had two dogs, fries, and a soda for $5.

 

What exactly is on the Korean Dog anyways?

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Kimichi, braised short rib, and some other shit worth more than $1.50.

 

I wouldn't exactly compare Papaya Dog (or any of the Papayas) to the Senate.  It's like me comparing Crown on Fulton and Marcy to Montgomery Inn.  Same basic shit, different quality.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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If you think $10 for a hot dog "is a bit much," folks need to go to the Shake Shack in New York for a reality check.

 

I don't really consider anything NYC related to be "reality."

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Kimichi, braised short rib, and some other sh!t worth more than $1.50.

 

I wouldn't exactly compare Papaya Dog (or any of the Papayas) to the Senate.  It's like me comparing Crown on Fulton and Marcy to Montgomery Inn.  Same basic sh!t, different quality.

 

Sometimes I find it's less about different quality than it is about different atmosphere.  Papaya Dog doesn't exactly make that case either though...

 

On a side note I have a gallon jug of kimchi, some pork belly, and a Korean girlfriend at home, I know what I'm doing for dinner.

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On a side note I have a gallon jug of kimchi, some pork belly, and a Korean girlfriend at home, I know what I'm doing for dinner.

 

LOL!!! I think I'm offended. :D

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^Try Europe, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Japan, Australia, Toronto, or even Dubai then LOL!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Kimichi, braised short rib, and some other sh!t worth more than $1.50.

 

$1.50 when you account for how much they put on. I cooked a dog, sourced the ingredients from my mum (sans the bun), and calculated the cost. Kimchi isn't all that expensive -- especially for the mild version that they use. That particular dog uses kimchi, braised short rib, pickled cucumber, brioche bun.

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And you think short rib is cheap?!?!  I WISH I could get short rib for $1.50 itself!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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That sounds porno-ish.  Much like the "doing the Korean girlfriend" thing with kimichi.

 

I ain't trustin' a damn ingredient from anybody unless it's from a Jungle.

 


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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You aren't eating an entire pound of short rib there. That's around $3 at our local butcher.

 

@Randy: She's Korean and when we went grocery shopping in Columbus a few weeks ago, we went over the ingredients and I got the prices down for what is used for this particular dog. I purchased whatever we didn't have at home, used what they had used, and cooked it on a grill. Considering how much they had put on my dog (which actually wasn't that much), I estimated it to cost no more than $1.50. The pickled cucumber is super cheap, kimchi isn't expensive, and the bun -- which I couldn't find since I didn't find any open French bakeries (and didn't want to drive all over the city for it) wouldn't add $8.50 to the price.

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If you don't think you are getting food and service commensurate with the price at a given establishment, the proper recourse is to not return to the establishment -- not go online and bash their business model or criticize the establishment and the sustainability of their business. 

 

I suspect from the amazing business the Senate has been doing since it opened nearly 6 months ago, a lot of people disagree with your assessment of the relative costs and benefits of eating there.

 

Why don't we move on now...

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