Locally owned and operated
Holy Grail Tavern & Grille
will be the first business to open in the new Banks
development in mid March, two weeks before the Reds' season begins at Great American Ballpark across the street.
The 6,000 square foot sports bar will have a stage for live radio broadcasts, bands and other entertainment. Don Andres, one of the owners, said he hopes the location will become the centerpiece in a network of Holy Grail Tavern's around Cincinnati, with existing locations in Corryville and Delhi.
Andres said he hopes the Corryville and Banks' locations - both near major sports stadiums - will build exposure with Cincinnati sports fans and momentum for expansion. The Delhi location will serve as a model for their future locations, which will be more neighborhood-oriented and family friendly, he said.
"It will give us an opportunity to get our name out there, and an opportunity to open gathering places for tight knight communities around Cincinnati," Andres said.
Andres and his business partners, Jim Moehring, Tom Heitker and Paul Goebel, are friends who all grew up on the west side and attended Elder High School. The partners have backgrounds in finance and the food and entertainment industry.
The original Holy Grail was a brew pub that opened in the 1990's under previous ownership - it closed in 2001. Andres and Moehring, both UC alumni, would walk past the shuttered bar on their way to see UC sporting events and chat with other fans about how they wished someone would re-open the business.
The idle talk became reality in 2004, when Andres, Moehring and Heitker bought the place and converted it into a sports bar. After building the business for three years, they opened their Delhi location.
Goebel was a consultant for the first location, but has since been brought on as a partner for the Banks and future projects.
Andres said that the new location at the Banks will also cater to the downtown business lunch crowd, and visiting business travelers. He said the owners will consider expansion outside of Cincinnati if the location is successful.
Writer: Henry Sweets