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21c opens Metropole on Walnut, shares art

A bright, smiling face—it's electric, really—greets diners at today's opening of Metropole on Walnut, the 21c Museum Hotel restaurant downtown.

The art installation, created by New York-based Sanford Biggers, serves as a cultural tease for the more than 8,000 square feet of exhibit space set to open with the 21c before the end of the year.

"We have eight site-specific commissions that are in various stages of being installed," says Molly Swyers, SVP of design and communications for 21c Museum Hotels. The Cincinnati location is the company's second site, with a flagship in Louisville and a third site slated to open next year in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The boutique hotel serves as a free museum open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, Swyers says. Though the iconic 21c penguin sculptures (red in Louisville, yellow in Cincinnati) will remain on-site, curated exhibits within the museum hotel will change regularly.  "On any given visit, you'll see something different or new."

Guests won't even have to enter the 21c to experience the art. Last week, workers began installing a sound installation by Austrian artist Werner Reiterer; it's the same one that used to hang outside 21c's Louisville restaurant, Proof on Main.

"There's a trigger for chandelier inside the hotel," Swyers says."It's been adjusted some and we had to do some engineering around constructing the sidewalk to support it."

The opening of the 21c isn't just a boon for art lovers and foodies. Swyers says the company hired 160 employees property-wide, including a mix of 21c-seasoned pros from Louisville and newcomers from Cincinnati. "You have a good mix of people who have been with 21c for some time and people who are just joining the team," she says.

Metropole chef Michael Paley is one of the Louisville transplants, as is the site's food and beverage manager.

"I'm excited just to open the doors and see people's reactions to the space," says Swyers, who has been working on the project for two years.

As she plans the full opening in the next few weeks, she notes that 21c's historic predecessor, the Metropole Hotel, opened its doors on New Year's Eve in 1912. "It's exciting to make this a public space again, and it's nice to be inviting the public back in."

Follow 21c and Metropole on Walnut on Facebook to find out more about the opening, enter a yellow-penguin-spotting contest and sign up for regular email updates.

By Elissa Yancey
Follow Elissa on Twitter.

Rabe finds 'Core' restores muscles, faith

After suffering from a serious accident that required the will of a determined athlete to overcome, Cydney Rabe of Over-the-Rhine resident opened Core, an exercise studio specializing in Pilates this September.

Three years ago, while walking across a street in Chicago, Rabe was hit by a car.

“[Doctors] told me, ‘You’ll never be able to lift your arm above your waist, you can’t ever lift anything more than five pounds, you’ll have no range in motion’,” Rabe says.  

But Rabe wasn’t ready to accept what to others seemed inevitable. After the accident, she used Pilates to completely rehabilitate her shoulder, which she claims made her stronger than before and gave her nearly full range of motion.

Following the accident, Rabe decided to move from Chicago back to Over-the-Rhine — where her family has lived for 12 years — to open Core.

“I’ve seen such a cool change happening in the neighborhood from when we first moved into it.” Rabe says. “It’s fun to be a part of it and add my own passion into the neighborhood.”

The studio uses Pilates equipment that puts the user in a standing position, challenging people’s body awareness in ways they aren’t used to.

Each equipment class has four or fewer people, so although people pay for a group class, they still get one-on-one attention from the instructor.

“When it’s only four people, it really allows for correction and to develop form, which are so important in a Pilates practice,” Rabe says. “It allows you to get the most out of the workout.”

Rabe also attributes small class sizes to keeping people more accountable for showing up and staying on their routines.

“You’re coming in and working out and seeing familiar faces, so you start developing relationships beyond just going to the gym,” Rabe says. “People are now looking for you in a class, like, ‘Oh, so-and-so is not here today.’ ”

Currently, Core offers classes in Pilates, TRX, Zumba and ballet barre, and will likely add yoga in the future.

“I wanted it to be a one-stop shop for people to come in, get their workout on and do a mixture of classes,” Rabe says.

Chermaya Woodson, who has been going to Core since it opened, says Rabe is the most passionate Pilates teacher she has worked with.

“[Rabe] makes it a point to not only ensure that I'm getting a good workout in — which I always do — but to ensure that I am actually learning about the muscles I'm working and what they do for me on a daily basis.”

Core’s operational hours vary — depending on classes — and it is located at 1423 Vine St., in the Gateway District across the street from Kroger.

Check out Core’s Facebook page here.

By Kyle Stone

Noble Denim launches with American-made, designer-quality jeans

Looking for something "crafty" to learn, Chris Sutton took up jean-making nearly two years ago.

"I wanted to learn how to make something with my own hands. I'd been doing a lot of tech endeavors, and wanted to get my hands dirty," says Sutton, whose background is in live event production.

Once he began sewing jeans, Sutton found he had a real talent for it. He decided he wanted to make high-quality, American-made jeans, a rarity in today's clothing manufacturing sector. He sought out American sources for his material, thread, zippers and pocket materials. Yes, he found them all in the USA; and he created Noble Denim.

"I wanted to make my own rules around what could and couldn't be done. I wanted to make my jeans in America, and make them as sustainably as possible," he says.

Using his home in Over-the-Rhine as a sewing factory, Sutton began making and selling Noble Denim jeans. Twelve industrial sewing machines later, he moved the company into a space at Camp Washington.

Designer in style and quality, they're meant to have a longer shelf life than your average mass-produced jean. Materials come from suppliers in Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon and California.

They're made from raw selvage denim, made through a time-consuming process that makes the material thicker and more durable. This type of denim is supposed to better fit the wearer's body and resist shrinkage.

Sutton launched an online shop in November, where buyers can chose from two styles, Regular and Earnest Slim Straight. The jeans are pricey, $250 a pair, but all materials are 100 percent organic, reclaimed or responsibly produced. Currently Noble Denim sells jeans only for men; a women's line is planned for next fall.

Noble Denim is a young company, and Sutton still does most of the sewing. He does have interns who are learning the jean-making craft. Within the next year, he hopes to hire three or four employees, who'll make 3,000 pairs of jeans a year.

"I want to grow, but only as fast as I can stick to my philosophy," Sutton says. "So our mantra is grow slow, but do it well."

By Feoshia H. Davis
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Italian-Argentine fusion moves to Hyde Park Square

Fans of Poco a Poco who were saddened by the restaurant’s recent closing may be comforted to learn that a new venture—Alfio’s Buon Cibo, which boasts veteran Cincy chefs and Italian-Argentine fusion—will soon occupy the vacated spot on Hyde Park Square.

Alfio’s is the product of 18 months of collaboration between owners Scott Lambert, Alfio Gulisano and Ken Arlinghaus. The trio aims for an affordable-yet-upscale dining experience to showcase the distinct culinary style that head chef Gulisano has been fine-tuning since growing up in an Italian section of Buenos Aires. 

With a résumé that includes stints at Bella Luna and VIEW Cucina, Gulisano brings his multi-ethnic expertise to his namesake endeavor, which he describes as, “probably 75 percent Italian and 25 percent Argentine.”

Alfio’s Buon Cibo, with a planned opening of Nov. 5, has a menu that features modern twists on classics: meat-and-cheese-stuffed empanadas, short-rib ravioli and traditional Argentine beef soup with potatoes, corn, tomatoes and onion.

A carefully selected yet deliberately modest wine list rounds out Alfio’s offerings, with Argentine, Italian and North American bottles ranging from $26-42. The owners plan to introduce a variety of events and promotions in the coming weeks, including half-price wine and specialty martini nights.

“There are a lot of places that are more for special occasions, like birthdays and promotions,” says Lambert. “But we want people to be able to come in here just because it’s a Tuesday or a Thursday. It’s affordable, and it’ll be a relaxed, fun atmosphere.”

By Hannah Purnell
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Festival reaches 'Heights' with untapped local talents

In its third year, the Heights Music Festival reaches deeper into the local music scene to highlight lesser known, hard-working local bands.

This fall's version, which takes place this weekend (Nov. 9-10) includes new names and innovative collaborations with artistically focused Cincinnati non-profits. 

"We actively sought out bands that have not had this kind of opportunity," says festival found Rome Ntukogu, of Far-I-Rome Productions. For example, Oui Si Yes, a seven-piece band that rarely plays out because of complicated performance schedules, will be part of the Heights this weekend.

What started as a once-a-year, one-night/four-venue event evolved into a biannual celebration of bands across a wide range of genres. This fall, one all-ages venue (Rohs Street Cafe) will feature collaborations with student artists from the Music Resource Center in Evanston and Elementz of Over-the-Rhine.

"I'm really excited about the Music Resource Center showcase we are doing," Ntukogu says. "They are going to create a small lineup of five of their students to perform." 

Some will be MCs, some poets. All will perform at Rohs Friday. 

Elementz offers its own showcase at Rohs Saturday.

"We like to bridge the gap between scenes," Ntukogu says. "We're trying our best to reach out into different pockets in Cincinnati."

His goal is to expose young musicians to each other, allow them to become fans of one another, and together, build a stronger and more connected music and arts community in Cincinnati.

The fall Heights Festival features just four venues, down from previous festivals' higher club count. Ntukogu explains it's part of his plan for "surprises" for the spring 2013 festival. "We want to expand and add a few venues outside of the Clifton Heights business districts," he says. "I would like to double our venues by next spring."

By Elissa Yancey
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Public Interest Design Institute to educate attendees in community design

On Nov. 9 and 10, the Public Interest Design Institute will offer a two-day course in public interest design at the University of Cincinnati. Attendees of the conference will receive SEED® certification and learn ways to get involved with public interest design projects.
The course will feature speakers who will talk about specific public interest design projects and funding for those projects. Bryan Bell, founder of Design Corps and the Public Interest Design Institute, will be certifying attendees in SEED, or Social Economic Environmental Design. SEED helps guide, evaluate and measure the social, economic and environmental impact of design projects.
Public interest design enhances the existing design practice by putting design skills to use in the community. Many public interest design projects are for nonprofits and are funded through grants, foundations and collaborations with other organizations.
But public interest design isn’t just for designers or planners. The workshop is open to anyone, including students, interested in public interest design, specifically those in the development, government development, planning, urban design, landscape, interiors and industrial design fields.
“There’s an ever-growing recognition of both the need and opportunity for public interest design,” says Michael Zaretsky, associate professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design at DAAP. “We know that in the past, design was really just for those that could afford it, but there are now so many examples of work that is for communities, and everyone benefits from it.”
In recent years, more and more large design firms are beginning to require that their employees donate a portion of their time to public interest design projects, some through organizations like theonepercent.org. The One Percent Project links nonprofits that need design projects with firms and individuals who want to donate one percent of their time to a project.
“It’s not just volunteering, but a chance to use our skills and knowledge to benefit a community,” says Zaretsky.
The speakers at the workshop include Maurice Cox, an urban designer and architecture professor at the University of Virginia; Ramsey Ford, co-founder and director of design for Design Impact; Emilie Taylor, design build manager at the Tulane City Center; and Zaretsky.
Zaretsky will be talking about a project he worked on in Tanzania with the Village Life Outreach Project. He serves as director of the Roche Health Center Design Committee, which, along with a nonprofit, helped build a health center in a rural Tanzanian village that has no power or running water. Zaretsky worked with students and engineering and architecture firms to complete the project.
There’s still time to sign up for the Public Interest Design Institute’s workshop. The cost for the course is $450; it’s $350 for AIA members and $250 for students.
By Caitlin Koenig
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Cincy Digital Non Conference shakes things up

Advertisers, marketers and PR representatives gathered at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza hotel for the fifth annual Digital Non Conference. This year’s two-day conference featured six keynote speakers and numerous breakout sessions that focused on different aspects of the digital world.
AAF Cincinnati founded the Digital Non Conference in 2007 to bring together employees of the more than 400 package design, branding, advertising and marketing firms in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. A few attendees were from firms in Cleveland and NYC, but most were local. 
Bing evangelist for Microsoft Jason Dailey’s keynote address on Tuesday focused on innovations in technology. Lesley Fair, senior attorney for the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, offered insights into legal rules for the digital age; David Payne, chief digital officer of the Gannett Co., talked about the importance of the "mobile first" mentality; and Dave Dorr, creative director and consultant of Epipheo Studios, shared lessons learned about getting your message across to consumers.
“Many of the things in today’s conference weren’t even imagined when the Digital Non Conference began in 2007,” says Lori Krafte, chair of the Digital Non Conference organizing committee.
It's true. Some of the technology featured in Dailey’s keynote won’t be made a reality for decades to come. The bare bones of the technology exist, but forward-thinkgin professionals know that it will take lots of testing before every household can have a refrigerator that provides recipes based on the ingredients inside.
The breakout sessions gave conference-goers the chance to learn about the digital world in social media, data measurement and related areas. Many sessions featured local entrepreneurs and digital gurus who spoke about their experience with new technology in Cincinnati.
By Caitlin Koenig
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Caitlin is also an Associate Editor for Barefoot Proximity

New startups from The Brandery soon to launch

Two recent graduates of The Brandery shared how to pitch a startup idea to investors and potential employees at on of the Digital Non Conference’s breakout sessions last week. Hunter Hammonds and Freddie Pikovsky recently pitched their startup ideas at The Brandery’s Demo Day and are now in the process of procuring funds and building teams.

Hammonds is the CEO and co-founder of Impulcity, a city app that makes a night on the town a breeze. Users can buy tickets to shows and view the specials at bars all in one place. Originally from Louisville, Hammonds came to Cincinnati because of The Brandery.

While searching for employees, he realized Cincinnati has a lot of local talent—he hasn’t needed to hire anyone from outside Ohio yet because of the wealth of designers here.

Pikovsky, originally from Brooklyn, is the CEO and founder of Off Track Planet. His startup began as a travel blog three years ago and is now a travel site and mobile app geared toward people in their mid-20s and early 30s. Pikovsky was drawn to The Brandery like Hammonds was, and wanted to be part of the startup ecosystem.

“Right now is an amazing time to be part of The Brandery,” Pikovsky says.

Hammonds and Pikovsky know it’s important to sell their ideas, whether it’s to a potential investor or new hires. In both cases, they have to make sure the startup’s roadmap is clear and focused; otherwise, investors might not be interested and employees won’t know which way is up.

Off Track Planet recently launched its beta version, and in three months, Pikovsky and his team hope to have the full release out. Impulcity will be launching soon and focusing solely on Cincinnati to start with, but Hammonds’ goal is to have it be an app for those living outside of the Tri-State area too.

By Caitlin Koenig
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Caitlin is an Associate Editor for Barefoot Proximity

Cincideutsch to deck Fountain Square with traditional Christkindlmarkt

The weekend after Thanksgiving heralds the start of the Christmas season, as Fountain Square becomes the set for Macy’s Light Up the Square and Downtown Dazzle, but this year, a new addition to the festivities adds a distinctively German twist. Cincideutsch, Cincinnati’s newest German society, will host a Christkindlmarkt on the Square, Nov. 23-25.
A Christkindlmarkt is a traditional German market that pops up around Christmas time. In Germany, the markets start at the beginning of Advent and last until Christmas. Cincideutsch's Christkindlmarkt is Cincinnati's first open-air Christmas market, and although it's only one weekend, the group hopes that in the future, the market will last longer, says Olaf Scheil, Cincideutsch’s president and one of its co-founders.
Scheil came to Cincinnati 14 years ago for work, and after the company he moved for closed, he decided to stay. Many of the members of Cincideutsch are German natives who have moved to Cincinnati, or are Americans who have lived in Germany, like Linda McAlister, co-founder, VP and treasurer of Cincideutsch. Peter Rother, the third co-founder, is VP and secretary.
Plans have been in the works for a Christkindlmarkt since Cincideutsch was founded in 2011. “It was something we all missed about Germany, so we decided to start one here,” McAlister says.  
Cincideutsch’s Christkindlmarkt will have feature 10 booths selling things that are both German in nature and local. The Germania Society of CincinnatiMunich Sister City Association of Greater CincinnatiRookwood PotteryServatii Pastry Shop and Deli, Ultimate Almonds and Mecklenburg Gardens will have booths selling Christmas ornaments and crafts, beer and Glühwein (German mulled wine). 

Visitors can also buy special edition mugs and tote bags designed by Saint Ursula Academy’s design program. The students from Saint Ursula’s also designed the Christkindlmarkt posters.
Scheil didn’t want Cincideutsch’s Christkindlmarkt to be pop-up tents in the middle of the street, so the booths resemble traditional German-style houses. The market will look like a little German village lit up for Christmas, he says.
Cincideutsch is still seeking sponsors for the market; it has one official sponsor so far, Christian Moerlein Brewery.
By Caitlin Koenig
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Landor windows inspire, create community downtown

The Cincinnati office of Landor Associates decorates its windows, but not with mannequins or oversized posters. The branding and design firm instead displays giant works of art in its windows. Like curated shows, the displays have themes that are tied to the people who work at Landor as well as what’s going on in Cincinnati. The displays add to the urban landscape much like murals on the sides of buildings.   
The windows start at the corner of Seventh and Race streets and end at the entrance to Landor on Shillito Place. The firm changes out the windows four times a year; currently, Landor’s windows feature an artistic, interactive display called "Peep Show" that promotes the bi-annual photography exhibit Fotofocus.
Creatively using massive, street-level window space isn't a new idea. Window dressings were once a big part of advertising for department stores, they've become a mostly lost art. Since Landor moved into the old Shillito space, the firm wanted to pay homage to their history. At the same time, the windows offered opportunities to showcase Landor’s talent and innovation.  
The current display boasts something that's a bit outside of the box. There’s a camera across the street that broadcasts a live feed of the windows, so passersby can see themselves looking at the display. Hence the display’s name, “Peep Show.”
“No idea is crazy anymore here at Landor,” says Steve McGowan, Landor’s executive creative director.
As with many businesses, Landor is getting closer to technology and how consumers are using it. There are social media aspects of “Peep Show”—Landor created a hashtag (#LandorPeep) and an Instagram feed so people could take photos of the windows and share them via social media.
Landor’s windows have not only created a buzz online; they’ve caused a buzz on the street, too. On any given day, people stop and admire the windows, says Mara McCormick, senior client manager at Landor. They’ve even called Landor to tell the firm how excited and inspired they are by the windows. Landor does the window displays for internal inspiration, but they also want to get the creative juices flowing in the community around them.
Landor professionals suggest that, even if you’ve seen the windows during the day, take the time to view them at night, when the lights, the video and the atmosphere of the street offers a very distinct experience.

By Caitlin Koenig
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Mayerson snags grant to fund arts program

In April, the Mayerson Foundation was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for its Artistic Excellence Program. The $45,000 grant was matched by the Foundation to fund master classes for students at the School for Creative & Performing Arts, the nation’s only K-12 public school for the arts. 
The Artistic Excellence Program features seven master artists from around the world, seven resident musicians from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and nine dance workshops from the Cincinnati Ballet, all of which take place during the 2012-2013 school year. The Foundation has applied for a second NEA grant to fund the program next year.
This month, contemporary artist Nico Muhly visited SCPA in conjunction with the program. He worked with two student composers, held a Q&A and kicked off the year-long series with a performance for the students. Soapbox caught up with the Mayerson’s grants officer, Jeff Seibert, to ask him a few questions about the program.
Q: What is the Mayerson Artistic Excellence Program?
A: The Artistic Excellence Program supports world-class arts education at SCPA. As a lead funder in the $72 million campaign that created the new SCPA, the Mayerson Foundation recognized the importance of supporting the operation of SCPA. We support what the SCPA faculty are trying to accomplish by bringing the world’s best ‘visual aids’ into the classroom, the theater and the dance studio.
Q: Is it program available for all students at SCPA?
A: Yes. All of SCPA’s 1,400 students can benefit from the Artistic Excellence Program, but direct participation is based on relevance—jazz students attend Fred Hersch’s master classes; dance majors work with the Cincinnati Ballet—and based on students’ stages of development. Students in Advanced Music Theory attended Nico Muhly’s master class in composition, whereas first graders will attend the upcoming young people’s concert with Constella artists Anne Dudley and Libby Larsen.
Q: Does the Excellence Program provide scholarships for students?
A: All of the Excellence Programs are provided free of charge, except private music lessons. Since individual students benefit from private lessons and an enormous commitment to practicing is required, those students pay a small fraction of what the lessons actually cost. 

The Mayerson Foundation heavily subsidizes the cost of lessons, and provides scholarships, along with the Friends of SCPA and the Carlson-Berne Scholarship Fund of the CSO, to ensure that economic hardship is not an obstacle to students’ participation in our programs.
Q: Is there a theme for the program?
A: The theme of the Master Artists Series is ‘responding to opportunity.’ We partner with presenting organizations to bring visiting artists to SCPA. Our goal is to support talented students at SCPA across the artistic disciplines and musical genres. 

SCPA’s incredible faculty help us to create connections with the classroom curriculum. The master artists are living examples of art history that teach students technique, but also show then what a life in the arts is like.
Q: Besides Nico Muhly, what other master artists and artists-in-residence have presented master classes so far this year?
A: Violinist Joshua Bell presented a “career talk” on Sept. 21 and jazz pianist Fred Hersch presented a master class on Sept. 25. 

Later this year are playwright and Taft Museum Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Nikkole Salter on Oct. 24; world renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers on Oct. 26; percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, who led 1,000 drummers in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, on Nov. 2; violinist Gil Shaham on Jan. 25, 2013; violinist Leila Josefowicz on March 1, 2013; jazz saxophone great Branford Marsalis on March 14, 2013; and composer Jennifer Higdon on March 21, 2013. 

In April, Broadway star and TV actress Bebe Neuwrith will present a master class at SCPA, and one of the greatest living jazz pianists is currently under consideration to visit.
Q: Do all of these artists then perform concerts in conjunction with their master class?
A: Most of the artists perform at SCPA, but not in full concerts. They perform pieces to help illustrate the concepts being taught in their master classes. Whenever possible, SCPA students attend rehearsals and performances by the artists at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra or at the Cincinnati Ballet. Students get the opportunity to go backstage to meet the artists after their performances and then to experience them in the classroom. 

The opportunities provided to SCPA students are unlike any program elsewhere in the country.
Q: Is the public allowed to attend the master classes, or are they exclusively for SCPA students?
A: The community has made an enormous investment in SCPA and deserves to see what their investment is returning. Nearly every night of the year, audiences are treated to some of the finest student performances, plays, dances and art exhibits at SCPA. 

Because master classes occur during the school day and because students are intensely engaged in learning, public attendance is by invitation only. Observing the interaction between a master artist and a talented student is really fascinating, so whenever possible, we do try to provide access on an appropriate basis.
By Caitlin Koenig
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Attention coffee-lovers: Collective Espresso brewing in OTR

Dave Hart and Dustin Miller have been friends since junior high, but they went to college on different coasts. After moving to Cincinnati to start a food truck, they are in the process of opening a coffee shop in Over-the-Rhine. Collective Espresso hasn’t opened its doors to the public yet, but Hart and Miller are excited to bring their love of coffee to the Queen City.
While living in Seattle and Portland, Hart worked in the food service industry, which was closely linked to the coffee world. He fell in love with coffee and became “nerdy about doing coffee at home” by trying different beans and brewing methods. Miller became a barista at the age of 16 and has worked in coffee shops off and on since then. Still, coffee wasn’t their first business idea.
When the pair moved to Cincinnati about three and a half years ago, they considered adding to the city's growing fleet of food trucks. Then Hart and Miller talked about opening a creperie. One common thread connected the two ideas: coffee. So, eventually, they settled on opening a coffee bar.
Miller likes the mix of people and businesses in OTR. He hopes Collective Espresso will be a neighborhood place where people meet up to chat and enjoy their favorite coffee drink. Both Miller and Hart want to add to OTR's growing business district.
Hart and Miller designed Collective Espresso around the barista, who will be in the center of the room. The idea is for the barista to be able to make coffee and interact with customers at the same time. Instead of a collection of tables, Collective Espresso has a bar with seating on three sides. There will be a few tables, some of which can be pushed out onto the sidewalk when the weather permits.
Unlike many coffee shops, Collective Espresso will feature different brew methods, such as the Hario pour-over, Chemex and French press. Hart and Miller want to serve great coffee as they create a coffee culture and educate customers.
“Hopefully, seasoned coffee drinkers will seek us out, but we want our coffee to be for everyone,” says Hart.
Right now, Collective Espresso gets its coffee from two roasters: Deeper Roots Coffee in Mt. Healthy and Quills Coffee in Louisville. Both roasters trade directly with farmers, which is an important detail for Hart and Miller. They note the many human elements to coffee, from the picking of the beans to the pouring of the drinks. They want to feel a connection at each of those levels.
You also won’t find four different sizes of coffee drinks at Collective Espresso. Hart and Miller are sticking with the traditional, Italian way to serve espressos and cappuccinos, which means espressos are the smallest drink and lattes are about medium-sized.

While this streamlines the ordering process for customers, it might take longer for drinks to be made. That's ok with Hart and Miller, who want to create the best experience possible for each customer.
They plan to open their shop in late October or early November—check the business' Facebook page for updates.
By Caitlin Koenig
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Modern Makers builds community in Uptown

A collaboration between the Uptown Consortium and Hark + Hark sets its sights on engaging community members in Uptown in the arts in new, creative, and super cool ways.

Together, they host monthly art events as Modern Makers. This month, Modern Makers presents performances from ALICE (in wonderland) by Cincinnati Ballet II Second Company at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center on Wed., Oct. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. Modern Makers is sponsored through Uptown Consortium and Hark and Hark, both nonprofits.

“Bringing and highlighting arts and the arts environment to uptown Cincinnati by featuring and displaying different art programs and opportunities for everyone…is the main key of what we’re trying to do,” says Janelle Lee, Uptown Consortium’s Director of Business and Community Affairs and a member of the Cincinnati Ballet Board of Trustees.

Most of the monthly art shows are held in Corryville on Short Vine or on Glendora Avenue, right behind Bogart’s. 
About a year and a half ago, Uptown Consortium partnered with Hark and Hark, an art and community-based firm started by two former University of Cincinnati DAAP graduates, Catherine Richards and Ahn Tran, to create Modern Makers. The second season of Modern Makers coincides with UC’s school year, with different art shows each month from August until June. 

This year’s MM season kicked off with a chef, who prepared food through art. The event was an overwhelming success, according to Lee.

All MM events are free and open to the public; food is provided by a restaurant on Short Vine. Each event also features an interactive creative art project; for example, last year for Mardi Gras, participants created masks.

In November, Modern Makers will present the second annual “Light Up Short Vine,” Wed., Nov. 28—a Christmas celebration complete with lights, a Christmas tree, Santa Claus and CCM carolers.

By Stephanie Kitchens

Businesses find fresh opportunities on Fourth Street

Fourth is one of the downtown streets that has a little bit of everything. Caffe Barista & Deli sits at the corner of Fourth and Plum. Leftcoast Modern recently opened a few doors down and Aunt Flora will soon open her bakeshop on the same street. On the other side of Fourth is the Lombardy Building, which will soon be home to Marianne Kiely's Everything’s d’Vine, a specialty wine and beer store.
Kiely began her business venture two and a half years ago in Over-the-Rhine, but felt the business didn't fit in. She fell upon the retail space on Fourth Street and knew it would be a great spot for her business.
Everything’s d’Vine is slated to open at the end of this month. Currently, crews are putting in hardwood flooring, and Kiely has a few things left to complete on her “to-do” list before opening day.
Still, she promises to “keep it simple,” which includes maintaining reasonable prices—bottles of wine will sell for less than $20. The majority of beers will be craft beers, with a few mass-market brews such as Budweiser and Miller.

Kiely wants to offer an individualized experience for every customer, plus a tasting bar and delivery service. She also hopes to team up with local restaurants and offer wine and food pairing events.
Royal Sapphire Tattoo, a custom tattoo parlor, will also open its doors at the end of October on Fourth Street. A year and a half ago, Rick Potter was getting a tattoo from Chris Sanders when the the two happened upon the idea for Royal Sapphire. Sanders has always wanted his own shop, and Potter wanted to help him get his dream rolling.
The two began looking for locations right away, and they finally decided on the building at 315 W. Fourth Street because of its accessibility. As a destination location, Potter says the tattoo parlor could be in any neighborhood, but they liked the feel of the other businesses on Fourth Street.
The three artists of Royal Sapphire have a combined experience of 35 years. Sanders alone has been tattooing for 21 years, Megan Dietz Staats has been doing custom tattoos for three years and Brett Hoersting has been tattooing for 11 years. Sanders, Dietz Staats and Hoersting have all been working at different shops and look forward to taking their work to Royal Sapphire.
By Caitlin Koenig
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Food Truck Festival motors into Walnut Hills

Cincinnati's food truck culture, energetic and scrappy, takes center stage for a change at the first Cincinnati Street Food Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 13 in Walnut Hills.

Soapbox talked with The City Flea's Nick DeWald, who helped organize the celebration and lent his design skills to the event, to get the scoop:

Q: Why is this event important? And why in Walnut Hills?
A: Celebrating first-ring suburbs such as Walnut Hills is critical for the future of the city. The urban core is really rolling right now, but having livable, vibrant neighborhoods all around it is what will continue to make Cincinnati great. Walnut Hills is an area that is aggressively pushing to be the center of the next culture and development boom. 

Q: What makes it different from other events?
A: You can find food trucks at many events around town these days, but they are generally accessories to a larger theme. This event will celebrate street food and have a larger lineup of food trucks and trailers than any previous local event.  

Q: How long was it in the planning stages? 
A: The concept of a food truck festival is one item on a long list of progressive ideas of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation that have been talked about since Kevin Wright became the director last year. There is a lot of energy in the neighborhood and city right now and ideas are being put into action rapidly and effectively. 

Q: Finally, what are you most looking forward to, and will this happen again if all goes well? 
A: The hope is that this becomes an annual event in the city. This will be a great opportunity to show the city's food trucks some appreciation. It is a tough business to be in, yet they are all such friendly and energetic people who are making the city more colorful and unique. 

The organizers are most looking forward to showing people what Walnut Hills is capable of adding to the city. If all goes to plan, people will see the energy, diversity and proximity to the urban core that Walnut Hills offers. It will also be quite a sight to finally see the ever-growing local community of food trucks all in one place.

By Elissa Yancey
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