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Cincinnati Design Week welcomes creatives to the heart of the design world


Cincinnati is home to some of the world’s most highly recognized design agencies and schools, and is at the forefront of global design. Cincinnati Design Week, which is Sept. 28-Oct. 2, is a chance for the city to showcase its creative minds. The weeklong celebration includes workshops, studio tours, panel discussions and a number of parties.
 
CDW is presented by AIGA Cincinnati and AGAR, and features speakers from all aspects of the design community. You can view the full schedule and list of speakers here.
 
Sept. 24: The preview activities kick off with the 16th annual OFFF Cincinnati creative conference. 9 a.m., School of Creative and Performing Arts, $25-50
Sept. 26: A Lunch n Learn panel, “Ignite Your Design Career with UX,” will teach graphic designers how to leverage user experience techniques in order to inspire their work. 12 p.m., Union Hall, free
Sept. 26: Five different female designers will share their best and worst work, as well as lessons they’ve learned, at KnowHer. 6 p.m., Gaslight Software, $15-25
Sept. 27: Freelance and independent graphic designers, copywriters and developers are invited to Indie/Breakfast Club. 8:30 a.m., The Hive, free
Sept. 27: Openfield Creative will discuss how design thinkers and makers can be so much more during Bending the Boundaries of Interface. 12 p.m., Openfield Creative, $15-25
Sept. 27: Building Bridges: Connecting our Design Community, a collaborative workshop that focuses on designing next year’s event, hosted by AIGA Cincinnati and Hyperquake. 6 p.m., Contemporary Arts Center, $10 seat holding fee, AIGA members only
Sept. 28: Designing and Prototyping with Adobe XD will focus on crafting a design with Adobe XD and using Photoshop, Illustrator and Live Preview. 2 p.m., Union Hall, $15-35
Sept. 28: Gaslight Software will give an inside look at agile design process during Agile Design: How to Fail Your Way to Success. 6 p.m., Gaslight Software, $15-25
Sept. 28: Networking, drinks and free food at Liquid Courage. 7 p.m., Igby’s, free
Sept. 29: Enjoy coffee and a chat with the developers of ArchiTour Cincinnati, a new app for self-guided architectural tours around downtown at ArchiTour Cincinnati: Coffee, Streetcar and App Design. Make sure to download the app first. 8:30 a.m., Coffee Emporium, free
Sept. 29: Print Talk with Mohawk will show you the ins and outs of the Mohawk Maker’s Field Guide. Lunch provided. 11:45 a.m., Contemporary Arts Center, $15-25
Sept. 29: Designing for a Virtual Environment: A Tale of Two Workshops will deal with the current state of VR. 6 p.m., Contemporary Arts Center, $10-20
Sept. 30: CreativeMornings: Jon Flannery. 8:30 a.m., TBD free
Sept. 30: AIGA Cincinnat will kick off its new In-House INitiative program with The Usual Suspects: Redefining In-House Roles. Cincinnati’s best in-house creatives will deliver practical workshops for Junior, Senior and Director Level creatives. 9 a.m., Art Academy of Cincinnati, $10-20

Sept. 30: The highlight of CDW is Alex Center, design director for Coca-Cola. He’s delivering the keynote speech, and will speak about his experience working within small and large organizations, and why he believes that the future of branding is in-house. 6 p.m., Woodward Theater, $15-35
Sept. 30: CDW Afterparty with Alex Center. 8 p.m., Woodward Theater, free for those who bought a ticket to the keynote
 
Tickets for all CDW events can be purchased here. Many of the events are free, but make sure to register for them!
 
 
 
 

NEST bringing tiny house movement to Northside


Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation has been renovating and building houses for years. On Sept. 25 — the same day as the Northside House Tour — the organization is hosting a kick-off party for its Kinda Tiny Houses development project.
 
Unlike the tiny house trend that’s sweeping the nation and setting up camp in Over-the-Rhine, Kinda Tiny Houses will be a bit larger, anywhere from 600-1,000 square feet. And NEST is focusing on abandoned houses that already exist in Northside, and renovating those properties to reflect the concept.
 
“When it comes to these rehabs, we’re taking advantage of an existing resource and creating a greater resource for the community,” says Stefanie Sunderland, founder of NEST.
 
NEST plans to renovate eight houses and build one new house into Kinda Tiny Houses, but there are potential plans for two more new builds. Four houses are already underway at 4222, 4238 and 4240 Fergus St., and the new build at 4205 Mad Anthony, which is on the corner of Chase and Fergus streets. The other five properties are scattered throughout Northside.
 
“These houses will all have smaller carbon footprints, and will tie into the existing infrastructure in the neighborhood,” Sunderland says. “I feel it’s also an environmental and sustainable design.”
 
All of the Kinda Tiny Houses will be visitable, or accessible for everyone. The majority of the houses are single-story, but a few of the larger homes are two-story. NEST wants to make all of the living quarters on the first floors of the homes because much of Northside’s housing stock predates indoor plumbing. When plumbing was added, only half-bathrooms were added on the first floor and you have to go up a flight of stairs to reach the full bathroom.


 
Architect Alice Emmons designed the Kinda Tiny Houses to help people age in place, as well as for Baby Boomers who are looking to downsize and Millenials who want to move into a less expensive, functional home. All of the houses are homeownership units as opposed to rental properties, and will be more affordable options when they hit the market in the next 6-9 months.
 
The project is made possible through a grant from BB&T Bank that helped NEST develop the prototype. The City of Cincinnati is providing NOFA gap funding, and Northside Bank & Trust financed a construction allowance.
 
The Kinda Tiny Houses Initiative with Kinda Tiny Bites party will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 25 at Urban Artifact. Attendees are encouraged to go on the Northside House Tour and then swing by for light bites, music and beer. The party will include a chance to view designs of the Kinda Tiny Houses, as well as the undergoing rehabilitation on Fergus Street. The party is free, but a suggested donation of $10 is welcome.
 

Carabello Coffee celebrates three years in Newport with expansion


Last weekend, Carabello Coffee kicked-off its anniversary weekend with the grand opening of its expanded coffee roasting space and Analog Slow Bar.
 
Three years ago, Carabello Coffee opened its coffee bar and roastery in a rented storefront at 107 E. Ninth St. in Newport. Once open, it only took a few months to outgrow the space. Owners Justin and Emily Carabello launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 to help with the cost of purchasing the building in advance of an eventual expansion.

With a boost from the Catalytic Fund and a Duke Energy Urban Revitalization Grant, the couple purchased the building and began renovations in early 2016.
 
With the addition of a new, attached storefront space and significant outdoor renovations, Carabello has doubled its space. There is now expanded seating in the original coffeeshop for daily customers, and the space now houses Carabello’s larger coffee roaster, a space for coffee and espresso professionals to learn on and test out new equipment and a large table that can be reserved for special events or meetings.

 
Unique for the area is Carabello’s new Analog Slow Bar that offers limited-engagement coffee tasting events for those interested in a more curated coffee experience. Similar to a wine tasting, the Analog Slow Bar features specialty coffees prepared and presented multiple ways during the five-course, hour-long events.
 
A highlight of the weekend was a visit from Nicaraguan coffee farmer Luis Alberto Balladarez. Carabello has been serving his beans for five years, and learning the ins and outs of coffee cultivation from him along the way.

During his stay, Balladarez helped curate the weekend’s Analog Slow Bar tasting menus using his own coffees.
 
As it expands, Carabello is committed to maintaining its philanthropic business model. Since the company’s beginning, the Carabellos have been committed to using a portion of their proceeds to support “works of compassion” locally and in coffee-producing communities in Nicaragua, such as an orphanage near Balladarez's home.
 
When to go
Carabello Coffee is open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday. The Analog Slow Bar will be offering a “Taste of Analog Coffee Experience” during its first two weeks of business. Tickets can be purchased here.

After the first two weeks, the Analog Bar will be available by reservation.
 
Carabello Coffee is also served at multiple locations in the Cincinnati area and whole coffee beans can be purchased at the coffeeshop or at any of the locations where it’s served.
 

Development along W. Fourth Street brings about a resurgence for the neighborhood


A stroll down W. Fourth Street downtown felt very different at the turn of the 20th century. For the better part of the city’s history, W. Fourth between Vine Street and Central Avenue was the epicenter of a bustling and lively urban core. Luxury department stores like the George A. McAlpin Company, H&S Pogue and the Gidding-Jenny Company were the places to go for high-end fashion and home goods. 4th & Vine Tower, then the home of the Union Central Life Insurance Company, was once the fifth tallest building in the world, and the second tallest outside of New York City.

Much of the building stock on W. Fourth was constructed in the 1860s in the Italianate style. The architecture retains historical significance, and 32 of the buildings on the street were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Though the area is brimming with beautiful architecture and value, according to David Ginsburg, the CEO of Downtown Cincinnati Inc., it still experienced a period of decline in the 1990s.

The decline is linked to a variety of factors, but the move toward building less pedestrian-friendly environments was a big one.

“As the suburbs developed and people left the urban core, city centers tried to fight fire with fire by recreating the suburbs downtown,” Ginsburg says. “They did things like build skywalk systems that got people off the ground level, and they got slower moving vehicles like bicycles off the streets.”

Tower Place Mall, the former shopping promenade at the intersection of W. Fourth and Race, opened in 1991 and proved to be an unsuccessful attempt to bring that suburban shopping experience to the city center.

“The suburban model just doesn’t speak to the street,” Ginsburg says. The mall was finally shuttered in 2013, and the City of Cincinnati then purchased Tower Place, as well as Pogue’s Garage across the street, later that year.

In 2014, the former Tower Place Mall was given another chance at life when it reopened as Mabley Place, a 775-space parking garage and retail space (which will soon be home to a high-end health club called Inner Fire Fitness).

After an extensive four-year planning process, demolition began this month on Pogue’s Garage. The redevelopment at the corner of W. Fourth and Race is a long time coming, Ginsberg says.

“Pogue’s Garage had a negative impact on the street. The pedestrian experience involved walking under an overhang, and people never feel comfortable walking under overhangs. The ground floor was ignored, and there was nothing interesting to see as you walked by."

Once the demolition of the garage is completed, a new $82 million mixed-use building will be constructed. Ultimately, the project will add 700-spaces of parking and 23,000 square feet of commercial space, all managed by 3CDC. Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties will own and operate 225 units of apartment housing on the upper floors of the building.

“This is a key strategic and historical location,” Ginsburg says. “Redeveloping the site will better connect east and west, and north and south.”

The resurgence on W. Fourth also extends to new retailers and offices coming to the area.

“We have this nucleus of interesting, unique retail springing up,” Ginsburg says.

Retailers along W. Fourth include a Bang & Olufsen electronics store; Bromwell’s fireplace, furniture and art gallery; the newly-opened Switch Lighting & Design; and Koch’s Sporting Goods. Next door is Main Auction Galleries, an auction house that was started in 1870 and is the oldest in the region. Sleepy Bee Cafe is slated to open their third breakfast and lunch restaurant at 8 W. Fourth in late 2016.

A number of offices are also located on W. Fourth, including the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the headquarters of FC Cincinnati.

All of this renewed attention to the street is part of what Ginsburg refers to as a move toward “walkable urbanity.”

“We are going back to an authentic, unique, dense, mixed-use city center,” he says. “You want a walkable city — the higher the walkability, the higher the value of the real estate and the more vibrancy there is. We are going back to the old days, and W. Fourth Street is the poster child for the process.”
 

International street artists creating mural in downtown Covington


This past week, a team of internationally acclaimed street artists worked on a mural for the north-facing wall of the Boone Block Lofts in downtown Covington. The London Police, who are from Amsterdam, will be incorporating their iconic “lad” character into the mural, which is part of the Boone Block Living Art Wall.
 
A team of four artists, headed by the two founders of the London Police, will create the 40-foot-by-40-foot mural. The three-story wall that will house the mural will also be a vertical garden for mixed-media installations of art and plants.
 
Funding from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation launched the mural component of the initiative, and fundraising for the remainder of the project is ongoing.  
 
A “lad” was previously painted on the building to mark that the London Police would be back to finish covering the wall. The first green elements of the installation will be built on a trellis at street-level as fundraising continues.
 
The mural will pay homage to Mike Amann, the founder of BLDG, who passed away in 2013. He helped start the international street art movement in Covington, and played a huge part in bringing artists like the London Police, Vhils and Faille to the city. BLDG is curating the Boone Block installation.
 
The London Police is known for their lad characters and precision marking, as well as encouraging public engagement. Their body of work spans 16 years and appears in over 35 countries all around the world. The London Police recently did installations at the Quin Hotel in New York, The Coney Art Walls project at Coney Island and Sun Life Stadium in Miami; they were last in Covington in 2013.
 
The mural will bring together two aspects of downtown Covington’s revitalization efforts: public art and the restoration of historic properties. Other public art installations include the Curb’d parklets; Hotel Covington, which opens on Sept. 27; and several other residential projects.
 

Art Off Pike celebrates all forms of art for its 12th year


On Sept. 25, Art Off Pike is celebrating is 12th year, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The free event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., celebrates art in all forms, and takes place along Seventh Street between Washington and Madison streets in downtown Covington.
 
Artwork will be available for purchase from more than 60 local and regional artists, and there will be live music, spoken word artists, performance artists and interactive art installations.
 
Here is what’s going on this year:
  • The Forealism Tribe will lead costume parades at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Before each parade, there will be costume-making workshops so event goers can make outfits to wear in the parades.
  • A mobile sound studio and popup instrument showroom will be on hand from Caravan Traveling Sound, and Plop! will have its three giant beanbags strewn about.
  • Durham Brand & Co. will be unveiling it is new mural on the arcade between Seventh and Pike streets, which is across the street from Braxton Brewing. The mural, funded by Cov10, features Covington native and Tony Award Winner and Academy Award nominee Una Merkel.
  • Music, food and live entertainment will be set up next to Braxton in the Madlot. Smoking Zeus will open the event and Baoku’s 10-piece band led by Baoku Moses will close the event. There will be local food trucks, and several Covington restaurants will be open for business before, during and after Art Off Pike.
Check out Art Off Pike's website for a full schedule of events.
 
 

Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic relocates, adds more foodie events to lineup


During the last weekend in September, the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic will bring highlights from the Midwest culinary scene to the banks of the Ohio River. The event, which launched in 2014 at Washington Park, has relocated this year to Yeatman’s Cove, and is expected to accommodate a crowd of 9,000 people over the three days.

Co-founders Donna Covrett, the former dining editor for Cincinnati Magazine, and Courtney Tsitouris, of City Stories, established the CFWC to bring more attention to Cincinnati’s growing reputation as a foodie destination.

“Since our launch, our mission has been to capture the energy and enthusiasm of the Midwest's dynamic food and beverage scene, and to position the region as an exciting culinary nucleus,” Tsitouris says.

The CFWC will feature tastings from over 100 local, regional, national and international chefs. It will also feature wine and beer tastings, live cooking and kitchen demonstrations, an artisan marketplace and live local music.

The event kicks off with the Grill Invitational signature event from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Thirty chefs from across the country will be grilling live for a panel of judges and a hungry crowd. Along with the grill showdown, patrons will be able to enjoy desserts from one of three specialty pavilions and sip on a variety of 40 beverage options from the Wine and Beer Pavilion. The evening will be set to a live soundtrack, provided by the Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band and the Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle.

The party continues on Saturday with two grand tastings, featuring dishes from 30 restaurants, including live demos, seminars, guided tastings, author talks, panel discussions and live musical entertainment from The Soul Refugees with guests Eugene Goss and Bethany Whitten.

Also on Saturday is the Recipes and a Dream cooking competition, which will feature the three chefs from Soapbox's August Speaker Series. Mandira Jacob of Oh Little Mustard Seed, Chef Dionne McCaskill-Alston of All Day Kitchen and Pantry and Tyler Retyi-Gazda of Grind on the Rhine will compete Chopped-style for prize money.

The weekend wraps up on Sunday with the Rising Stars Brunch Grand Tasting, which is a brunch by-the-bite with dishes from about 24 up-and-coming sous chefs, chefs de cuisines, pastry chefs and spirits experts in Cincinnati. There will also be 12 different breakout sessions going on throughout the day, including the third annual Somm Slam, a competition and interactive blind tasting among five sommeliers.

Tickets are on sale now and will also be available the day of. Tickets are $95 each for one of the four grand tastings. After standard price tickets sell out, the price will increase to $115.

The CFWC donates a percentage of event profits to Freestore Foodbank and Findlay Market. There will also be a raffle for an ArteFlame Grill (valued at $1,850) during the event, with proceeds supporting Freestore Foodbank.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit CFWC's website.
 

John R. Green Lofts to add to growing number of residential units in Covington


The John R. Green building, located at 411 W. Sixth St. in Mainstrasse Village, and surrounding lots will soon be redeveloped into 182 apartments. A four-story apartment building — the John R. Green Lofts — will be built on top of a three-story parking garage, with commercial space as well.
 
The John R. Green building will remain commercial property, with plans for a boutique grocery store on street level with offices above and a banquet hall on the top floor. The neighboring warehouse, including a mural, parking lot and community garden, will be removed to make way for the apartment project.
 
Moody Nolan Architects is designing the $38 million project that will yield 182 apartments, adding to the growing number of residential units in Covington.
 
The 501 Main building and adjacent parking lot will soon be razed. Two new buildings will be constructed with commercial space on the first floor of one building, a parking garage in the other and a total of 200 apartments.
 
Duveneck Square, which is located at Seventh and Washington streets, will yield 170 apartments.

Phase II of Pike Star Lofts was recently completed, with four apartments and 2,300 square feet of street-level office space for Bad Girl Ventures.
 

AFC architecture tours app launches along with streetcar opening


The Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati released an app today that allows users to take their own self-guided tours of some of the city’s most architecturally significant buildings. ArchiTour Cincinnati gives users behind-the-scenes details of photos of buildings and places, as well as create dialogue between users.
 
“AFC exists to promote architecture in the community,” says Stephen Sendelbeck, executive director of AFC. “We’ve offered walking tours for years, but they’ve been a challenge to coordinate. We wanted to find a technology-based solution that would allow people to download our tours through an app, and take them on their own time.”
 
ArchiTour launched in tandem with the streetcar opening. AFC is advertising the app on the streetcar, and hopes that people who are riding it for the first time will download ArchiTour and take the time to take a tour.
 
The app currently features three self-guided tours: the Streetcar Route, which highlights significant architectural spaces and places along the path of the new Cincinnati Bell Connector; the Fourth/Fifth Street Corridor, which contains some of the most historically relevant architecture in downtown; and the Must See Buildings tour, which is a roundup of 20 must-see buildings in the downtown area.
 
“Everyone who comes to Cincinnati loves the city — it’s like an unknown treasure,” Sendelbeck says. “A lot of that has to do with the city itself, and its roots in arts and culture. But also in the buildings that surround us and the places that exist here. people come to love them.”
 
AFC’s ultimate goal through the app is for people to become advocates for good design and architecture.
 
Each building or place featured on ArchiTour solicits comments and video from users. If someone brings us an interesting fact not included in the background information provided, AFC plans to research that fact and expand the app to include that information.
 
If users have a passion for a specific building or place, they can create short videos and post them to the app. Future users can then access those videos and hear from a local or visitor who really connected with a specific site in Cincinnati.
 
For example, one of Sendelbeck’s favorite buildings in Cincinnati is the Gwynne building, which is a former P&G building. While doing research for the app, he met someone who shared that the grills on the upper floors of the building alternately bear the initials “G” and “V,” which stand for Gwynne and Vanderbilt. The building was originally constructed by the Vanderbilt family to pay tribute to Vanderbilt’s wife’s family, the Gwynnes.
 
“I never would have learned about that connection otherwise,” Sendelbeck says. “People are going to be intrigued when they discover things about buildings that they didn’t know.”  
 
There is room for growth too, with future plans for riverfront, northern downtown, University of Cincinnati and sites that have been used in movies tours. AFC plans to rollout a new tour every 2-3 months into 2017. Long-term goals for ArchiTour include a downtown residential tour, a community centers tour and an expansion into Northern Kentucky tour.
 
You can download ArchiTour Cincinnati for free in the App Store or Google Play Store today.
 

Community ReSoup to fuel community conversations and ideas


On Sept. 25, the Center for Great Neighborhoods, Cov10, LiveWell NKY and the Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen will host A Community ReSoup. The free event will provide community building and discussion, as well as soup made from seconds.
 
“This event is really three-fold: It brings the community together over a meal, gets insight from community voices, and provides grants to community members to keep the momentum going,” says Rachel DesRochers, founder of the NKYIK and Grateful Grahams.
 
Two NKYIK tenants —  Debbie Carpenter-Coulter of Passion in My Pans and Gary Leybman of The Pickled Pig — will prepare soup for 600 people from “gleaned” foods. They’re working with local farmers, growers and Suzy DeYoung from LaSoupe to get enough produce for the soup.
 
“I’m so excited to get my tenants involved in more of these community meals and ideas,” DesRochers says.
 
One hundred tables will be set up and covered in paper tablecloths. Attendees will be invited to write and draw on the tables, providing their ideas for Covington.
 
A Community ReSoup will culminate in a pitch night — eight finalists will present their ideas in 3-5 minutes for a chance to win two $500 grants. The competition is open to anyone with an idea that builds community, makes a difference or helps someone in Covington.
 
Applications are being accepted until Sept. 11; you can apply here. The board will choose the finalists, and everyone who attends A Community ReSoup will vote for the two winners.
 
“I believe Northern Kentucky is alive and welcoming to creatives, and in a huge way,” DesRochers says. “LiveWell is giving my tenants a new chance and idea to get involved. I really see them as a group that’s trying to bring multiple groups and ideas together, rather than a new group trying to start new ideas.”
 
A Community ReSoup will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 25 in Orchard Park. Visit the event’s Facebook page for more information.
 

Sushi burrito restaurant looking to open second location near UC


On June 8, Roll On In opened its first location in Lebanon, but the sushi burrito restaurant is already looking to open its second location near the University of Cincinnati.
 
Roll On In’s menu is based around sushi burritos, but there is the option to create a bowl or salad instead. The burritos are made with seaweed or a soy wrap, and contain sushi rice and your choice of protein — spicy or fresh tuna or salmon, shrimp, crab stick, crab salad, teriyaki chicken, panko chicken, panko salmon or tempura shrimp.
 
From there, you can add in traditional or not-so-traditional sushi ingredients: jalapeno, edamame salad, wonton strips, Asian slaw, corn salsa or cream cheese. Toppings include sriracha, spicy mayo, wasabi avocado dip and sesame oil guacamole. Sides include guacamole, corn salsa, Asian slaw and wonton chips.
 
Roll On In serves cold-brewed, nitrogen-infused coffee from Smooth Cincy Coffee; it is currently working on nitrogen-infused green and jasmine tea blends too.
 
CEO John Kallenberger plans to open five locations in the Greater Cincinnati area, and then franchise the concept. There are loose plans in the works for a third location in Dayton, and Roll On In already has a food truck that stops at local breweries and events.  
 

Vintage VW bus helps create photo memories for Cincinnatians


Cincinnati native John DePrisco worked as a photojournalist and commercial photographer before launching his mobile photo booth business, The Photo Bus, in Kansas City with his wife Cate. The concept combines DePrisco’s love of photography and vintage vehicles, and brings a new element to the traditional photo booth.

The Photo Bus is currently in eight cities: Atlanta; Austin; Dallas/Fort Worth; Denver; El Paso, Texas; Kansas City, which is where the DePriscos currently live; St. Louis; and Cincinnati. There are also plans to launch in two more cities in the near future.
 
DePrisco found his first vintage bus in a field in Spokane, Wash., and he restored the majority of it himself. The Cincinnati bus is a blue, fully restored 1970 VW Transporter named Betty.
 
Each bus is equipped with everything you would find in a traditional photo booth: backgrounds, handmade props and instant prints. The camera is controlled by a one-of-a-kind clicker system that allows subjects to decide when the picture gets taken.
 
The Photo Bus also creates customized logos for events, which allows clients to personalize the bus for their event.
 
DePrisco’s friends, Lyndsey and Aaron James and Lyndsey’s sister, Heather Pinto, own and operate the Cincinnati bus.
 
“We fell in love with The Photo Bus concept when we took our first photo in it a few years ago,” Pinto says. “We loved it so much that we asked to bring it back to our hometown.”
 
The trio has 35 events on the books for this year, including weddings, corporate events, private parties and a number of public events. You can follow the Photo Bus Cincy on Facebook and Intagram @ThePhotoBusCincy.  
 
“Seeing people step in to take photos and experience the booth for the first time is awesome,” Pinto says. “We love seeing them be creative with props and poses inside the bus.”
 
She also loves to hear stories from people who have VW stories, and seeing those memories brought back because of Betty.
 

Northside House Tour celebrates neighborhood architecture


The Northside House Tour has been held 16 times since 1990. This year’s event, which will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept. 25, will feature 12 homes from a variety of historic periods.
 
“Back when the tour started, the neighborhood was in much different shape, and it was a way to let people know that Northside was a good place to live,” says Ryan Mooney-Bullock, publicity coordinator for the tour. “Now people know that, but they might not get to see how people are really living in the neighborhoods.”
 
The self-guided tour allows the public an up-close-and-personal look at how residents have renovated, rehabilitated and decorated the neighborhood’s stock of historic homes.
 
This year, two modern houses — which are both LEED certified — will be featured, as well as Victorian, Tudor and Colonial Revival houses.
 
“The tour does a great job of showcasing the architectural history of the neighborhood and how it’s grown over the years,” Mooney-Bullock says.
 
The exact houses that are on the tour won’t be released until the day-of as a way to keep the event a surprise. But the houses are spread out within a two-block radius of Hamilton Avenue, spanning from the southern end of the business district and up the hill.
 
In tandem with the event, many realtors also host open houses. None of the houses on the tour are for sale, but there have been instances of people who moved to Northside after falling in love with a particular street or house they saw while on the tour.
 
Tickets are $15 in advance and will be for sale online Sept. 12-24 as well as at all Northside Bank locations, Shake It Records, Taylor Jameson Salon and Building Value. You can also purchase your tickets day-of for $18 at McKie Recreation Center, which is where the tours begin.
 
You will receive a passport booklet at McKie, which includes a map of all of the homes on the tour, as well as a description and photo of each house. There are also QR codes that you can scan in the booklets for more information.
 
The route is walkable, but you can also drive from house to house.
 

New Riff expansion to serve as catalyst for development in West Newport


Two years after opening, New Riff Distilling is planning a $7.5 million expansion along the newly widened Kentucky Route 9. Whiskey Campus will store New Riff’s bourbon and rye whiskey while it ages.
 
The project will include the construction of a 17,300-square-foot, 15-barrel-high Rickhouse to house New Riff’s bourbon barrels, as well as the rehabilitation of two historic buildings — a 32,100-square-foot building that will be used a distribution center, office space, bottling and storage space, plus a 10,600-square-foot building that will be used as another Rickhouse.
 
Both buildings are over 100 years old and used to house the Greenline trolley and bus system that served Northern Kentucky until 1972.
 
Whiskey Campus will serve as a catalyst for additional economic development along Route 9, which is a direct path from AA Highway and I-275 to Newport’s West Side and downtown Cincinnati.
 
Construction is slated to begin at the end of this month or the beginning of September.
 
Phase II of the project will include a brewpub, taproom and restaurant as well as Ei8ht Ball Brewing, which plans to relocate to Whiskey Campus. It will also feature decks that will overlook the Licking River.

Construction details for Phase II haven’t been announced yet.
 

Breweries and game libraries encourage Cincinnati to get its game on


Traditionally, arcades are one of the only places where adults can go and play games from their childhood. But that's not the case anymore in Cincinnati. Local breweries have started adding giant Jenga and ping pong tables to their taprooms, and within the past year two establishments have opened with board games on their menu.

From vintage arcade games to sand volleyball, Soapbox has rounded up a few of our favorite places where adults can feel like a kid again.

Columbia-Tusculum
50 West Brewing Company, 7668 Wooster Pike
In May 2016, 50 West expanded into their Production Works, a second location that's just across the street from its original brewpub. The $1.5 million expansion not only allowed the brewery to boost production, but also gave them the chance to become a destination for athletic beer-lovers. Sand volleyball leagues play at 50 West Monday-Thursday, and a sand soccer league meets Monday-Wednesday. Situated on the Little Miami, 50 West hosted a sold-out Canoe and Brew adventure on August 21, with more canoe events in the works. The brewery also owns and operates Fifty West Cycling Company, renting and selling bikes with easy access access to the adjacent Little Miami Scenic Trail.
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

Northside
Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition, 3929 Spring Grove Ave.
For a laid-back barcade experience, check out Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition. It has more than 50 arcade games and pinball machines, as well as a classic console lounge. The lounge features comfortable couches to settle in and explore any title on your favorite old-school TV console (Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis). There's also a full menu of decked-out hot dogs, nachos, snacks and desserts, as well as a full bar with craft beer, cocktails and specialty sodas. Arcade Legacy hosts tournament nights, and trivia at 8 p.m. every Tuesday. Admission is free.
Hours: 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday

Over-the-Rhine
16-Bit Bar+Arcade, 1331 Walnut St.
Boasting a collection of 50-plus vintage arcade games, 16-Bit also features a full-bar with cocktails with throwback names like the Bill Nye (Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters and a cherry, served in a beaker); the Lisa Bonet (Sailor Jerry rum and St. Germain with simple syrup, lime and ginger ale); or the David Hasselhoff (Bulleit Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Aperol and orange peel). Unlike the typical arcade, 16-Bit is geared exclusively towards an adult crowd (though “High-Score Sunday” gives patrons a chance to bring their kids from 12 to 5 p.m.). Admission to 16-Bit is free.
Hours: 4 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; noon-2:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday

Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. taproom, 1621 Moore St.
Old-school German brewery Christian Moerlein has a taproom serving up craft beers and traditional German food — sausages, soft pretzels, and meat and cheese boards. The taproom also features a pool table, giant Jenga, cornhole and dart boards, and is the convening place for the weekly Cincinnati Beer and Board Games group. It's free to join and is an open invitation, with players meeting at 7 p.m. every Wednesday.
Hours: 4-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 4 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-midnight Saturday; noon-7 p.m. Sunday

The Play Library, 1805 Elm St.
Funded through a $15,000 Globe Grant by local philanthropic lab People’s Liberty, The Play Library is a unique pop-up toy and game library for all ages. The Play Library opened in the Globe Gallery across from Findlay Market on June 24, and will occupy the space for five weeks. Proceeds from game library memberships will support efforts to make The Play Library a permanent fixture in Cincinnati. For info on upcoming events, visit their website.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St.
Enjoy a cold beer and a rousing game of ping pong or cornhole in Rhinegeist’s 25,000-square-foot taproom. Serious table tennis champs can compete in the World Famous OTR Ping Pong League, which meets at the brewery at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. 
Hours: 3-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; noon-2 a.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday

The Rook OTR, 1115 Vine St.
The Rook is Cincinnati’s only place dedicated entirely to board games. It features a library of over 1,000 games that are free to play. The Rook also has a full menu of shareable entrees and bites, plus 12 beers on tap, a wine list and specialty cocktails. Cocktails at The Rook are a one-of-a-kind, with offerings like the Pretty Pretty Princess (a sparkling wine and amaretto cocktail served with a candy bracelet) and the Capri Against Humanity (a Capri Sun with rum, served in the pouch).
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday
 
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