VFA fellow launches crowdfunding for new downtown sandwich shop, The Port OTR

If one relatively new Cincinnatian has his way, a new taste could be rolling in to Cincinnati by next summer—on a fleet of bicycles.

Plans for The Port OTR, a sandwich restaurant, are currently in the works, with Venture for America fellow Dan Bloom, and his friend, Seth Maney, at the helm.

The idea came to Bloom and Maney while walking around and realizing that, aside from sit-down restaurants, quick lunch options downtown are limited. That was enough to get their entrepreneurial ideas percolating.

Their next thought? “Can we make this happen?” 

Bloom knew that Venture for America was hosting a crowdfunding competition that would culminate with funding for a project, so he decided to enter his idea for his newly adopted home, OTR, a reality. 

The duo plans to host a competition this summer at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State to find a third partner for their team—a chef and manager.

“We want to find someone that has big aspirations but wants to start small-scale,” Bloom says. “We want to prove that this is something that can be successful, and then from there see how big we can make it.”

Bloom, who grew up in Boston, also plans to infuse a bit of New England culture into The Port.

“The sandwich that I’m starting with—Thanksgiving Day Sandwich— turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, on a baked sandwich,” Bloom says. “That’s not something you can get down here.”

While The Port’s location is yet to be determined, Bloom estimates the restaurant will be about 500-600 square feet and include a counter with a few stools and a few tables for those who prefer non-delivery, sit-down experiences.

If you want a first taste—or perhaps even have a sandwich named in your honor—The Port OTR’s crowdfunding site is already online. 

By Kyle Stone
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