Listing Loon to bring craft beers, wines to Northside in 2012

Whether she’s on stage singing with The Hiders, playing a princess at Ensemble Theatre or mixing it up on a Gruesome Playground at the Know, Beth Harris knows how to make a scene.

Next year, the multi-talented singer/actress and partner Dave Mikkelsen plan on creating a brand new one in Northside. After years of blending their artistic lives with more beverage-friendly endeavors—the two met when bartending at The Comet—the pair is ready to launch their own business. The Listing Loon, a comfy craft beer and wine shop that will evolve into a “rock ‘n roll wine bar,” is set to open on Hamilton Avenue by Valentine’s Day.

Located in a prime corner spot soon to be vacated by Feldenkrais Within (which will be expanding and moving into the former Chas. A. Miller Sons Funeral Home), The Listing Loon will fill a void in the neighborhood where bars and beers are plentiful but finding a good wine selection remains a challenge. “Northside is growing so much,” says Harris, who cites the American Can Lofts as a prime example of the area’s expanding customer base. “We’re walking distance to our target market.”

She hopes to carry between 50 and 100 types of craft beers and about 60 wines, ranging from under $10 to upwards of $70 per bottle.

“Our vision is to have a comfortable beer and wine boutique where people can come and hang out,” says Harris. “We’ll have The New York Times for sale.”

The Little Rock, Arkansas, native landed in Cincinnati for an acting gig in 1997 and hasn’t left since. While her band, The Hiders, continues work on a new CD, she keeps busy with acting jobs and a stint behind the counter at Sidewinder Coffee Tea Spirits.

Harris’ craft beer obsession started when she lived in Portland, Oregon. She found a kindred spirit in Mikkelsen. “We’re both extremely passionate about beer,” she says.

As the duo finalizes financing and continues honing the new boutique’s menu, they went through “months of bar napkins” before deciding on a name. Mikkelsen, an artist/sculptor/painter who currently tends bar at May Day, lobbied for the loon, his favorite bird. Adding “listing” as an adjective made alliterative sense, and added a hint of the playfulness of its owners. “We didn’t want to call it The Drunken Bird,” Harris says with a laugh.

For more information about The Listing Loon, contact Harris.

By Elissa Yancey
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Photo of Beth Harris by Elissa Yancey
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