BrewRiver to open July 13
The gastropub that’s been in the works for Riverside Drive will open on July 13.
Christian Babani, Michael Shields and Joby Bowman plan to open BrewRiver GastroPub on that day, then have a grand opening event on Aug. 29, after which they will introduce some of their regular events.
Their plan is for BrewRiver to feel like a casual bar or pub, but to serve “serious food” along with some special drinks choices. They will be emphasizing local ingredients, beer as an ingredient, and “hand-crafted everything.” Its location is the former Maribelle’s Tavern (which has now reopened in Oakley, see below).
Their house beers will be from Great Crescent Brewery in Aurora, some with appropriately river-y names, including their Island Queen Blonde Ale and Calliope India pale ale. They will also have a rotating seasonal tap for other draft beers. They will have a stein club for adventurous and dedicated beer drinkers.
Woodstone Creek Distillery in Norwood is making a line of private label spirits for the pub, named to pay tribute to Cincinnati history and the owners’ family lineage.
A. J. Henkel Premium vodka is named for Babani’s great-great-great-grandfather, a builder responsible for a number of Cincinnati streets, including McMicken. D.L. Billigheimer vodka is named for Bowman’s great-great-grandfather, the owner of Billigheimer’s Saloon and Billiards on Vine. The gin is named for the East End and the whiskey for Turkey Bottoms.
After the grand opening, they will host small batch and rare keg tappings, beer and wine pairing dinners, and a regular Bluegrass Night.
The restaurant will have a meeting room they’re calling the Theater Room, and its own herb and vegetable garden.
Maribelle’s open in Oakley
Maribelle’s Tavern, the restaurant that formerly lived on Riverside Drive, has reopened in the former Hugo space in Oakley. Owner Leigh Enderle says, however, that it has been completely transformed. “No one will recognize this as Hugo,” she said.
The new restaurant will occupy only the lounge/bar area of the former restaurant. All the walls have come down between dining room and kitchen, between bar and customer. “When you walk in, it’s like walking into somebody’s home,” said Enderle. “The place I feel most comfortable in the world is in a friend’s kitchen, having them pour me a glass of wine, put together a cheese plate. That’s what this will feel like. It may be like nothing people have seen before.”
There’s a dining room that can see the kitchen, a table that directly faces the kitchen, and then there is an area called the eat-in kitchen that’s actually right in the middle of the action.
“I want to be completely transparent,” said Enderle. “I want people to understand all that is involved in a restaurant, and to show that we have nothing to hide, from the sourcing of the food to where and how it’s prepared. I think people are very interested in how a restaurant works: look at TV food shows, especially the competition shows. People are fascinated by it.”
Enderle said she’s happy to be back doing a restaurant instead of being a general contractor. The changes took a couple of months of intense work.
Mike Florea, who was with Maribelle’s in their original location, is the chef in charge in the kitchen, and Brian Mulroy, who was the bartender at Hugo, will be behind the bar. (Well, it’s not quite a bar – he’ll be working from what Enderle calls a kitchen island.)
Some of the beloved standards from the old menu will be on the new: turkey and brie sandwich, black bean burger, four-cheese flatbread, Scottish salmon with avocado and smoked bacon, Brussels sprouts with capers and toasted walnuts. There are many new dishes as well, and there will be nightly specials.
Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday with brunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
3235 Madison Ave., Oakley. 513-321-9111. www.maribellestavern.com
Simply Grand opens at Great American Tower
Shaheen Kazemi, who owns Burrito Joe’s (for 17 years now) has opened a new lunch spot Downtown. It does not serve burritos. It’s called Simply Grand, and it is in the new Great American Tower, in the 3rd Street lobby. “It’s a beautiful space, with 25-foot ceilings,” said Kazemi.
They’re serving breakfast and lunch in a fast-casual style. They have sandwiches made to order, but are also stocking grab-and-go wraps and sandwiches. They have soups and salads and sandwich ingredients made from scratch. There’s seating for 85.
Daveed’s Next taking reservations
Daveed’s Next, the new restaurant in Loveland from Liz and David Cook, is now taking reservations for Friday or Saturday, June 29 and 30.
Next is not like most restaurants: at this point, you have to call and pay ahead to reserve a seat – and there’s only one seating. You will be served “waves” of food, in small plate amounts but served on platters. It’s based on their popular “tapas nights” at the Mount Adams location where they did business for the last 12 years.
Their new location is 8944 Columbia Road, Loveland. Call 513-721-2665, and all will be explained.