Habanero on the Levee
Here's some good news that you don't read every day: A local, independent restaurant replacing a chain! I chatted with the owner, Max Monks, this afternoon. He sent a press release, but it didn't have hours. I'll update with hours when I know them. Had a really good tofu and eggplant burrito there a couple of weeks ago. Loved the burrito, but like Nada, they serve flour chips. I'm not a fan of flour tortillas or flour tortilla chips. Too greasy. But at Habanero and at Nada, I'll live with them because the salsa is so good!
Habanero will open its second location in April at Newport on the Levee, said owner Max Monks. The fast casual restaurant will have the same menu as the Clifton location, with a few additions. New dishes will include a sugar cane skewered Caribbean jerk shrimp appetizer and fire-roasted barbacoa steak taquitos. Monks said the Newport location will have a kids menu, which he recently introduced “with resounding success” at the Ludlow Avenue location. Monks will also serve beer, wine and sangria.
Monks said he is making some changes to the space – formerly Moe’s Southwestern Grill, which closed last month – to give it a “Habanero feel and reflect the independent, creative side of things.” Monks said that after 8 ½ years in business in Clifton, he made the decision to stay in Cincinnati and expand Habanero. Newport has an “excellent demographic, an excellent reputation and a need for a fast casual” restaurant such as Habanero. The Newport location will employ about 20 people, he said.
(Thanks, Lauren, for the tip!)