The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

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Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Biting the Dust

They're saying we "might" be in a recession. Do restaurant closings count as an indicator?
Amor de Brazil, Stables, Romano's Macaroni Grill Kenwood, Salsarita's, Pike St. Press (now doing catering), Wild Bill's, Apna India, Royal India, probably Iron Horse Inn, Mike and Jimmy's Chophouse. Don Pablo's, I know there are more I can't bring to mind at the moment.

It's hard to know: restaurants come and go allt he time--some of those were replaced with something new. But I just have a feeling it's hard times ahead.


at 1:05 PM Blogger Stepf said...

Not Pike Street Press! I love that place... but admittedly I haven't been there in awhile. That's too bad.

at 1:09 PM Blogger Julie said...

Well, what were the reasons for the restaurants closing? I know that Amor de Brazil closed because the building's owner sold the building. Wild Bill's was supposedly because of the business drop off and the smoking ban. Iron Horse Inn is definitely closed. In most big cities, the restaurant cycle is, on average, two years-- so is this just a natural cycle?

at 1:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance to the Macaroni Grill in Kenwood, I say. The service was spotty and the food sub-par. I dined there three times several months apart and was equally unimpressed each time. Maggiano's across the road, though more expensive, is definitely worth the price. Not to mention, the Olive Garden has a better "affordable Italian" menu.

at 1:56 PM Blogger Lauren Bishop said...

Here's a possible explanation from the Wall Street Journal:

"Restaurant visits have flattened out as the percentage of women in the work force has slipped. So as families switch to eating in, eateries are increasing their takeout and delivery options."


at 2:20 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

-A&W Rootbeer in the Carew Tower Food Court

-The Chicken Fingers place that took over the old Patoshnik's spot

-Moe's at Eminent-Domain-on-the-Levee

-Sivad's on 7th

-Rise-n-Shine Cafe on 6th

-Atlanta Bread Co

-The Peruvian Chicken place on rt4

-The German Butcher in Erlanger

at 2:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Encore Cafe

Red Star Tavern

at 3:33 PM Blogger Rachel said...

I was less than impressed with the Macaroni Grille in Kenwood, too. It wasn't so much the locale, but the restaurant and its food and offerings I didn't care for.

Apna India opened on a street already inundated with Indian restaurants. Their offerings were far inferior to Ambar and even Amol India, so it isn't any surprise to me that they're also going out.

at 7:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The economy is an issue, without question. However, some of those restaurants were just plain lousy, and given the amout of choices available these days (and lots of really good choices at that), people are saying 'no thanks' to bad restaurants.

Apna was really good, however Florence was a poor choice of locations. There is not an Indian population there to support an Indian restaurant. Plus the hillbillies in Florence (even the ones with money) won't eat the ciusine. Mike & Jimmy's was below mediocre with poor service, and it wasn't cheap either. Macaroni Grill & Don Pablo's-good riddance. The Iron orse tried very hard, but had been struggling for years.

at 8:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that the Noble Romans/Tuscanos in West Chester is closed. Not sure how long ago it happened.

at 8:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The WC Noble Roman's closed in November. Another WC pizza place called Rosati's closed a few months before that one.

at 9:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noble Romans opened a couple weeks ago in Bridgewater Falls! I tried a cheese pizza a few days after it opened and was not overly impressed...

at 9:13 AM Anonymous Flying Dutchman said...

Like you said, restaurants open and close all the time. It seems pretty simple to me really though. If you have a quality product with quality service in a quality location, you'll be fine. It's interesting to note the types of restaurants seeing the most problems though: chain restaurants in the suburbs...

at 9:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's a sign from the Universe that we need to stay home more and cook our own food...
The proliferation of restaurants reminded me of the housing bubble--home prices seemed to spiral upwards forever; you just knew it had to end, or at least hoped so. The restaurant bubble is bursting now. There are just too many--it has gotten to the point of being ridiculous.
Personally, I am glad to see some natural selection at play.
This is NOT a bad thing (except of course for those who lose their jobs...)

at 3:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who has been in the restaurant business a long time let me just give my .02 here....

Most places that are start-up (non franchised) are generally done so with no business plan or model, adequate financing not in place, no research in the target patronage, viability of neighborhoods or socio economic information. Sometimes the fly by the seat of your pants approach works....90%+ of the time....it does not.

at 10:18 PM Anonymous barbara said...

3:20 anon: Can you qualify your comment? As a cafe owner who's been in business (and busy) for 2 yrs now, I'v done the research, biz plan, got proper capital, etc., and I find your overgeneralization somewhat condescending.

BTW, Amor de Brasil closed because it was losing money. It was more of an experiment for its (recently deceased) founder/financier, Al Copeland. I found out because I had a $100 gift card to that place and didn't get to use it!

at 12:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anon 3:20 was talking about people who did not get a buisness plan or do the legwork ahead of time to know what they are getting into... As a loan officer for a bank I could not agree more, there are way to many people who open restaurants without putting a plan into action before hand. I do not think the post you are talking about was condesending at all....just honest.

at 2:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

babs.... Amor closed cause it was losing money...really? Gee thanks for that shocking insight.....

at 8:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:51 anon...um, see the beginning of comments, and you'll understand why "babs" felt a need to elaborate: "... I know that Amor de Brazil closed because the building's owner sold the building."

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