While the décor at HD Beans and Bottles Café may not change when the lunch hour comes to a close, the atmosphere certainly does. That’s because as the baristas file out after a long day of pouring coffee and crafting light sandwiches, the bar staff begins preparing for nightly activities. The chatter that fills the shop revolves around a range of activities and themes, which range from karaoke and UFC fights to hip-hop on vinyl and half-price wine nights. During these events, bartenders grab glasses to pour in one of more than 100 different beers and wines or whisper in reviews of popular films. Chefs keep preparing meals throughout it all, creating croissant sandwiches, veggie burgers, and flatbread pizzas.
Craig and Laura Decker seem to have a difficult time making up their minds. They also seem to have a knack for turning this indecisiveness into an advantage at every turn. When it came to opening their new business, for example, they briefly wondered whether it should feature a wine shop, a wine bar, or a gourmet bistro. Their solution? All three.
This spirit of inclusivity pervades The Wine Guy Bistro, where the Deckers pair seasonal wine varietals with globally inspired cuisine. Rather than choose between European elegance and New-American pizzazz, they settled on a compromise they describe as “Old World chic.” This label suits a menu that features small plates of housemade meatballs and bruschetta alongside assorted cheeses from around the world. The focus on small plates is in keeping with the Deckers’ have-it-all mentality and gives diners the option to sample several dishes without having to barter with adjacent tables.
Three community-centric Cincinnati theaters ? all locally owned and managed, serving local and national beer, premium wines, and a mix of the best indie and commercial films. These efforts led to the Esquire receiving recognition from USA Today and CityBeat, which named it Cincinnati's "Best Movie Theatre" for the past seven years. At the Esquire, guests stop by for a diverse lineup of independent features, occasional live musical performances, and special events, including Q & A sessions. During films, guests top off their acclaimed popcorn with real butter.
The Mariemont Theatre is historic in its own right, dating back more than 75 years, also showing today's indie gems. The Kenwood Theatre, on the other hand, changes up the movie-going experience by serving sushi during mainstream flicks. Movie-goers can also dine on Frieda's Desserts and Graeter's Ice Cream as they kick back in the digital state-of-the-art contemporary theater.
Fish arrive fresh from the boat to fry on Tropics Restaurant's sizzling grill alongside a wealth of half-pound burgers, creative appetizers, and saucy pies forged from Mio's pizza products. The eatery’s floor-to-ceiling windows grant sweeping views of the Ohio River, replete with the bounty of boats and pet narwhals tethered to Manhattan Harbour’s slips.
Planet Dance Uptown coordinates shindigs for youngsters in three dance studios, all sporting floating wood floors with marley surfaces expertly tuned for floorboard-pounding. The trained instructors—who have been featured on everything from Broadway to MTV—specialize in myriad dance styles, so kids can pirouette at a ballerina party or learn to expertly cut a rug at a hip-hop hoopla.
Within Anand Indian Restaurant's bustling kitchen, a team of culinary alchemists carefully blends herbs and spices for its diverse range of Indian dishes. The chefs call upon North Indian traditions to craft tandoori plates, where a special clay oven locks seasoned juices inside cuts of meat better than a mime gives directions to the highway. Meanwhile, South Indian recipes forge Uttappam, Indian-style pancakes crowned with chilis and vegetables, and dosa, thin rice crêpes bundled with savory fillings. Meanwhile, more than 20 meatless dishes offer mouthfuls of creamed lentils, house-made cheese cubes, and sweet baby carrots imbued with light spices.