BB Riverboats began with a deceptive motto and a fleet of zero. In 1977, Ben Bernstein opened a restaurant in a converted steamboat, whose motto was “The Romance of Riverboat Dining.” Intended as tongue-in-cheek, the motto instead confused customers, who arrived hoping for a scenic cruise down the Ohio River. To placate his clientele, Ben Bernstein went into business with riverboat industry veteran Betty Blake, and BB Riverboats—named for their shared initials—was born.
Now run by Bernstein’s son, BB Riverboats has increased its fleet to three vessels, including the Belle of Cincinnati, a riverboat outfitted with Victorian details and two climate-controlled decks. On daily cruises down the Ohio, historical narration complements the scenery, while passengers play swashbuckling games and learn to read treasure maps on family-friendly pirate cruises. On the company’s dining cruises, visitors drink in the scenery while noshing on a Hawaiian buffet spread or sampling award-winning wines from StoneBrook Winery. Additionally, holiday cruises honor occasions from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving.
When Jason Reser isn't pouring his energy into competitive mountain-bike racing and trail improvement, he's tending to his business—Reser Bicycle Outfitters, which was named one of America's best bike shops for 2013 by the National Bicycle Dealer Association. At two stores, one of which earned a Best Bike Shop recognition from Northern Kentucky Magazine in 2012, he leads a team of competitive cyclists, technicians, and fitting specialists certified by the Serotta International Cycling Institute. At the Over-the-Rhine location, staffers match customers to city-friendly bikes and accessories; at the Newport, Kentucky store, they instead oversee a stock specializing in sports-focused bikes. Their inventory encompasses brands such as BMC, Civia, Orbea, and Ridley. The technicians service all makes and models in onsite repair shops, treating bicycles with everything from basic tune-ups to major overhauls to unproductive psychotherapy sessions. They also measure customers and frames at more than 30 points and swap out parts to complete custom fittings.
The Green Derby has been open for more than 65 years. What's the secret to its longevity? It might be that the kitchen prefers to get hands-on with the food?the chefs hand-skin their famous fried halibut, hand-make their Angus beef patties, and produce items from meatloaf to salad dressing in-house. The result is a menu of classic meals that never go out of style. Entrees include grilled pork chops, catfish platters, and Italian sausage hoagies, often served with old-school sides such as mashed potatoes and pickled beets in the shape of FDR's head. The game changes on Sundays, when the restaurant serves up golden waffles and homemade goetta sausage for breakfast.
The Groneck Photographix story began in 2006, when seasoned graphic design artist Michael Groneck started performing digital preservation services out of his home. Today, Michael is joined by a staff of fellow graphic artists at his own shop—a cheerful little store, where photographs of local sports teams and landmarks speckle the walls. Michael and his staff provide a variety of photo-restoration and digital transfer services, while extending their design expertise to create a variety of professional brochures, signs, and business cards. A seasoned shutterbug, Michael also snaps photos at local events, sports games, and Elvis sightings.
Of the three Super Bowl Family Fun Centers, Superbowl Erlanger is the biggest. Its skybox overlooks 64 lanes where bowlers can roll strikes and perfect their victory dances. Visitors looking for a change of pace can also head to the pool tables, perfect for games of billiards or a really easy round of miniature golf.
Erlanger's two sister fun centers?Super Bowl Bellewood and Super Bowl Alliance?boast pool tables too, along with 32 automated lanes apiece. And whichever one kids visit, they're welcome to bowl. All three spots host birthday parties and roll out bumpers for youngsters.
Bred on Louisiana-style cooking, local restaurateur Grant Gieseler was dismayed by the lack of quality southern fare in the Cincinnati area. He and his business partner Blake Gieseler founded Bayou Fish House to introduce the area to fresh fried fish and hearty gumbo. Diners can grab meals to go or kick back at the bar or seating area and tell exaggerated tales about the biggest fish they ever ate. The eatery's walls sport a paddle, a life preserver, and various aquatic tchotchkes to remind fish of their home.