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Cincinnati - Historic Restaurants

I'm finishing up my final semester at UC and I'm currently working on a project about the history of Cincinnati restaurants and our local specialities.

I am planning on including the history of Cincinnati Chili, French pot ice cream, schnecken, etc. I also want to include the history of several restaurants, whether closed or still operating today. I'm planning to include The Golden Lamb, Arnold's, Mecklenburg Gardens, The Palace, The Palm Court, etc.

I would love it if some Cincinnati Chowhounders could throw out suggestions of other restaurants to include or let me know if you have any interesting information about the ones listed above. Also, I would love it if you could let me know of any great resources to do further research (especially with photos!) or perhaps share a story or two.

Thanks so much!!

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    1. Unfortunately some classics are no longer: Maisonette and Lenharts come to mind. If you're thinking of restaurants that have stood the test of time I can think of the following: Hathaway's (downtown), Maury's Tiny Cove (Western Hills), Barrissi's (Deer Park), Echo (Hyde Park), Graeter's (Hyde Park Square), Zip's (Mt. Lookout).

      4 Replies
      1. re: JohnE O

        Great ideas! Thank you so much, I would not have thought of some of those.

        I'm looking to include restaurants that have a special place in Cincinnati history, whether they are still operational or not. So if you can think of any that are out of business but still important to the history, please do let me know!

        1. re: jordanhamons

          A year+ has gone by, so your project may have been, I hope, successfully concluded. I happened across this site because I wanted to have my memory jolted on the original
          1940s name for Carlo and Johnny's in Montgomery. I hope someone told you about the Oyster House on East 5th. St. In the old days, when I went there with my Dad during WWII, the Oyster House was open only during the "R" months, September through March or April. The owner prepared oyster stews at a little stove in the front sidewalk level window. I could not get enough of their fried oyster sandwiches and only found an equal years later at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. Another favorite for my family during, and for a few years after the war, was the Hop Off Inn on Montgomery Rd. in Silverton. Someone mentioned Mill's Cafeteria on 4th St., between Vine and Race. It seemed enormous to me when I went there with my Grandparents . . there were at least two open food selection lines. The walls were decorated with Dutch theme tiles produced at the Rookwood Pottery on Mt. Adams There were Mill's cafeterias in Columbus and Cleveland. as well. There was a Times Square-style custom sandwich and "sides" eatery called The Wheel. I believe it was on 6th St. near the RKO Palace theater; I think it moved at one point eastward to around 6th. and Main. Another favorite of mine, and one special date, was Valerio's Italian restaurant, in the building that was later occupied by the Maissonette, after the later closed at its Walnut St. location next to the RKO Keiths theater. We would dine there before going to the big Summer Theater tent in Montgomery for a play.

          1. re: ChiSig

            I am all but certain that the building currently occupied by Carlo and Johnny's previously housed Charley's Crab and prior to that Fox and Crow


            1. re: TJ Jackson

              To TJ Jackson. Great! That's the answer I was looking for, Fox and Crow. Thanks for your help.

      2. Mr. Pine and I fondly recall Pigall's (downtown)--once we graduated from Starving Student Status, our first splurge (mid 70s) was Pigall's.

        In Hyde Park, there was the Saucy Crepe, which sadly didn't last for long, but was excellent, too.

        I still have a Cininnati newspaper clipping of some recipes from Mecklenburg Gardens. Great memories. Grew up not far from there.

        For dives/coffee shops: recall The Wheel cafeteria downtown--was a landmark. Then Izzy Kadetz's (spelling is wrong, I'm sure) and for deli sandwiches, the old Red Fox grill. OH--in the old Pogue's plaza, a coffee shop--name escapes for now--always packed and great food. Will see if the name can be found in my aging brain cells, or can a clever CHer refresh for me?

        If you're willing to consider the KY side of the river, Newport had the (once great) Pompillio's (which was in the movie Rain Man)--was last there maybe 10 years ago, and it hadn't kept up the old quality, but was quite the institution for years.

        6 Replies
        1. re: pine time

          Thanks to family for some recollections. Had a long addendum, but it got lost, so here goes again:
          that coffee shop in the Pogue's arcade was indeed Hathaway's, mentioned above. Also downtown: restaurant in the Cincinnatian hotel; the Collanade; 3 Brothers coffee shop; in McAlpin's department store--the Copper Kettle; downtown--Busy Bee deli. La Rosa's Italian Inn; in Mt Adam's--the Celestial; the Precinct; on Chester road--Windjammer. Downtown--Cricket and the California Orange Bar for hot metts and bratts. There was also a fabulous Planter's Peanut roasting place just across from the post office--the smell (and warmth, on a winter day) was intoxicating. Findlay Market. Aglemesis' candies. West side places: the Window Garden and Haybig's. Can't do Cincinnati without chili, and the old icons: Empress, Price Hill and Dixie chili. Cincinnati also had great breweries: Hudapohl and Shangling come to mind. If you want to consider another KY offering: the (burned down) Beverly Hills Supper Club.

          1. re: pine time

            Habig's (pronounced the way you spelled it) - my dad lived around the corner, we enjoyed a lot of meals there; straightforward, simple, good old-fashioned comfort food.

            Hudepohl & Schoenling - Hudepohl is back, I think a local man bought the names and has re-introduced a number of the Hudy beers in the last 2-3 years... Hudy Delight... and so on.

            1. re: MHGarrison

              You made me LOL--growing up, whenever the Reds scored, the neighbor guy came out onto his porch and yelled "have a Hudy!" I think he'd already had a few.

              Thanks, too, for the spelling corrections.

              From the original lists I gave, can't believe I forgot Graeter's ice cream.

              1. re: pine time

                Oooo Graeter's! Still great, but just nnnnot quite as great-er's as they used to be. I believe I've observed some cost-cutting measures as the inevitable impact of the "new normal" has made maintenance of the OLD normal cost prohibitive. A shame too, but, I suspect their marketing gurus awhile ago figured out selling ice cream cones that cost as much or more than a pint might be bad for business. The OLD Graeter's ice cream I grew up on had waaaaaay more natural ground vanilla bean flecks in it than what's been proffered for years, now. They've also changed the chocolate used, and how they use it - now it really is small bits of chocolate chips, not the huge chunks of semi-sweet chocolate that was obviously dripped, dropped, glopped, and drabbed into the ice cream pots that made for those decadently huge chips that were both unique, and delicious. The chocolate is different too - what's being used now has some kind of waxy texture, which makes it chunk in the ice cream differently than what they used before; I prefer the raw semi-sweet chocolate candy texture of the old, huge chips, to this waxy stuff. But, they ARE still there, in business, and successful - and, now, all over the country. Which ain't a bad thing, relatively speaking. Aglamesis though, is plugging along quite well, and I can't say I've noticed any change or cost cutting measures at the expense of the quality of the ice cream. If it has to cost more, so be it - I tend to think quality is appreciated, and that people will be willing to pay for it, if it's great. At least, I hope so!

                1. re: MHGarrison

                  Sorry to hear of the Graeter's changes--it's been years since I've had it. Aglamesis used to be my 2nd choice--guess it's staying true to good quality, huh?

            2. re: pine time

              My great grandfather Joseph Gocker owned the Busy Bee Deli - I would love to hear anyone's recollections of this establishment :). We still make his guy-guy (spelling) sandwich spread!

          2. I lived in Cinti from 1977 to around 1981. I remember that Pigalle's and La Maisonette were the two finest of the fine dining restaurants, with The Gourmet Room at the Terrace Hilton and The Celestial in Mt Adams not far behind. But there was a trend at the time [if any of these still exist or if the trend is still in play, I dont know] of restaurants taking over spots that formerly housed other businesses but keeping the same name [sort of]. The ones that come to mind right off the bat are Zino's Firehouse, The Last National Bank, Edwards Manufacturing Company, Rookwood Pottery, and Tom Powell's Funeral Parlor. There may have been others too.

            There was a lunch counter in the Carew Tower that I remember having great milkshakes. And there was a place called The Barn, a ribs joint near Fountain Square that you had to enter through an alley. For my money it was greatly superior to the better known Montgomery Road Ribs King and Kalt's.

            Despite Cinti's German-Catholic history, I dont recall much of any German food tradition there other than a place called Lenhardt's (I think; I only ate there once) on McMillan. And there seemed to be no Friday Fish Fry tradition at all. But mettwurst were quite popular.

            I am most nostalgic for Izzy Kadetz and Skyline Chili. My local Fresh Market carries Graeter's ice cream now, so I dont jones for that like I used to.

            15 Replies
            1. re: Fydeaux

              Camp horne chile is considered the original cincinnati chile which is served over spaghetti

              1. re: don515

                This is a place I dont recall ever hearing of, even when I was living there. But I imagine that true origin of chili over spaghetti is a topic worthy of a doctoral thesis in its own right.

              2. re: Fydeaux

                La Maisonette, which closed in 2005, had a national reputation and put Cincinnati on the culinary map. It set a record for most consecutive years (41 years) being awarded five stars by the Mobil Travel Guide (now Forbes Travel Guide). There's more info in the Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mais...

                1. re: nsxtasy

                  All true. At the time I lived there, Pigalle's also had 5 stars, and if not the only city in the country, it was certainly the only city of its size to have two 5-star restaurants.

                  [I was in my 20s when I lived there, so I could be mis-remembering this factoid. But I do remember that this was a bragging point when I was there.]

                2. re: Fydeaux

                  The Barn! That's the place. I was calling it The Red Barn or Old Barn. Did it close when they redid the block around the theatre? I loved it. Felt like it was my own discovery. Took my brother and sister there on one of our Reds weekends in the early 80s.

                  1. re: Leander Wapshot

                    The Barn did close quite a while ago, probably around the time you suggest; I was long gone from Cinti by then. It did seem that you had to know someone who knew someone to find out about the place. In my 20s, when I was still 10 feet tall and fireproof and new to the city, I went in on a lark and fell in love; it was the kind of place where you can imaging that 30 years before you might see Rocky Marciano and his entourage coming in for ribs after the fight. But none of my friends who had lived there a lot longer than me had ever gone near it before I took them here!

                    1. re: Fydeaux

                      I'd love it if someone on this board could fill us in on some of the history of The Barn.

                      1. re: Leander Wapshot

                        I seem to recall that Calvin Trillin wrote something about the place and other Cincinnati dining in one of his food, American Fried maybe.

                        1. re: Fydeaux

                          He alludes to it in the "Cincinnati chili" chapter, where he is led on a tour of the city by Harry Garrison, of the player piano shop. The owner says he loves to see Harry eat ribs. "He just inhales those ribs . . . he's just glowin'."

                          I remember seeing the place when I worked downtown in the mid-'80s. Never went.

                      2. re: Fydeaux

                        My father is Harry Garrison; yes, Calvin Trillin's first book, "American Fried", and one of the chapters was about my dad touring Calvin around town and introducing him to The Barn, Stenger's cafe'/eatery on Vine St., Cincinnati-style chili, and so on. &, yes, my dad certainly loved his food! Calvin wrote that as an article, I believe for the New Yorker, and used his articles as chapters for "American Fried".

                        If my memory serves, the Barn was closed awhile before anything was close to beginning for the Aronoff center. My father ate there countless times over many years, as did I - I believe he may have had me dining with him there before I was ten. It was a GREAT restaurant - what a place! Kind of a dive atmosphere, going back to the 50's at least, probably the 40's. My father was friends with the owner, whose first name was Al, I think it was Al Schavel, or similar to that (Shavel? Schaevel?). He & I both preferred their barbecue sauce to Montgomery Inn; not as sweet as M.I., but similar. It was yummy - they served their full menu until 2:00 AM, and he & I both, and I as a young adult, went in many times late. If you got your order in before 2:00, even 5 minutes, you'd get full service and your order with no complaints from anyone there, it was fabulous to be able to do that. Late night dining in this city suffered a loss with the closing of The Barn, for sure. i remember their sign hanging above their door in the alley... "The Barn", in neon, sloped at an angle, I think "The" was smaller, in a script style, maybe green, and the "Barn" was bigger, in red, if memory serves. Never occurred to me to take a picture, too bad! Al, the owner, was into horse racing, there were pictures of race horses all over, and I think horse statuettes as well, and other race-horse related stuff - newspaper headlines, articles.... there were also great pictures of pinup girls, movie star hotties of the 40's - there was a great picture of a very young and very hot-looking Angela Lansbury scantily clad in some sort of stylized middle-eastern harem garb, there may have been a Gina Lollobrigida... one picture, forget of whom, had them flashing, just slightly enough that you had to look closely, a nipple. I always recall ordering roquefort dressing, although they also had bleu cheese; you almost never see roquefort offered today, anyplace, and back then, it was possible, but rare. The salads were always served on chilled, ice-cold metal plates, very fresh, and were delicious. The ribs were delicious, and always fall-off-the-bone tender, at a time when I would at times find Montgomery Inn's less-than-perfect. I think there was a woman named Seal who ran the place with Al, and was Al's sister - she ran things after Al passed away, until the place closed. I believe she may have taken the sauce recipe to her grave, although I certainly hope she shared it with her own family. I think my father commented that Al would swim everyday at a long-established exercise club downtown, may have been called the Cincinnati Swim Club (?). I miss The Barn to this day, since they were the only place you could grab a superb-quality full-service meal even as late as 5 minutes before 2:00 AM in the city.

                        1. re: MHGarrison

                          It's very nice to hear from you; I met your father several times! I used to work for an audio/record store in Western Hills called Sight In Sound; he bought a lot of records from us. I also recall visiting the Player Piano shop a couple of times.

                          Your description of the Barn is spot on: horse racing art and cheesecake photos of 40s movie stars [I dont think a woman could ever be more beautiful than the picture of Veronica Lake that hung there]!

                          I seem to recall that the sight had 'Rib Pit' in small letters under 'The Barn'. I had my last meal in Cincinnati there before moving away in 1981.

                          1. re: Fydeaux

                            Thanks, interesting that you had a chance to meet my father, he loved music and bought records upon records of music he liked. The Sight-In-Sound name sounds very familiar, but I'm not picturing it so well - but, those were high-school days for me, and I was growing up on the east side of town - quite likely though I was in there with my dad at some time. I think he shopped in Record Theater in Norwood too, I remember they had a conveyor belt you'd drop cassette tapes in large plastic boxes onto from their display shelves/rack, and they were behind a large plastic wall with multiple hand sized holes that you could reach through to grab and drop the tape you wanted, but the holes were too small to pull the cassette-containing cases through, which was how they controlled shoplifting of tapes. I'd be surprised to see that someplace again - sorry for getting off topic from food!

                            'Rib Pit' on the sign, yes! I think so, now that you mention it!

                            Cincinnati is sooooooooo much different now from how it was through the 70's and 80's.... can't even begin to tell you...!

                          2. re: MHGarrison

                            A great post.

                            I recall being somewhere (memory fades) in the late '70s/'80s and he did his famous smoke-ring routine. Astounding.

                            Your father was a great asset to our city. And you have my sympathies on his passing. Heaven just got a lot more fun.

                            1. re: jmckee

                              Thanks, very much appreciated, and very nice of you to say. Also glad you got to see him performing in his prime, he loved entertaining folks with the smoke-rings! Busy week here, lots of planning, you're right, Heaven has just gotten a lot more fun - I haven't come close to having a chance to fully process his loss, but it's an understatement to say he was quite the character - he loved Cincinnati, and many of the restaurants mentioned in these comments!

                              Googling him for something brought up these comments yesterday, I couldn't let it go without sharing thoughts on The Barn Rib Pit, not with all the times I ate there, and with how much both my dad & I liked the place. The hidden-off-the-alley location, reminiscent of a 30's speak-easy, the food, the decor, the bar, the funky seeming-afterthought-of-a-side-room that you had to step down 2-3 steps into... I seem to think getting to the bathrooms meant going down the same hall that led to the kitchen, off to the left of the bar.. well, anyway - memories, memories! My dad ate all over town, and, quite often, I was taken along, so I got to as well - I remember so many of the places mentioned all through these comments!

                              The Gourmet Room was his favorite, and there's some long-gone Italian restaurant that was his favorite (can't recall the name right now, haven't seen it mentioned so far, someplace around in the 50's/60's - &, Lenhardt's - he ate there pretty much all his life; I miss that place too! The schnitzels! The potato pancakes! Those home-made desserts made by Erica! I know it wasn't economically feasible to keep it going, but..... *sigh*! Unfortunately I am blanking out on exactly what the menu said, but I think it said something about Hungarian cuisine, although there was certainly some crossover with items typically German - brat sausages, schnitzels, potato pancakes... with the loss of Lenhardt's and all that new urban-canyon-creating development plus the congestion and elimination of any convenient parking with Lenhardt's parking lot going away, I don't think there's anything left there to draw me back into that area of Calhoun/McMillan - too bad. Hopefully new places can make it on pedestrian traffic from the college kids, as the inconvenience of parking down there and negotiating the created congestion means it would have to be realllllllly good to make it worth it.

                              But - we'll always have the memories!

                              1. re: MHGarrison

                                In "American Fried," Trillin said this, which I think is an outstanding tribute:

                                "I . . . found [Garrison] to be one of those rare Americans who truly savors his city."

                    2. Grand Finale opened in 1975.

                      Maisonette shared its kitchen with another restaurant, next door ...
                      I cannot remember the name.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rainsux

                        La Normandie, and it was downstairs (basement).

                      2. Wow, great information! I find this to be so interesting. I only wish I could go back and eat at all of these restaurants!

                        Have any of you heard the store about Old Chief, an elephant at the Cincinnati Zoo? He killed his trained and later had to be put down because of his aggressive temperament. The night he was killed, they served his meat as the nightly special at the Palace.

                        1. The McD's filet-o-fish was conceived and first sold here

                          Barq's was started in New Orleans but a lot of it's history and popularity was centered here

                          The following food items are all, I believe, Cincinnati originated: cincinnati style chili and all related items (coney,s ways, etc), goetta, Doscher's french chew, opera cream, Papa's Easter eggs, ice cream-topped ice balls (Schneider's Sweets in Dayton Ky)

                          Mike Fink's
                          Montgomery Inn (despite my lack of love for their faux bbq)
                          Lookout House in Ft Wright (burned down)
                          The Ruby mini-empire
                          Jerry's (somewhat like Frischs)
                          Greyhound Grille
                          Walt's Hitching Post
                          Aglamesis Bros
                          Pompilio's (Rain Man)
                          Root Beer Stand in Sharonville
                          Tucker's in Over-the-Rhine
                          Forest View Gardens
                          Ted Kluzewski's Steakhouse
                          Johnny Bench's Home Plate
                          Charley's Crab
                          Duff's Smorgasbord
                          and last and least - La Rosa's has had a huge impact on Cincinnati despite selling some rather bad pizza

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TJ Jackson

                            Great list. Schneider's Sweets, BTW, is next to Dayton, Ky, but actually is in Bellevue (on "The Avenue"). Schneider's also has the iconic and delicious Opera Creams, and (at least used to have) the best banana ice cream.

                            1. re: TJ Jackson

                              The Root Beer Stand is an awesome place!

                            2. I just happened across this thread during a Google search for something else, so forgive me if this has already been mentioned. I went through grade school in Cincinnati, '54-'62. There was a very nice, white tablecloth restaurant in the downtown Shillitoes in the late '50s (they had a great cheesecake--Sara Lee style w/dense cream cheese center & sour cream topping--for which I actually found the recipe online a couple years ago).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: RonHildebrand

                                I well remember the Shillito's restaurant AND that cheese cake! I found the recipe for it on the Uncle Phaedrus site a while back. LOVED the downtown Shillito's.

                              2. The Cone started in 1973 (at least the ice cream) - it's over in West Chester. Building shaped like an ice cream cone is neat to see.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: shadeau

                                  I can't think of Cincinnati ice creams without mentioning Graeter's. Amazing French pot-style. All the chocolate varieties are the best I've ever eaten.

                                2. Scotti's Italian Restaurant on Vine Street is the one I remember best since I met my future father-in-law for the first time there some 49 years ago when he came to town. I just remember eating spaghetti and the tables all had those basket wine bottles with a candle. It seemed rather old world to me back then. Have no idea what it's like today. The website says its been around since 1911.

                                  Lenhart's on McMillan I remember. It was definitely ethnic European in the early 60's. It was kind of the place you took your parents to when they came to visit. The menu was definitely different than anywhere else and not the usual suspect German fare you get nowadays.

                                  Mecklenburg Gardens of course. The name stuck but specifics didn't for me.

                                  The Lakewood Bar on Jefferson where I met my wife has long since been gobbled up by the University. They had the absolutely most greasiest pizza I ever ate but I loved it.

                                  1. The Wishing Well, corner of Reading and Galbraith (?)
                                    The Windjammer, Chester Rd
                                    I have a post card of The Windjammer if you want me to scan and send it to you.

                                    1. I just came to this board specifically to ask if anyone remembers an old BBQ diner in downtown Cincinnati. I think it was called The Red Barn (not the chain) or Old Barn. It closed sometime in the 80s, perhaps with the renovation of the area around the Aronoff. It was tucked back in an alley, near where Nicholson's is/was. Anybody else remember this place? I discovered it when I was pretty young. I remember it was a place popular with visiting baseball teams.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Leander Wapshot

                                        Looks like you got your answer from Fydeaux already, so you're good to go

                                      2. from: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20...

                                        Among Cincinnati’s larger-than-life characters, Harry Harwood Garrison “is right at the top of the list,” said Jim Tarbell, former vice mayor.

                                        Garrison, who died Sept. 19 at age 77, was a player piano store owner; expert smoke-ring blower; magician; antiques dealer; a Victrola and art collector; jazz lover; University of Cincinnati Evening College teacher; and a skilled repairman of pianos, player pianos, carousel band organs and other automated mechanical musical instruments.

                                        “My dad had a broad variety of tastes and interests. He lived large, and absolutely loved life,” said his son, Marshall Harwood Garrison of Hyde Park, who has managed his father’s shops on Main Street Downtown and in O’Bryonville since 2000.

                                        Born Sept. 29, 1935, Mr. Garrison began performing magic at age 6 in his Westwood home. He told an Enquirer reporter in 1972 that he had done about 1,800 magic shows, mostly dressed as Uncle Sam, with white hair and a beard.

                                        After graduating from Western Hills High School in 1953, he studied sociology at the University of Cincinnati. The next year, at 19, he learned how to blow cigar smoke rings, his son said.

                                        “He enjoyed being able to entertain people, and came up with some patter about it. He liked it because it was singularly unique,” his son said.

                                        Johnny Carson’s producers heard about him from author Calvin Trillin, and invited Mr. Garrison to blow smoke rings on “The Tonight Show” in 1980. Mr. Garrison turned a disaster – a Carson staffer forgot to turn off the air conditioning, making it impossible to form smoke rings – into a hilarious clip Carson showed on two anniversary specials.

                                        “Everyone was laughing,” said Tarbell of Pendleton. (The Carson clip appears in “The Smoke Ring King” video on YouTube.


                                        In 1973, Mr. Garrison gave Trillin a tour of Cincinnati area chili parlors and restaurants, including the Shady Nook with a Wurlitzer theater organ near Oxford, for a New Yorker magazine article and his “American Fried” book.

                                        Mr. Garrison dropped out of UC his senior year in 1957 after “he got a piano, tore it apart in his grandparents’ garage, and sold it for 10 times what it was worth,” his son said.

                                        Nine years later, he completed a UC degree in rhetoric and public speaking in 1968. For a while, he ran multiple Yellow Pages listings for piano repair, appraising, antiques and magic shows.

                                        “He had an ad in the Yellow Pages which said that, on 24 hours notice, he would speak on any subject for an hour for $100. Garrison was brilliant. He could find stuff that was fascinating, and embellish it. He had a big booming voice, and never held back,” Tarbell said.

                                        Patrick Kelly of Newtown, a Player Piano Shop employee in the late 1970s, credits his former boss with creating the Blue Wisp Jazz Club. Mr. Garrison dissuaded Paul Wisby, who owned a Madison Road bar next to the shop, from bringing in country music acts in favor of jazz, he said.

                                        Mr. Garrison, a Classic Jazz Society of Southwestern Ohio trustee, also provided the Blue Wisp with Steinway, Weber and Baldwin grand pianos for free, Kelly said.

                                        “There would have been no Blue Wisp Jazz Club without him,” said Kelly, a pianist, composer and piano tuner. “He was a character – a super intelligent man with encyclopedia knowledge, a humorist, and a lover of the arts, especially music.”

                                        Mr. Garrison was diagnosed with diabetes in 1997, and congestive heart failure in 1998, his son said.

                                        Survivors include two sisters, Nancy Manolis and Lois Young, both of Minneapolis. Services have been held. Memorial contributions may be made to the Westwood United Methodist Church, 3460 Epworth Ave., Cincinnati, 45211, or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA, 22312.

                                        For consideration as Lives Remembered, please send information and contact number to livesremembered@enquirer.com.

                                        1. Having lived in the area for 65 years, mostly N KY, I'll second most of the many reccs others have made.
                                          The Maisonette was always the best and classiest. Pigall's was great in its heyday (60s-70s), and as mentioned, unusual to have two 5-star French restaurants within an easy walk of each other. Pigall's eventually lost its 5 stars.
                                          The Busy Bee lounge/restaurant on Ludlow Ave was a classic piano bar kinda place that appealed to people of all ages. Once during a huge snowstorm it was the only place open real late (2AM?) and it was packed.
                                          Many people consider Camp Washington Chili to be the original chili parlor, even tho it's not the oldest. You can get chili, double deckers and goetta there--3 of the things Cincinnati does best.
                                          The Cricket, The Echo, Zino's near UC (converted firehouse), Rookwood Pottery--all are remembered fondly.
                                          My mother mentioned 2 places in downtown Cincy in the good old days--Mill's (cafeteria) on 4th St and some place called BGs on 5th St that had a "bottomless cup of coffee" that was long before that became fashionable. I think there was some place on Vine St that was open 24 hours (unusual then) called the Sixty Second Shop. The Sugar and Spice out on Reading Rd is still there--that and Hathaway's have always been classic breakfast places.
                                          Don't sell northern Kentucky short. At one time (60s-70s) there were 4 classic places on a one-mile stretch of Dixie Highway in Park Hills--Oelsner's, The Lookout House, Town and Country and the White Horse. Several of those burned and a mob connection is probably undeniable.Jerry's Drive In was in the middle of those next to Lookout Bowl and a very popular place for teens to cruise on weekends. Robertson's was just down the road in Fort Mitchell. There was some drive-in place on the east side of Dixie Hgwy in Fort Mitchell south of Kyles Lane that I can recall (but not the name)in the early-mid 50's. I can still remember the unique smell of french fries in their parking lot and Walt's Hitching Post in Ft. Wright (always remember that guy visibly grilling ribs in a small place adjacent to parking lot.) Pompilio's has always been a Newport classic--Green Derby was also.
                                          Covington Chili on Madison Ave had one waitress who worked there over 50 years. Coach and Four down on Scott Blvd near the Suspension Bridge was popular
                                          I hope you write a book. There certainly is enough material.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: KyMikey

                                            Don't forget the third five star place: The Gourmet Room at the Terrace Hilton, featuring the Joan Miro mural that now hangs in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

                                            I loved Cricket; my mom took me there when I was a boy. I was pleased to find that the Cincinnatian Hotel kept the Cricket name for their non-fine-dining restaurant.

                                          2. My husband and I were just talking about how sad it was that the restaurant Six Mile House was no longer around. They were famous for their hot slaw. Also there was a German restaurant on Northbend Rd called the Black Forest restaurant that offered authentic German food along with a show. Also the Grand Finale has a sister restaurant in Lawrenceburg Indiana called Whiskeys which is still in operation

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: vhuff

                                              Actually, the German restaurant on North Bend Rd. was called Forrest View Gardens.

                                              It was an annual Easter dining adventure for my parents and immediate family.

                                              The building was burned down as a training excercise for the local FD after vacated and the property sold. T'was a sad day.

                                              I also had a gradeschool buddy whose mom bartended at Six Mile House on Colerain Ave. Also torn down and replaced by a Walgreens or CVS.

                                              My parents met at Stengers restaurant down in OTR when in high school.
                                              It too is long out of business. I always went back for saurebraten lunch on the weekends. Dang it was tasty.

                                              A lot of the old standbys are going away and the architecture being demolished. "Effect reuse" is not a term often used these days for old buildings. Again, sad.

                                              1. I hope you guys can help. I have been trying to remember a restaurant that had a piano that would come up from the center stage with someone playing. I believe it was in Springdale, Ohio but I could be wrong as it has been years since I have even thought about the place. If anyone knows it would help fill in my memory!

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: tonytouch24kt

                                                  I remember the place but cannot think of the name. Art Deco looking. Big facade.

                                                  IIRC. it sat across from the Route 4 cinemas close to where the Hooters now stands on Route 4 just north of the I-275 interchange.

                                                  Or at least close to there. perhaps across the street.

                                                  I want to say it was something like the "Springdale Palace" or similar.

                                                  At first I was thinking of the former restuarant on Route 127 North /Corerain Ave. half way between Cincinnati and Oxford that had the giant Wurlitzer organ and awesome prime rib.

                                                  Ate there many a time.

                                                  I still wanna say "Springdale Palace" until I get a nites sleep and it will come to me.
                                                  I know it.

                                                  1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                    That's exactly it! My mom and I were having a conversation and neither one of us can remember the name either GRRR! I went as a kid and I was really young but I remember I felt like I was an adult when I went to that restaurant. Here's to hoping our combined brain power can come up with the answer :)

                                                    1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                      So when i suggested your Springdale Palace, she exclaimed PIZZA PALACE! Music and Pizza, no wonder I loved that place, thanks so much jjjrfoodie, you have helped bring back GREAT memories!

                                                      EDIT: she says maybe it was called Springdale Pizza Palace so +1 as well!

                                                      1. re: tonytouch24kt


                                                        That was it.
                                                        Springdale Pizza Palace. :-)

                                                        In all my years of living in and around parts of town I only ate there once.

                                                        On the other hand, I used to have a Shakey's Pizza two minutes from my house growing up and that pizza and watching black and white silent films during dining is something I miss dearly.

                                                        Was torn down decades ago and a Krogers now sit on the spot.


                                                        I knew we could solve your mystery.


                                                        There was a Springdale Music Palace restaurant on Route 4 that burned down and then moved over to Chester Rd in 1992.

                                                        Here's the 10 year old article.


                                                        Springdale Pizza Palace or Springdale Music Palace. I dunno. You flip the coin. My memory is tapped out.


                                                      2. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                        The place on 127 was Shady Nook Steak House - owned by Stan and Virginia Todd. Stan was also the organist. Stan died on 1978

                                                      1. re: Acuman

                                                        My experience with the Busy Bee is a little sketchy. I may have been there, at most,
                                                        four times. I was living in Dayton in the 1970s and often escaped to Cincinnati for the
                                                        weekend. I remember they had a very prominently placed bar and inevitably a guy
                                                        came in on Saturday nights with flowers for sale. He must have made the rounds of
                                                        numerous lounges and restaurants and apparently was tolerated by management. I
                                                        did see him at other spots. In that period, I couldn't get enough of InCahoots on
                                                        what we now call Short Vine. And when at UC for five years, we all seemed to
                                                        prefer Shipley's on McMillan Street, on the dogleg between the two runs of Clifton
                                                        Avenue, rather than heading to Ludlow.

                                                        1. re: ChiSig

                                                          The flower guy was Johnny Rosebud. Used to come into all the late night venues with a box of roses to sell. Occasionally a local band would let him get on stage and sing a song or two