Cincinnati's bar and restaurant scene off to a busy start in the new year

This story first published on Jan. 10, 2020, on wcpo.com. 

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Keystone

CINCINNATI — The Queen City’s dining and drinking scene kicked off the new year with a bang.  

The first full week of 2020 isn’t even over, and multiple bars and restaurants already have opened, been announced or closed. Here’s a few of the openings and closings that you might have missed. 
 

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🍷EMMA: Wine with Friends • 3227 Riverside Drive, East End 

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EMMA quietly opened on Dec. 17, right as the holiday season was gearing up. Good thing, too, since the new East End bar features 44 wines on tap and more than 1,000 bottles available to enjoy. It’s conveniently located near the Hi-Mark and Eli’s BBQ on Riverside Drive. 

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🥃 La Ofrenda • 30 Findlay St., Over-the-Rhine 

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La Ofrenda is the latest amazingly themed joint by experiential entertainment group Gorilla Cinema. La Ofrenda opened on New Year’s Eve with 130 tequilas, mezcals and other agave-based spirits behind the bar. The name means “offering” in Spanish, and Gorilla Cinema owner Jacob Trevino promises guests an atmosphere (and craft cocktails) that celebrate Mexican culture and heritage. 

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🍹 Twenties • 2733 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills 

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Twenties’ name says it all. This ’20s-themed craft cocktail bar opened inside the former Myrtle’s Punch House location on Jan. 2. Twenties offers weekly specials such as “Old Fashioned Thursdays,” featuring $7 classic drinks pulled from “The Savoy Cocktail Book” published in 1930. 
 

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Oscar Station Bourbon Bar • 4450 Eastgate S. Drive, Eastgate 

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Jungle Jim’s International Market’s bourbon bar will host its grand opening inside the new Oscar Station event center on Jan. 11. There should be a lot to celebrate since the bar boasts more than 100 bourbons available for purchase and tastings. 
 

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Cream+Sugar Coffeehouse • 3546 Montgomery Road, Evanston 

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Cream+ Sugar’s owners describe themselves as ” two African American ladies” with plans to make their coffee house a hub for the Evanston and Xavier University communities. The owners, who will offer healthy breakfast and lunch options at the coffee house, have not yet announced a grand opening date. 
 

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O Pie O • 32 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine 

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O Pie O, the popular East Walnut Hills eatery known for its pies, announced plans to open a new Over-the-Rhine location in early 2020. Unlike the original O Pie O, the OTR location will focus more on “grab-and-go” eats and other takeout. It also will introduce new menu options such as daily biscuits and gluten-free and vegan items.  
 

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Click here for nine more savory eating options slated to open this year. 
 

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Keystone Bar & Grill • 3384 Erie Ave., Hyde Park 

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Owners Four Entertainment Group (4EG) abruptly announced the permanent closing of its Hyde Park Keystone Bar & Grill location in late December. The Erie Avenue location served its last gooey bite of macaroni and cheese on Dec. 28. Keystone’s Clifton and Covington locations remain open, though. 
 

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The Hyde Park Hitching Post • 2715 Madison Road, Hyde Park 

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The Hyde Park Hitching Post closed Dec. 30 after 33 years of business. In a Facebook post, its owners thanked patrons for “the many years of business, support and loyalty.” 

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Sartre • 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine 

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Sartre, the French restaurant located next to Rhinegeist Brewery in Over-the-Rhine, closed on Jan. 1 after two years in business. In the Facebook post announcing the restaurant’s demise, owners indicated plans are already in the works to fill the space in the near future. 
 

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Dutch’s Larder • 3378 Erie Ave., Hyde Park 

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Dutch’s Larder, another Hyde Park staple, closed on Jan. 2. Dutch’s served artisan beer, wine and food for decades at its location on the corner of Erie and Marburg avenues. Dutch’s demise was the result of a disagreement between partners, according to one of Dutch’s owners. 
 

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Stone’s Restaurant • 3605 Harrison Ave., Cheviot 

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Chris and Stephanie Stone are hanging up their aprons and closing their West Side restaurant on Jan. 25. Stone’s Restaurant has served American comfort food to generations of West Side residents since 1962. 

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