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Old 02-09-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 11,005,624 times
Reputation: 6456

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Maybe it's time for a Berlin Wall to be built. I propose that it follow Warner St from Ravine all the way to Ohio Ave. Leave the area south of it alone. To the north, it's fair game for those who'd "take paradise and put in a parking lot." It wouldn't have to be an actual wall, either, just a clear line of demarcation on zoning maps.
Eons ago, I thoroughly enjoyed taking some summer classes at UK. Adding to the enjoyment was one of the nearby thoroughfares, South Limestone St (aka "South Lime.") We kids couldn't afford the earthy-crunchy restaurant called "Alfalfa," so instead we'd supplement our college food service meals with chowdowns at Burger Queen (yes!) or Ollie's Trolley. For the latest LP's and, ahem, "smoking accessories" there was a store called Sqecial (sic) Media on South Lime. It was in a funky little white Victorian house of the type found in many Southern towns. Japanese "flying carp" banners did their wind-stimulated "swimming" from a porch rail. On nearby Rose St, with foreboding blacked-over windows, stood a shop bearing the innocuous name Wildcat (for UK, naturally) News. Newspapers weren't the draw - they sold DIRTY MAGAZINES. The guys always dared each other to go in and to maybe even buy something. But if anyone did nobody was the wiser.
Fast forward to 2008, when I was visiting Louisville and decided to point my rental car east for a trip down Memory Lane. Here finally was my chance to stuff my face at Alfalfa! I'd had an Ollie's Trolley lunch in Loovul, but if I tarried long enough and Burger Queen was still around the plan was to go Proustian there. Such was not to be. Alfalfa had persevered into the aughts but had gone out of business about a year before, according to the unfriendly manager on duty at the hookah bar which replaced it. Forget about unique fast food too. Not a trace of either Ollie's Trolley or Burger Queen remained. A Burger KING and an Arby's had gone in, but so what. Somewhat shockingly, Sqecial Media was still in the same spot on South Lime. But the funky house had been leveled and replaced by a concrete/glass box with no place to fly carp banners from. Wildcat News might still exist, but I didn't look for it. Dorms and a university bookstore had encroached on the vicinity to create a dreary environment of brick and/or concrete cubes. All in all it was a "can't go home again" afternoon.
One look at the McMillan/Calhoun corridor between Clifton Ave and Vine St makes it all too clear that the South Lime de-evolution is repeating itself in Cincinnati. Not that this is anything brand-new, but the Lenhardt's news coupled with ongoing urban removal in Corryville signals that all the damage has yet to be wrought.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,853,807 times
Reputation: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
Not that this is anything brand-new, but the Lenhardt's news coupled with ongoing urban removal in Corryville signals that all the damage has yet to be wrought.
Yep. Corryville is slowly morphing into student housing. At least something positive may happen, like finally bringing new life to Short Vine. But the plan seems to be to turn McMillan/Calhoun into a shopping mall. They did the same to Times Square. Why should Clifton Heights be immune?
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,444,912 times
Reputation: 1920
What does anyone know finite about Lenhardt's/Christy's?

Is it going to reopen or become a blast to the wrecking ball? When I went to UC, 57-62, it was a pinnacle place, as was Mecklenburg Gardens. As a student we went there infrequently, maybe the girlfriend's birthday or such. But the occasions were all memorable. After I graduated and was making some real money, we frequented them to a higher degree. Then the kids came and we just quit going to the UC area much at all. Two of our kids went there and now a grandson.

But I would hate to see these old restaurants succumb to the wrecking ball. They make up a good part of the ambiance around UC. If you tear it all down there is little to remember.

Just like Mick and Mack, the two stone lions in front of McMicken Hall right in the front of campus. I was in Engineering and we had our quadrangle on the northeast side of campus. But we all knew Mick and Mack. They were the beacons in the front of the entire campus.

When places like Lenhardt's begin to disappear, that is when your legacy disappears. When I graduated from UC, my parents took us to dinner at Lenhardt's. When that is gone, that is when you know a portion of your life is also gone.

I do hope someone restores that building and puts a restaurant back in there which gives credit to the original.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,853,807 times
Reputation: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
What does anyone know finite about Lenhardt's/Christy's?

Is it going to reopen or become a blast to the wrecking ball?
To answer your second question first, Christy's Rathskellar and Biergarten are open. Lehhardt's is closed for good.

What's finite? The owner was asking $11,000,000 for the properties wanted by the developer and the developer was offering $2,000,000. The developer counter-offered $6,000,000 and they are now under contract. There's still a lot of unknowns that could derail the project, so it's only a definite maybe. I think what's finite is eventually the properties owned by Christy's owner will meet the wrecking ball. The folks I have talked to about it told me this has been a long time in coming and if not now, then at some point the owner will sell his properties because that's what he wants to do.

Properties include:
- Moerlein Mansion (Christy'sLenhardt's building)
- Clifton Natural Foods building at corner of West Clifton and McMillan
- Adjacent parking lots
- Several homes on Lyon Street

The main point of resistance is CUFNA (Clifton Heights, University Heights, Fairview Neighborhood Association.) They are marshalling various points of resistance throughout the neighborhood. I think they will fail because they are trying to have the building declared historical. With the porch ripped off the front and being replaced with the restaraunt front I doubt it will receive a historical designation. I also know the owner does not want this designation shoved on him because he will have to foot the bill for restoration.

That's most of what I know at the moment.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 11,005,624 times
Reputation: 6456
Keep the updates coming!
Getting older has its pluses, but a minus is watching elements of your past vanish. The majority of the UC area seems destined to become a drab collection of cube-shaped buildings with national-chain stores and restaurants at ground level. (An old church on Ohio Ave between McMillan and Calhoun was saved, only to be reborn as an Urban Outfitters franchise. Whoopee.) A fair portion of McMillan's old homes and businesses had already met its demise in favor of convenience stores and strip malls. Starry-eyed developers look eastward and see still more drab cube-shaped buildings in place of the row houses of Corryville. (Mecklenburg Gardens, a ways beyond Vine St, seems safe from all this.)
It's sad, but no surprise, to find out that the money-making "Christy's" is back up and running but that the days of schnitzel are gone.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,853,807 times
Reputation: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
It's sad, but no surprise, to find out that the money-making "Christy's" is back up and running but that the days of schnitzel are gone.
They have a revamped menu in the Rathskellar but I don't know what's on it. The folks running the business worked for Christy's owner when they were actually running the restaurant. They know what they are doing and likely also know they are in for a short run, but are willing to step up and make money in the short term. And the deal could fall through, delaying the inevitable.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:13 PM
 
1 posts, read 840 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen_master View Post
Sounds like you have intimate knowledge of the situation. I'm only hearing things second hand. Might you accept a direct message and divulge what you know? I have someone with the means and interest to maybe acquire the property if only they could get in touch with the present owners. This individual is interested in continuing the operation as a restaurant and bar - obviously with a name and change of decor / remodel - but they aren't interested in demolition.

If you really have someone who is interested in acquiring the property please let me know asap. I'm a UC student working with Clifton Heights Community Council and the Preservation Action Network to preserve Christys/the Moerlein Mansion.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,853,807 times
Reputation: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarp View Post
If you really have someone who is interested in acquiring the property please let me know asap. I'm a UC student working with Clifton Heights Community Council and the Preservation Action Network to preserve Christys/the Moerlein Mansion.
I hope you guys are successful, though I am thinking things aren't looking so good at the moment.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:05 PM
 
Location: OH
688 posts, read 870,346 times
Reputation: 364
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomJones123 View Post
Thank you for providing the link. It finally adds some certainty to this situation. Sadly, I concur. Knowing Joe and Erica personally, as well as Christy, I don't see the building surviving a serious offer. Only hope is the developer doesn't entertain the asking price the Windholtz are willing to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
What does anyone know finite about Lenhardt's/Christy's?

Is it going to reopen or become a blast to the wrecking ball? When I went to UC, 57-62, it was a pinnacle place, as was Mecklenburg Gardens. As a student we went there infrequently, maybe the girlfriend's birthday or such. But the occasions were all memorable. After I graduated and was making some real money, we frequented them to a higher degree. Then the kids came and we just quit going to the UC area much at all. Two of our kids went there and now a grandson.

But I would hate to see these old restaurants succumb to the wrecking ball. They make up a good part of the ambiance around UC. If you tear it all down there is little to remember.

Just like Mick and Mack, the two stone lions in front of McMicken Hall right in the front of campus. I was in Engineering and we had our quadrangle on the northeast side of campus. But we all knew Mick and Mack. They were the beacons in the front of the entire campus.

When places like Lenhardt's begin to disappear, that is when your legacy disappears. When I graduated from UC, my parents took us to dinner at Lenhardt's. When that is gone, that is when you know a portion of your life is also gone.

I do hope someone restores that building and puts a restaurant back in there which gives credit to the original.
As a former employee I met several of my current friends from my days working there. I know of several relationships that trace their genesis back to Christy's including my wife and I having first crossed paths in the Biergarten amongst a larger group of friends. If they demo the place I at least need to salvage a brick or something to remember it by.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:09 PM
 
Location: OH
688 posts, read 870,346 times
Reputation: 364
Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarp View Post
If you really have someone who is interested in acquiring the property please let me know asap. I'm a UC student working with Clifton Heights Community Council and the Preservation Action Network to preserve Christys/the Moerlein Mansion.
Please check your inbox. Sent you a directed message.
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