CINCINNATI - A little more than a year of being open and everyone in the Tri-State knows the name "Holy Grail."
The first restaurant to open at the Banks project, Holy Grail at the Banks blazed an entertainment trail for Cincinnati's rejuvenation and rise back to fun on the riverfront.
Owned by four Cincinnati businessmen, they'll tell you opening the Grail was a dream becoming a reality.
Now, one year and three months after its grand opening, it's hard to find a weekend or a night of a major sporting event when the Holy Grail isn't packed with people from red wall to red wall.
Situated right across the street from the Reds Hall of Fame, the bar/restaurant has a great open air feel, even in the sweltering Cincinnati summer heat, with garage doors that open for outside seating, and jointly an outdoor bar. Inside, a nice mix of tables and bar tops sits between more than 30 HDTVs, sure to show one of the sporting events you're looking for (the Reds right?).
The Grail has a variety of drink selections, but they're especially known for their Blueberry Grail Ale, with real blueberries dropped in your drink.
Something unique that the Grail first brought to Cincy was the tap table, where you can swipe a credit card and access up to 10 beers, poured on your own. Reservations are recommended due to the aforementioned crowd.
And almost everything on the menu is less than $9, seemingly designed as bites to eat before heading to the game.
They offer appetizers like the Holy Grail of Nachos and Saratoga Chips with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce , a few salads, a Club Sandwich and a Grilled Chicken Sandwich, just to name a few. There are also different types of Angus burgers and a couple different wraps that are all a great deal.
A few food favorites are their famous Reuben Wontons, Ball Park Pretzels and Buffalo Wings with Wicked Hot Sauce. The wonton is stuffed with corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese and topped with a drizzle of Thousand Island dressing. It's not an Izzy's Reuben, but a good Reuben snack nonetheless. The wings are tender and tasty, though not especially jumbo, as the menu stated, and not especially "wicked hot." The Ball Park Pretzels are far better than any at the ballpark. Served hot and salted with a tasty side of spicy nacho cheese sauce, the two large pretzels are moist and not as overly doughy as pretzels can often be.
It's exciting to see the rise of the riverfront begin and continue with a hometown business that's getting it right. Just ask the crowds.
For more on the Holy Grail at the Banks, visit http://www.holygrailcincy.com/html/banks/banks.php .
Some information from CityBeat was used in this report.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.