#ThisIsOTR: How a hashtag made its mark, turning into a movement to grow a great neighborhood

CINCINNATI - It’s a chilly Wednesday morning, so it’s no wonder that Collective Espresso, a small coffee shop on Woodward Road in Over-the-Rhine, is filled to the brim with people looking for a warm cup of coffee.

Tucked between a teal brick building and a small playground, the shop its owner describes as “kind of out of the way,” is a place where baristas pour drinks with care, dripping latte froth into a design fit for a likeable Instagram photo.

Owner Dustin Miller has noticed that images of many of the shop’s beverages actually end up on the social network, usually with the hashtag #CollectiveEspresso and often aggregated by #ThisIsOtr, a hashtag that’s given the neighborhood an online identity.

“I feel like the #ThisIsOTR hashtag, kind of you see anything from people, to dogs, to Taste of Belgium, to coffee, to having beers at Neons,” Miller said. “It seems to bring in all the different parts of what being and living and playing in this neighborhood is all about.”

That’s exactly what #ThisIsOTR’s creators Mia Carruthers and Michael Chewning were hoping to achieve when they started the movement.

Become a WCPO Insider to read how a hashtag can work to empower businesses and inspire a sense of community for a neighborhood in transition.

To continue reading: Subscribe Now or