9 places to spot celebrities in Cincinnati this summer

Posted at 10:00 AM, Jun 01, 2015
and last updated 2016-07-26 12:53:58-04

CINCINNATI -- Summer is prime time for star-spotting in Cincinnati.

Movie crews hit the streets, outdoor concerts pump up the musician population and the Reds -- well, win or lose, people like baseball.

Because they usually work nearby, stars tend to spend off-hours close to the center of the city, though sometimes they wander. Here are nine spots where you might cross paths with famous visitors.

Sara Mathews spotted John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston at a Cincinnati Reds home game. Photo courtesy Sara Mathews.

1. Great American Ball Park, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown: Many stars stay out of sight in private suites, but some show up in the good seats behind home base, including John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston, the cast and crew of "Marauders," Emilio Estevez, his father Martin Sheen and brother Charlie Sheen. Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers even took batting practice.

2. Lachey's, 56 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine: Where do you suppose those famous softball players will go for cold drinks after the big game? The bar's proximity to several hot Over-the-Rhine restaurants makes this a likely stop.


Cate Blanchett on set of "Carol" filmed in Cincinnati March 17, 2014. Photo by WCPO's Dwayne Slavey.

3. Park+Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine: The popular vegan shop has a national reputation among road-tripping musicians, actors, dancers, artists and other prominent meat-avoiders. Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett and others from the “Carol” film production company were regulars at the “green general store.”



4. Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, 700 Walnut St., Downtown: If they eat meat, they often end up at Ruby's. At least that's the impression you will get from the scores of celebrity photos on the walls: George Clooney, Kid Rock, Derek Jeter, many Reds, many Bengals … you get the idea.

5. Northside: A string of hip vintage clothing stores – Casablanca (3944 Spring Grove Ave.), NVISION (4577 Hamilton Ave.), Chicken Lays an Egg! (4178 Hamilton Ave.) – have attracted the likes of singer Bruno Mars in search of throwback fashion.

Mazunte Taqueria staffers took a photo of "Hunger Games" star Josh Hutcherson eating their tacos at Neons Unplugged on Sunday, May 3, 2015.

6. Famous Neons Unplugged, 208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine: The pioneer OTR hangout with a sprawling, dog-friendly patio most recently welcomed actor Josh Hutcherson and friends while they were in town shooting James Franco's latest no-budget indie film “The Long Home.”

7. 21c Museum Hotel, 609 Walnut St., Downtown: This hotel is very popular with top-line movie folks. Ewan McGregor stayed there while making “Miles Ahead” and posted an Instagram picture of the hotel's signature yellow penguins outfitted with "Star Wars" weapons. Also seen passing through: Christopher Meloni, Meg Ryan and Kevin Costner.

8. Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport: Athletes love the aquarium, apparently. Reds player Brandon Phillips, NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan, Bengals players Domata Peko and Kevin Zeitler and even Pete Rose have shown up to commune with fish and fowl. Actors are fans, too: Ryan Gosling and actress Olivia Wilde visited the aquarium while Gosling was in Cincinnati filming "The Ides of March" with George Clooney.

9. Yellow Springs: If the celebrity you care most about is comedian Dave Chappelle, his hometown is where he hangs out when not on the road. He pops into local stores and restaurants and recently put on an unadvertised show featuring Stevie Wonder's backup band. He called it “Dave Chappelle's Barnyard Juke Joint.”