CINCINNATI -- A former neighborhood post office is now serving fresh pizza and craft beer in Columbia Tusculum.
Post Office Place Pizza, POP for short, hosted its grand opening Friday inside the former U.S. Post Office at 3923 Eastern Ave., according to one of its owners, Josh Phillips.
“There are 10 taps at the bar,” Phillips said. “We’ll have a pretty great selection of craft beers.”
Phillips said Four Entertainment Group will manage the bar, which also serves wine and liquor, as he handles the food. Phillips opened his first restaurant, Tusculum Grille, on Kellogg Avenue in 2012.
“The expertise in bar operations is something I have no experience with,” he said.
4EG owns Mount Adams Pavilion, Lachey’s, Righteous Room, Igby’s, the Lackman, Keystone Bar & Grill, Keystone's Mac Shack, Low Spark, the Sandbar, the St. Clair and recently opened bars the Stretch at the Banks and the Dime, located on Short Vine.
Phillips said the partners spent more than $100,000 to renovate the post office, which had sat vacant since March 2011. Rehabbing the building included adding dining spaces in the basement and on the first floor, installing a full food kitchen, creating a small stage area for entertainment and building an outdoor patio.
Phillips permanently closed Tusculum Grille in January to focus on the new pizzeria.
"It was just the right opportunity to open a brand-new spot," Phillips said.
He said about 75 percent of Tusculum Grille’s food menu will appear at POP. That menu included sandwiches and salads, as well as pizza. Also like Tusculum Grille, POP will offer delivery and carryout services, starting at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and noon on Sundays.
With the dine-in space and bar at POP, Phillips said he expects delivery to be a much smaller part of sales at his new restaurant.
“With our other location we were 95 percent carryout and delivery,” he said.
Documents show the city of Cincinnati awarded Post Office Place, LLC an eight-year community reinvestment tax exemption in January for the estimated $100,000 renovations to the property.
POP is the latest business to open in the community entertainment district created in 2015 covering parts of Columbia Tusculum, Linwood and East End, Phillips said.
Kathie Hickey, whose family opened Streetside Brewery across the street from POP in October, serves as secretary for 3 East, the business association that helped form the district. The entertainment district allows up to 15 liquor licenses within its borders, she said.
"We still have 12 or 13 available," Hickey said. "There is a lot that can be done in the area."
POP is less than a mile walk from Blank Slate Brewing and two to three new retail stores opening soon, she said.
"Obviously we are really excited for them to open," Hickey said. "As far as I’m concerned, the more businesses and restaurants that open it's just that much better for Columbia Tusculum. It’s going to be such a nice, walkable area."