Muse Cafe wants to be heart of revitalized Westwood business district

Cafe hosting grand opening at 4 p.m. Friday
Posted at 8:22 AM, Jul 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 15:35:01-04

CINCINNATI -- The owners of Muse Cafe want residents of Westwood to gather, relax and eat well.

"The community was asking for something, a gathering place," said Shawntee Stallworth-Schramm, one of three owners of the cafe located at 3018 Harrison Ave.

Stallworth-Schramm will host the cafe's grand opening from 4 p.m.-midnight Friday with her husband, Stephen Stallworth-Schramm, and their business partner, Jeff Boley. Stallworth-Schramm said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley will attend a ceremonial ribbon cutting outside of Muse at 4:30 p.m.

The cafe, located in Westwood's historic business district, will serve paninis, tapas, charcuterie, cheese, wine, local craft beer such as MadTree and Rhinegeist, locally roasted coffees and specialty drinks.

Boley, who has a business background and prior coffee shop experience, said locally owned Deeper Roots Coffee and Seven Hills Coffee will supply the beans for the drinks he brews.

"Deeper Roots provides a lot of the beans we use for our drip and pour-over coffees," Boley said. "Seven Hills supplies our beans used to make espresso and cold-brew coffee."

Stallworth-Schramm said she and her husband both worked at various restaurants for nearly a decade before deciding to open their own.

"Stephen and I started looking for something in Kentucky," she said. "Then the revitalization of Westwood really began taking off."

The couple then partnered with Boley and began renovating the former convenience store near Westwood's old town hall that Muse now occupies.

"The vibe we went for, which was Shawntee's idea from the beginning, is rustic chic," Boley said.

That vibe includes copper accents and wood flooring, Boley said. The space is big enough to host the occasional small jazz group and seat 49 people, he added.

Prior to the cafe's grand opening, Stallworth-Schramm said they opened Muse on the occasional weekend. The owners also served food and drinks during Westwood Second Saturday events hosted by Westwood Works.

"There has been huge community support for us getting open," Stallworth-Schramm said.

Two Westwood residents even offered their skills as the owners remodeled the cafe, she said.

"A friend and neighbor of mine built the wine shelves," Stallworth-Schramm said. "Another Westwood resident helped us build our window bars. So we have two Westwood heroes."

Stallworth-Schramm said Muse plans to increase its cocktail offerings in the coming weeks and months, as well as host small live music events.