CINCINNATI — On the final day of Taste of Cincinnati thousands of people filled streets downtown to line up for tastes of key Cincinnati staples, new flavors from new businesses or just to gorge themselves on great food.
“It’s been fantastic," said Jeff Braun, director of culinary for Hard Rock Cincinnati. "The people are great, the city is fantastic."
This was the first year Hard Rock Cincinnati was a part of the Taste of Cincinnati food festival, which was on hiatus for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the festival returned in full force for the first time since then.
“Day one was just really fantastic, lines all day long. And yesterday was great,” said Braun. “I think people have been ready to get out and get down here which shows by the amount of business we’ve been able to do the last two days."
Braun estimated the Hard Rock booth sold more than 3,000 meals a day during the three-day-long festival.
This year's Taste of Cincinnati was expected to be the largest one yet, with 36 restaurants and 18 food trucks in attendance. Plus, Taste-goers could experience dozens of performers and live acts while sampling Queen City cuisine.
“Everyone is very excited to be here,” said Dan Cornican, part owner of the Keystone Bar and Grill. “We’ve even met a few people who have never been here before."
Keystone has been a regular at Taste of Cincinnati since 2008.
Braun said it’s a good way to get exposure and new business.
“I think it’s definitely an opportunity for a lot of the independent mom and pop restaurants to make some money for sure,” he said. "The hard part about doing it this year was staffing your booth without taking staff away from your restaurants.”