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Court Street, Camp Washington seek designation as entertainment districts

City approval would mean more liquor licenses
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Posted at 6:14 PM, Oct 29, 2019

CINCINNATI — Two new entertainment districts could be coming online in Cincinnati, bringing more bars and restaurants to two pockets of the city.

Court Street is already an area on the rise, thanks to the new Kroger, new condos and its proximity to Over-the-Rhine.

Camp Washington, once known as “the industrial center of Cincinnati,” has a lot of work to do.

But both areas see the benefits of winning more liquor licenses and more foot traffic, which come with the designation as an entertainment district.

Court Street already has a "different vibe," said Joe Rudemiller, vice president of marketing & communications at 3CDC.

“We feel it’s already grown quite a bit just with the new Kroger opening. You can feel a different energy, a different vibe down here, so we think that this will kind of expand upon that,” said Rudemiller.

The Court Street entertainment district would include about 51 acres between Sycamore and Central and up to 10 new liquor licenses and provide a link with Downtown.

“We feel like there’s a lot of great positive energy in OTR, a lot of great energy in Fountain Square,” Rudemiller said. “We’re really trying to do right now is connect that, bridge that gap. And so we feel like Court Street is really key to doing that.”

Camp Washington hopes the designation will keep its 6,000 workers in the neighborhood for lunch.

We’re hoping to increase the amount of food served in Camp Washington to give customers and also residents and employees options for different food services,” said Joseph Gorman, executive director of the Camp Washington Community Board Development Corporation.

Camp Washington Chili is the neighborhood’s main stomping ground, but that wasn’t always the case, Gorman said.

“Historically, Camp Washington was the industrial center of Cincinnati. At one time we had 28 bars that all served food,” Gorman said.

Most left when the industry left, Gorman said.

“People could walk to work, they could walk to a bar … and we’re trying to get back to that,” said Gorman.

Camp Washington is proposing a 132-acre entertainment district with up to 15 more liquor licenses.

“When you do have an entertainment district, you’re able to get additional liquor licenses in that area,” said City Councilmember Amy Murray. “So this gives them an opportunity of a place to stop after work to gather and get together for people that live in the neighborhood.”

Both of these proposed districts passed through public hearings at City Hall Tuesday with no problems. They’ll need final approval Wednesday at City Council.