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Bauer Farm Kitchen losing its downtown home to redevelopment

Posted at 1:09 AM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 01:09:26-04

CINCINNATI — When farm-to-table restaurant Bauer Farm Kitchen opened in 2017, it was a way for chef Jackson Rouse to share his German heritage with the world one bite of sauerbraten brisket at a time. He plans to keep doing it, he said Thursday — but not at 435 Elm Street downtown.

The mostly-empty building that housed Bauer and a small group of other businesses is slated to be torn down within the next eight months, according to The Port CEO Laura Brunner. Her organization buys and redevelops vacant property in Hamilton County.

RELATED: Step into Bauer European Farm Kitchen for a blend of France and Germany right off the farm

“The city is selling us this property so that we can get it redeveloped,” she said, adding that it had long been considered a “problem property” despite its close proximity to the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Brunner isn’t sure what will replace it long-term, but a small, temporary parking lot will fill the space while the Port finds something new.

“I think most people would assume that there would be a boutique hotel,” she said. “Obviously, it’s a good location for that.”

It was a good location for Rouse, too. That’s the rub.

“Convention traffic was great,” he said. “When people come to Cincinnati, they want the Cincinnati experience, and German cuisine is part of that. … Like anything, unfortunately, there’s Powers That Be that are outside of my control.”

He isn’t sure where Bauer — consistently well-reviewed by Yelp patrons and local publications alike — will end up, he said, and losing the location is “obviously difficult.”

“This is kind of my pride and joy,” he said.