What does it take for a restaurant to make it on The Banks?

Santo Graal: Sixth restaurant to close in 2 years
Posted at 10:03 AM, Jan 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-06 18:27:37-05

CINCINNATI -- Santo Graal, the Italian restaurant near Great American Ballpark on The Banks, closed this week, according to a spokesperson for the development.

Sandwiched between Holy Grail Tavern & Grille and Tin Roof, the eatery is one of six restaurants to close on the riverfront development over the last two years.

Other restaurants that have closed on The Banks include Mahogany’s on The Banks (August 2014), WG Kitchen & Bar (December 2014), Johnny Rockets (April 2015), Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill (July 2016) and Crave (September 2016).

Jon Reischel, The Banks spokesperson, said the owners (who also own Holy Grail), alerted him of the closure a couple weeks ago, which has allowed them to scope out potential restaurants to fill the space.

“We’ve been able to work for the last several weeks on identifying a replacement and really trying to see what the best fit would be there,” Reischel said. “That process has been underway for a while now, and we’re appreciative of that, that it wasn’t just a surprise.”

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Jennifer Shand, senior research associate at the University of Cincinnati Economics Center, said closures are just a part of the “high churn industry” that is the restaurant business, and that partially holds true for locations at The Banks.

But Shand said there may be an additional challenge for restaurant proprietors on The Banks.

“Perhaps they're not pulling in enough during the peak times during the baseball games and the other events that pull people down there,” Shand said.

But a couple restaurants have opened over the next few months; Pies and Pints started serving up The Banks on Dec. 19 and Taste of Belgium opened spring 2016. A new market, Street Corner, will also open on The Banks.

Taste of Belgium owner Jean-Francois Flechet said the restaurant has been doing well, despite opening during the winter months.

“In order to make it at The Banks you have to give people a reason to come to a particular establishment,” Flechet said. “You have to be a destination.”

There’s no shortage of restaurant owners willing to take a chance on The Banks. Two restaurants, Burger Fi and Tiger Dumpling, are in the works to join the nine other eateries along the riverfront.