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Northside

Intersection

Shake It Records
Owned and operated by brothers Jim and Darren Blase since 1999, Shake It attracts music fans city- (and nation-) wide who dig through the more than 15,000 CDs and 20,000 vinyl records, along with books, shirts, and more eclectic pop culture swag than you can shake a stick at. “We wanted this place to be more of a cultural store than solely a record store,” Jim says. Shake It also has inventory sharing with more than 60 independent stores around the country to help locate rare and out-of-print records and get them shipped right to Northside. 4156 Hamilton Ave., (513) 591-0123, shakeitrecords.com
 
Northside Tavern
Northside Tavern started as a beloved neighborhood bar, but in an effort to give patrons another reason to visit, owner Ed Rush got The Tigerlillies to play the Tavern’s first show in May 2002. He eventually opened up the large back room and a stage to host music every night, including Wednesday night’s cult favorite: Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke. 4163 Hamilton Ave., (513) 542-3603, northside-tavern.com
 
Take the Cake
No take-out menus here—unless you count Twitter and this bakery-restaurant hybrid’s daily blackboard menu. “We put twists on everyday classics,” says co-owner Melissa Mileto. Like their take on chicken and waffles, which swaps in jalapeño cornbread. The bakery has been in business for nearly 20 years; Mileto and Doug Faulkner relocated from OTR to Northside in 2007. Lunch and brunch service started shortly after the move, but the bakery case is still always full of treats like macaroons, black bottom cheesecake cupcakes, and seasonal desserts. 4035 Hamilton Ave., (513) 241-2772, takethecakecincinnati.com
 
Cryptogram Ink
Walk by Dustin Flowers’s and Jon Flannery’s print and design studio, which opened in January 2011, and you’ll always see an example of their latest work hanging in the front windows. Originally, much of their business came from designing and screen-printing gig posters for the Southgate House, but they’ve shifted gears since the closing of that venerable venue. Now, the designers are working on building up a reputation for branding local business—they got off to a good start by creating the entire design campaign for the neighborhood event Second Saturdays in Northside. 4116 Hamilton Ave., (513) 378-1173, cryptogramink.com
 
Northside International Airport
Fabricate shop owner, Northside Tavern bartender, resident, and all-around neighborhood star Aileen McGrath boosted her local clout even further with the May opening of Northside International Airport. “It will be a little taste of Northside, under one roof,” McGrath says. Six vendors sell everything from vintage clothing to musical equipment to makeup—and there’s a taco bar. “Vendors work one day a week selling everyone’s goods, giving entrepreneurs a chance—without all the risk—of opening a business,” McGrath explains. Don’t miss the bathroom art gallery. 4029 Hamilton Ave., Facebook: Northside International Airport
 
Taylor Jameson Hair Design
Originally founded by namesake Taylor Jameson, this corner salon is now owned by Eric Schweitzer and Michael Sparto, who have since made renovations to mirror the eclectic atmosphere of Northside. Schweitzer, Sparto, and their staff provide a range of hair services, plus everything from facial waxing to makeup application. TJHD also carries Eufora, an earth-friendly line of vegan, aloe vera, and botanical-based hair and body products. “People are becoming more health conscious in all other areas of life,” Schweitzer says. “It should be the same with hair care.” 4200 Hamilton Ave., (513) 541-3332
 
Prairie Gallery
Connecting the community to art has always been a goal for the powers that be at Prairie Gallery. “There is a large part of the population that doesn’t have the opportunity to experience the arts,” says owner David Rosenthal. This month, the gallery showcases photo and mixed media works by local artist Sheida Soleimani. Rosenthal, a photographer in his own right, hosts photography classes for students as young as 10, and also works with local schools on projects that use art as a way for students to experience communities like Over-the-Rhine and Northside. 4035 Hamilton Ave., (513) 582-9833, prairiecincinnati.com

Originally published in the June 2012 issue