Four 2021 Comebacks Worth Celebrating

These local spots aren’t new, but they’re definitely improved for 2021 and beyond, making them 2021 Best of the City winners.

We’re all looking for things to celebrate, and these four spots that made improvements or jumped back into the game in 2021 are worth all the gold stars we can muster.

Cintas Center Tech Upgrades

A $3 million investment in Cintas Center tech is sure to have Xavier fans leaping out of their seats. Completed this fall, the new center-hung HD video scoreboard is 2.5 times the size of the old one. The project also included new graphics systems and HD cameras that will boost stream performance for Musketeers soccer and baseball games, too. • 1624 Musketeer Dr., Evanston, (513) 745-3428

Newport on the Levee

North American Properties, which acquired the struggling Levee in 2018, welcomed guests back last summer after extensive renovations. Improvements include the Bridgeview Box Park, composed of bars housed in shipping containers, a huge LED screen, new communal spaces, a Third Street garage entrance and new valet loop, fresh signage, and a bold new paint job. • 1 Levee Way, Newport, (859) 291-0550,


Brad Bernstein, the chef/owner of Oakley’s Red Feather Kitchen, acquired this Hyde Park institution after it shuttered in 2020. With a renovated space and revamped menu focusing on sandwiches and salads, Dutch’s reopened in July with the addition of the adjoining Red Feather Larder, offering guests a chance to purchase the same fresh ingredients served up in the beloved eatery. • 3378 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, (513) 407-8449,

Shanghai on Elm

The popular fusion restaurant Shanghai Mama’s closed suddenly in 2020 after its building was purchased. It wasn’t long, however, before the beloved downtown eatery was reborn a few blocks away as Shanghai on Elm. While it opened for carryout only in February, the late-night dining room is now open and still serves many of its longtime regulars’ favorite Asian dishes. • 700 Elm St., downtown, (513) 906-7000,

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