How Cincy Works: Where Do the Decisions Really Get Made?

Often over lunch or coffee at one of these eight places.

For our June 2015 issue, we explore (and try to explain) the ins and outs of the Queen City.

1. Washington Platform, 1000 Elm St., downtown
101: A hop-skip from City Hall; the old-school political haunt
The crowd: The mayor and councilmembers; union reps
Good to know: Look out for the Kroger Co. here, too

2. Jean-Robert’s Table, 713 Vine St., downtown
101: List of lunch patrons reads like a who’s who of civic life
The crowd: Lawyers (Dave Altman, Stan Chesley); social forces (Charlene Ventura); arts leaders (Victoria Morgan)
Good to know: A mayoral fete: Bortz, Luken, Qualls, Mallory, and Cranley have all lunched here

3. Collective CAC, 44 E. Sixth St., downtown
101: New to the scene; bastion of natural light; slickest espresso equipment in town
The crowd: Cross-spectrum art crowd: local makers (Noble Denim’s Chris Sutton) to CAC board (Carl Solway, Richard Rosenthal, DAAP dean Robert Probst)
Good to know: See the artists themselves during installation of new exhibitions

4. Salazar, 1401 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine
101: Where the Coffee Emporium cohort (see below) goes for food
The crowd: Civic (Eric Avner of Haile Foundation, People’s Liberty); development (Cincinnati Development Fund staff); arts (Tamara Harkavy of ArtWorks)
Good to know: The place for lunch meetings that benefit from cocktails

5. Coffee Emporium, 110 E. Central Pkwy., Over-the-Rhine
101: Quintessential center-city meeting spot
The crowd: Neighborhood boosters, business owners, real estate/development savants; non-profit and arts powers-that-be; elected officials and their aides; police officers
Good to know: Mayor Mallory used to hold court here over a Boylan Ginger Ale

6. Cheapside Café, 326 E. Eighth St., downtown
101: Where the creative class caffeinates; balanced mix of suit jackets and plaid shirts
The crowd: Eighth Street design district (GBBN, Possible, LPK, KZF, Rocket Science); People’s Liberty staff; restaurant folk
Good to know: Out-of-town bands playing local stages often stop by

7. Fourth Street Skyline Chili, 254 E. Fourth St., downtown
101: More lawyer- and three-way filled than your repertoire of jokes
The crowd: Dinsmore & Shohl is in the building; Frost Brown Todd and Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease are across the street
Good to know: Two very senior Vorys partners lunch here every Friday, bibs and all

8. Queen City Club, 331 E. Fourth St., downtown
101: Members only; need password to see website, member number to order food
The crowd: Civic and business high society; Cincinnati Business Committee; Otto Budigs, Tom Williamses, and Gary Lindgrens of the world
Good to know: Deals go down in the private dining rooms—Marge Schott reportedly negotiated the sale of her stake in the Reds here

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