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

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