ALL IN THE

ALL IN THEFAMILY


For decades our March issue has featured our annual ode to the area's best restaurants and chefs. In this unfortunate pandemic period, though, we forgo our usual top 10 ranking. Too many quality restaurants are closed, paused, or focused on carryout to allow us to properly evaluate and compare dining experiences and menus. Instead, this issue highlights family-owned restaurants across the region and examines how they've been challenged—and stuck together—in ways only families can understand. The family behind Oriental Wok, headed by Mike and Helen Wong (seated left), is a prime example of a resilient local food family.

By Akshay Ahuja, Katie Coburn, Lauren Fisher, John Fox, Aiesha D. Little, Kaileigh Peyton, Carrie Blackmore Smith, and Rodney Wilson

Local Restaurateurs Get Creative to Keep Their Doors Open

The pandemic crushed restaurant industry economics. Local restaurateurs got creative (and got lots of help) to keep their doors open.

O Pie O Supports Its Employees Through the Pandemic

O Pie O owner Lou Ginocchio knows the importance of taking care of customers, employees, and the community.

How Jeff Ruby’s Weathered the Storm of 2020

With in-person dining limitations and social distancing placing a buffer between staff and guests, the pandemic has put the quintessential “Jeff Ruby’s Experience” to the test.

How Three Local Restaurant Groups Managed to Stay Afloat During the Pandemic

For these restaurants with multiple locations, some across state lines, the pandemic presented a unique set of challenges.

How Three Local Restaurants Are Finding a Way Forward

We talk to three local restaurant owners about how they pivoted during challenging times and what moving forward looks like for their businesses.

Bridges Straddles the Pandemic and Possibilities

As the pandemic drags on, Ash Chipalu of Bridges is grateful for his family, neighborhood support, and the food scene niche they’ve found.

The Wong Family Keeps Overcoming Obstacles Almost 50 Years After Settling in Cincinnati

Mike and Helen Wong opened Oriental Wok in Ft. Mitchell in 1977. Their family and business have since grown, with a second location in Hyde Park.

These Restaurant Families Didn’t Let COVID Cancel Their Expansion Plans

Despite pandemic-related challenges, these restaurateurs managed to build their businesses bigger and better than ever.

The Mother-and-Daughter Duo Behind Homestyle Restaurant TiYah’s Table

ItiYah Yisrael and Jazlyn Mason call TiYah’s Table a “blessing” and a “dream” despite the stress of launching during the pandemic.

Who’s Afraid of Ghost Kitchens?

Local restaurants have formed a love/hate relationship with delivery-only meal concepts, hoping to keep up with changing consumer demands.

In a Socially Distanced World, Station Family + BBQ Soldiers On

While the future is uncertain for CWC, its sister restaurant Station Family + BBQ is still making good on its mission to bring a community together through “Cincinnati-style” barbecue.

Keeping Hope Alive at Kiki

Hideki and Yuko Harada gain new perspective on the importance of joy in the restaurant business at Kiki in College Hill.

Read a digital copy of our March issue for free!