1. Urban Artifact
Made with wild yeast strains, the beers at church-turned-brewery Urban Artifact are tart, funky, and downright rebellious (so, like, order a taster first).
Try the salty, sour Harrow gose or citrusy Finn Berliner pale ale straight up, or doctor them with fruit and hops syrups. Best paired with the 16-piece Blue Wisp Big Band, Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. artifactbeer.com
2. The Hoop & Needle
Sarah Fisher learned to cross-stitch as a kid, and in 2010 she started Purple Hippo Stitches, a line of snark-tastic patterns and kits.
She opened up shop as Hoop & Needle last year, and in May moved uptown from OTR into a former bank (with the vault to prove it). You’ll find patterns from Disorderly Stitches of Miamisburg, embroidered doll kits from Toronto-based Kiriki Press, hoops, thread, DIY terrariums, and vegan leather clutches. Never threaded? Sign up for a beginner’s class or learn at the next monthly Sip ’n Stitch (Sept 24, 6–9 p.m., BYOB). thehoopandneedle.com
3. The Listing Loon
At this laid-back, neighborly bar and bottle shop, owners Beth Harris and Dave Mikkelsen offer 150 craft beers, from local faves to rare Belgian imports, and almost as many wines, with prices ranging from $11.99 to $100. Stranger brews—Royal Jamaican Ginger Beer, Not Your Father’s Root Beer—are also available for takeout, but with plush chairs, a generous happy hour, top-shelf spirits, classic cocktails, and a dog-friendly, fire pit–equipped back patio, you’ve gotta stay for at least one drink. (513) 542-5666
4. Black Plastic Records
After working at record stores for years and amassing a vinyl collection of his own, Steve Schmoll went independent in 2012. Though it’s street level, walking in feels like you’re descending into your buddy’s record-crammed basement. Thumb through 6,000 records—mostly new and used punk, indie rock, and classic rock, with a solid soul and R&B section—and don’t miss the bargain bins, chockfull of $1 treasures. (513) 258-0535
5. East Wall Local Goods
It’s half intimate salon (Northside Chop Shop), half artfully-styled mini market featuring Cincinnati-made grooming and home goods. Founder Scott Ponder and co-owner Jen Knarr—who actually met in kindergarten—opened the retail space after hearing clients wanted to shop local for necessities and gifts.
Get beard elixir and mustache wax from Ponder’s Ohio Valley Beard Supply; candles, soap, and denim spray from Knarr’s line of home and skincare goods, Oak.Isaac; and the salon’s signature lemon-rosemary daily shampoo and conditioner. northsidechopshop.com
6. Northside Grange Pet & Urban Farm Supply
When Jerome Wilson moved to Northside, it lacked a place to pick up basics like pet food. His shop carries that and more, a kind of modern urban feed store catering to neighborhood homesteaders. He stocks filler-free food, chicken feed, birdseed, and pet treats, gear, and toys. He’s a passionate urban farmer, too, with a vegetable patch in his front yard and chemical-free fertilizers, soil mixes, non-GMO seeds, and harvest-preserving supplies like fermenting crocks for sale. (513) 541-1321
This post has been edited to correct misidentified photos.