Monday, December 1, 2003

Mertack's will again showcase furniture



By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - A 19th century landmark will be home to a contemporary furniture store in early January.

The former Mertack's furniture building at 440 Scott Blvd. is being transformed into Abode, a furniture concept store operated by Julie and Barney Stengle of Fort Thomas.

For 14 years, the Stengles have operated Gourmet Furniture in Blue Ash.

Julie Stengle said her lease went up, and the rent was too high. "The only place to make that up is in the furniture, and we felt that people didn't want to spend more for furniture. They want to spend less.''

The Stengles are spending $250,000 to renovate the Mertack's building that dates to the 1880s. Improvements will include an elevator and new windows. The business will feature hardwood floors, 16-foot tin ceilings on the first floor and dropped ceilings upstairs.

Furniture carried by Abode will be "uptown and trendy,'' she said. The store will feature furniture lines otherwise not available in Greater Cincinnati, including Mitchell Gold, Baronet, Four Hands and Lee Industries. The Stengles also will sell Zipstools, or custom bar stools.

Abode will occupy the basement, first and second floors of the building near Fifth Street and Scott Boulevard.

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E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com




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