Thursday, January 29, 2004

Ruby saves his first team for late-night meal


Around Northern Kentucky

Pat Crowley

Jeff Ruby operates his restaurants as if he is running a baseball team.

"Serving two meals in a restaurant is like playing a doubleheader in baseball," said Ruby, Greater Cincinnati's most recognizable restaurateur.

"A baseball team doesn't play its starters in both games, and it rarely wins both games," he said. "I don't like serving two meals (lunch and dinner) at my restaurants because, just like a baseball team, you spread yourself too thin and don't have your best team on the field at all times."

With that philosophy, Ruby's Tropicana restaurant at Newport on the Levee is no longer serving lunch or open on Sundays.

None of his other five restaurants serves lunch. And only The Precinct is open on Sunday "because that was my first place, and we've done it that way for more than 20 years," he said.

"Opening for lunch and on Sundays at The Tropicana was an experiment," Ruby said. "We were about breaking even at lunch, and business is very good at night. So we can do a lot better job just focusing on dinner.

"People won't eat dinner at a place they just ate lunch at," he said. "We'd rather have them come in for dinner. That's what we know and do best."

SHUMATE ON THE MOVE?: Kenton County GOP Chairman Greg Shumate has been offered the post of vice chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party.

With his job as a lawyer at Greenebaum, Doll & McDonald and a young family, Shumate said he may not be in a position to commit to the volunteer role.

"I'm thinking about it, but at this point I'm not sure," he said.

State party leaders were said to be impressed with the Kenton GOP's success at winning elections and its ability to raise cash for candidates. Kenton County is one of the few places in the state where the local GOP has a headquarters building.

FRANKFORT HIRES: Two Northern Kentucky Republicans have taken jobs with Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration in Frankfort.

John Stanton, a lawyer and former Boone County deputy county administrator, started Monday as a member of Fletcher's staff. His exact role has not been announced, but Stanton earned a reputation in Northern Kentucky as a policy whiz with a sharp political mind.

Former Boone County and 4th District GOP Chairman Jay Hall, a paralegal, has left the Crestview Hills law firm of Deters, Benzinger and LaVelle to take a job with the Department of Local Government.

THEY SAID IT: "It's now clear that I took the oath of office just in time for the perfect storm, a storm with a $302 million shortfall in the current fiscal year and a deficit in the next fiscal year predicted to be $710 million."- Kentucky Gov. Fletcher in his Tuesday budget address.

E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com




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