By Jim Knippenberg
Enquirer staff writer
Visitors who haven't been downtown or to the Kentucky riverfront for a few months are going to find lots of new things to explore - from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on the Cincinnati side to spicy food and low-down blues in Kentucky.
Here are some of the notable newcomers if you're looking for a break from the weekend's activities.
National Underground Railroad Freedom
Center: It's stunning, innovative, inspirational and educational, so leave yourself a minimum of three hours to visit this monument to the Underground Railroad and modern freedom issues. 50 E. Freedom Way, downtown. 333-7500.
Restaurants: Three full-service restaurants have fired up their kitchens in the past year downtown. JeanRo (413 Vine St., 621-1465) is a Parisian bistro. Queen of Sheeba (126 W. Sixth St., 421-0100) dishes up Ethiopian food. Mejana (25 W. Sixth St., 333-0660) serves Mediterranean fare.
Lunch spots: Nine daytime-only restaurants have also opened. They range from Chinese - Win Wok (56 E. Court St., 579-8888) to the sandwiches at Poppie's Deli (819 Elm St., 421-9888) and the Coffee Beanery in Tower Place (723-1111).
Bars and nightlife: Rockin' Robin's (10 W. Seventh St., 621-1000) is the former Grumpy's, refitted, rehabbed and very busy during happy hour. Moose on Main (1345 Main St. 381-0400) is in the heart of the entertainment district and busier late at night. Harry's Bar & Pizza (1207 Main St., 621-1391) also keeps busy feeding and watering the late night crowd.
Art galleries: ArtWorks (811 Race St., 333-0388) is run by the folks who gave us the Big Pig Gig. And Aronoff Gallery (807 Main St., 621-7400) specializes in edgy and surprising works.
Odds and ends: There are also two new markets - Queen City Wine and Tobacco (33 W. Sixth St., 421-8200) and West Court Street Carryout (28 W. Court St., 579-8600).
A short hike across the Purple People Bridge finds Newport on the Levee always popping.
Fat Fish Blue serves up a nightly dose of Cajun food, a blast of the blues and exotic cocktails. You'll hear Renegade Friday, Big Al and the Heavyweights Saturday and the Walker Project Sunday. A lunch express menu is available if you're in a hurry. Newport on the Levee, Riverwalk level, (859) 261-4401.
Funny Bone Comedy Club features regional and national comedians six nights a week (closed Mondays). This weekend you get Los Angeles-based Pablo Francisco. 1 Levee Way, (859) 957-2000.
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