Wednesday, September 15, 2004

What's new downtown, on riverfront

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.



Wanna party? Sports, music, Oktoberfest await
Best places to eat
What's new downtown, on riverfront
Big events fill the weekend
Seamless, tagless clothing fits new tastes nicely
PBS tackles tough 'Question of God'
TV's best bets
Get a replica of the Constitution

Like 'Mom' used to make it
Recipes for Rosh Hashana
Soul food goes upscale