6 new restaurants opened in Cincinnati in March, but 2 closures hit home (2024)

Keith PandolfiCincinnati Enquirer

Two big restaurant openings happened in Madisonville and Fort Thomas last month, as well as a couple new pizza joints and the reopening of a historic Cincinnati tavern. On the downside, two high-end taco spots shuttered for good.

Read on to learn more.

Cincinnati restaurants that opened in March 2024

Alara, Madisonville

Luxury fine dining has officially arrived in Madisonville. And the menu at Alara, the latest offering from Looking Glass Hospitality, looks promising. There are small plates, including wagyu tartare ($20), barbecue pork buns ($18) and sliders with caramelized onions, American cheese and dill pickles ($19). There are pastas, including a pot roast agnolotti in potato sauce ($29), that sound great. There are entrees of lamb chops, tomahawk ribeye and a rack of pork with Galician sauce ($45), and a chicken Milanese ($39) with lemon and truffle vinaigrette, roasted shiitake mushrooms, spring asparagus and charred lemon.

5410 Medpace Way, Madisonville, 513-272-5315, alaracincinnati.com.

The Green Line Kitchen and co*cktails, Fort Thomas

Located in a handsome brick former bank building, The Green Line feels like a convivial Kentucky country club, with lots of hunter green and grass-cloth wallpaper. There's also a welcoming buzz in the air as soon as you walk inside – the kind of thing you expect when a neighborhood gets a new go-to joint where everyone can gather. Starters include lamb meatballs ($16), mussels steamed in butter and white wine ($15) and poutine in a prime rib demi and Mornay sauce ($13). Entrees include fish and chips with panko encrusted cod ($22), prime rib ($36 for 10-ounce, $43 for 14-ounce) and a half roasted chicken served with roasted vegetables on a bed of cheesy grits ($20). The Green Line is owned by the Cafeo Hospitality Group, which also owns the Incline Public House and Somm Wine Bar, which are both located in East Price Hill, as well as Jefferson Social at The Banks and Press on Monmouth in Newport.

25 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas, 859-757-4580, greenlinerestaurant.com.

Moonflower Coffee Collective, Sharonville

Moonflower is owned by Stephanie Berry, a real estate agent and collector who has brought her talent for home staging to the old Adesso Coffee space in Sharonville. Decorated with vintage furniture, sofas and artwork, Moonflower offers coffee, tea and espresso drinks as well as a few pastry options. While the hours are limited (they're open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday), Moonflower offers evening book clubs and classes in knitting and yarn-dying, among other subjects. For details, follow them on Instagram.

10938 Reading Road, Sharonville, 513-226-0002, moonflowercoffeecollective.com.

Catch-a-Fire Pizza, Westwood

It seems Catch-a-Fire Pizza has found a new brewery to call home. After closing its location inside MadTree Brewing, in Oakley, it's moved across town to West Side Brewing, in Westwood. Menu items include wood-fired pizzas, salads, appetizers and sandwiches. There are wood-fired wings ($11+) and peppadew peppers stuffed with basil and goat cheese ($11). The 10-inch specialty pizzas range in price from $10.75 to $15.50 and 16-inch specialty pizzas cost $20 to $29.50. I recommend starting simple with the Mr. Brown pizza, with red sauce and a blend of mozzarella, provolone, asiago and Romano ($13 for a 10-inch). Soups and salads are also available.

3044 Harrison Ave., Westwood, 513-673-9750, westsidebrewing.com.

Twelve08 Pizza, Wyoming

Owned and operated by former Wyoming City Council member Grant Hoffman, Twelve08 pizzeria is located in the former Wyoming Wines space and offers wood-fired pizzas and an extensive beer, wine and signature co*cktail list. It also offers wood-fired wings with your choice of a wet sauce or dry rub ($10 for six and $15 for 10). Pizzas cost between $12 and $20. And while I haven't visited yet, the Applewood pizza with bacon, honey crisp apples, roast garlic, mozzarella and shallots ($18) sounds mighty tempting. Salads and charcuterie boards are also available.

1208 Springfield Pike, Wyoming, 513-679-7743, twelve08.com.

The Bay Horse Cafe, Downtown

This might be the happiest news I've heard in a long time. The Bay Horse Cafe – which closed in 2022 after the sudden passing of Lori Meeker, who co-owned the bar with Fred Berger – is reopening. Berger recently sold the Bay Horse to Kyle Smith, who plans to keep things pretty much the same when he officially opens on April 4. (Here's hoping the famous Hudepohl schooners make a triumphant return as well.) The Bay Horse originally opened on the riverfront in 1817. After several relocations, it moved to its current location in 1962, though the iconic sign out front is believed to be from the 1930s.

625 Main St., Downtown, 513-975-0335, www.facebook.com/bayhorsecafe.

Cincinnati restaurants that closed in March 2024

Mesa Loca, Hyde Park

The Mexican restaurant owned by Peerless Culinary & Nightlife Management Group − which also owns various restaurants and nightclubs in Cincinnati − closed for business recently and its phone number has been disconnected.

More: Frisch's Big Boy closes 3 restaurants, cutting a third of locations in 9 years

Solstice, Walnut Hills

Solstice, a tropical-themed co*cktail bar and taqueria in Walnut Hills, shuttered after just nine months in business. The announcementwas made on the restaurant's Facebook page. Solstice opened in June 2023 in the former Suzie Wong's restaurant space. It was owned and operated by the trio of Chris Wolfe, Andy Smith and Brad Lauck, who also own Anjou, a popular high-end craft co*cktail bar located just around the corner from Solstice.

"Guess we’re next," the Facebook post began. "It has been an amazing 9 months being able to bring flavors of the tropics to our neighborhood but unfortunately, we have not experienced the growth needed to continue this journey."

6 new restaurants opened in Cincinnati in March, but 2 closures hit home (2024)


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