Eat, Dine and Play in Our Fair City

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If you are considering coming to Covington, Ky., for the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event, or to visit our storefront or attend a book-release party at our store at 837 Willard St., here is a quick brain dump on the geography, the food and the amenities.

Our storefront is one block off of Main Street in Covington, and it’s a 10-minute walk from the Ohio River and the bridges directly to Cincinnati, Ohio. As a result, you can easily walk from the riverfront and downtown hotels to our store.

If you don’t want to walk (or the weather sucks), consider taking the Southbank Shuttle (it’s all of $1 to ride), which can take you from downtown Cincinnati to Covington and Newport, our next-door neighbor. Details on the Southbank Shuttle are here. There also is bus service throughout all three cities that is run by TANK.

Where to Stay
Until they finish construction on the Covington Hotel near our store, the options are to stay at one of the nice and fairly inexpensive chain hotels on the Covington riverfront, book a room through AirBnB, or stay in downtown Cincinnati.

The hotels on the Covington riverfront include: Hampton Inn, Courtyard, Extended Stay, Marriott, Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn. All are clean, safe and offer decent amenities within walking distance.

If you opt to stay in Cincinnati, I highly recommend the 21c Hotel (no, we don’t get kickbacks). It is a full-service hotel. Amazing restaurant (the Metropole). Fantastic breakfast. Great bar and bartenders. And there’s a semi-secret rooftop bar (the entrance is in the alley). Plus you are steps away from the Contemporary Art Center, my three favorite restaurants downtown and Fountain Square. They also feature challenging modern art in the lobby and are exceedingly nice people.

Entertain Your Family
One of the things we love about raising our kids here is the city is very family friendly. The downtown area (Cincinnati, Covington and Newport) feature enough to keep kids busy for days. Really. Days.

The Newport Aquarium is a short walk from downtown. The Fire Museum is awesome if you have kids who like fire trucks. If your kids are a little older (8 to 10), try the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). Start at the top floor where they have a wild area for kids to create art. We’ve spent days there. Plus the contemporary art throughout is top shelf. And the Zaha Hadid-designed building is fantastic to explore.

If it’s nice outside, go down to the riverfront on the Cincinnati side to the Smale Riverfront Park to blow off steam and ride the merry-go-round. Plus there are a ton of places to eat there at The Banks. (Morelein Lager House there is great for kids and adults.)

The ace in the hole for entertaining the kiddos is the Cincinnati Museum Center. You can spend two or three days solid here without boring the kids (or yourself). The Children’s Museum is there, plus the History Museum, an IMAX theater, the Natural History Museum, an ice cream parlor and all the old train station stuff that kids love. We lived there every weekend when our kids were young.

If your kids like art, head up to Mt. Adams (one of the hills 5 minutes from downtown) for the Cincinnati Art Museum. They have kids programs, including a dedicated space for kids to run wild, art style. Check it out here. And the museum features free admission.

All the above places can be visited easily with public transportation.

Where to Eat
Oh this is difficult. I live to eat. This list could go one for a long time and only scratch the surface. For this entry, I’ll stick to places in Covington only and avoid the chains.

Frida 602, great tacos and margaritas.
Cock and Bull, totally solid pub, great fish and chips and insane draft beer.
Goodfellas, totally solid New York pie. Go upstairs for amazing bourbon.
Keystone, great brunch; fantastic mac and cheese.
Riverside Korean, just fantastic. Never fails.
Kung Food (aka Amerasia), cheap, tasty and one of the best beer lists in the city.
Bouquet, fancy but really good. If you love wine, go here.
NuVo. This is a place to get your mind blown. One of the three best meals I’ve had in this city was here. If you are food-obsessed, it’s a must.
Left Bank Coffeehouse, best coffee in Covington. Great place to vegetate.
Anchor Grill, bring cash. The goetta is made across the street at Glier’s. The best place to nurse a hangover and is just one block from our store (coincidence?).

If you are going to eat across the river, things get even more nuts. Stay tuned.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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14 Responses to Eat, Dine and Play in Our Fair City

  1. captainjack1024 says:

    I love going to the Neport aquarium. And it has always tickled me that there is a seafood restaurant (Mitchell’s) right next door; I like to refer to it as an incentive program to keep the fish in line.

  2. Which is better, Gold Star or Skyline?

    • Dixie Chili, Covington Chili and Empress are all better than the big boys.

      Every neighborhood has a chili parlor that is far more interesting that the chains. Especially if they will make your chili “Macedonian” style.

      • Joel says:

        Good answer. I live in Cincy, but I think having grown up here is essential to enjoy our local “chili”, I’m not a fan.

      • Fun. I’d like to try them some day. I used to get to Cincinatti quite often in the 70s and 80s to watch the Reds when I was a kid. Dad used to take us to lunch at Lunken airport. Not sure why. Is the food good or is it just a neat old airport?

        The Reds were still playing in Riverfront Stadium the last time I was there. Spent the summer in the mid 90s working in Florence Y’all.

        • The restaurant at the Lunken airport is just cool. The food is fine – diner fare – but you get to sit in an old Deco building with a beer and watch airplanes take off and land. We used to go there after work to decompress.

    • neitsdelf says:

      Neither. Those places are only good on a Sunday when Camp Washington, just across the river, is closed.

  3. dbreunig says:

    Strongly second 21C. Just a top notch hotel, as are their two other locations.

    Also, Covington has one of the most unique public fountains I’ve seen in the US: the young girl carrying two water-spewing geese under each arm.

    • The goose girl! It doesn’t get as much press as the fountain in Cincinnati – the Genius of Water. But we love our goose girl.

      • dbreunig says:

        Once, while visiting Cincinnati for business, the trip was exerted. Already checked out, I booked a last minute hotel online – accidentally in Covington.

        And what a happy accident. In the evening, I strolled through the row houses and squares. The view of the Cincinnati skyline through the houses reminded me of my view from Brooklyn but with both nice elements accentuated: Cincinnati loomed closer while Covington remained peaceful. But not too peaceful! The main strip had a few low-key bourbon bars with excellent beer selections and welcoming people. A group saw me eating a burger alone and insisted I join their table (they also keyed me into the dwindling supply of a particularly good local brew the bartender had set aside for them). A quick bite turned into a relaxing Fall evening with great beer and conversation.

        Can’t recommend the town enough. If you’re going, stay there.

    • Joel says:

      21C is a lot of fun. Even just dropping in to see the art on the first few floors for free.

  4. Can I recommend not Airbnb? It’s an oppressive company that results in homelessness. Local hotels all the way!

  5. studioffm says:

    I am coming to the opening and getting in Thursday leaving Monday. As Chris recommended I am staying at the 21C. Anyone else there give me a call. dbsavage@me.com

    david savage

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