CINCINNATI – The owner of trendy bar and restaurant Longfellow has opened a new restaurant a few blocks south in the heart of the city’s central business district.
Mike Stankovich’s new concept is called Mid-City. The restaurant at 40 E. Court St. is one of the iconic tenants of the brand new Court Street Plaza.
For now, Mid-City will be open Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The soft opening was Thursday evening.
They got their liquor license five hours before it opened, Stankovich said.
“The first night went very well. We had a lot of people, no problem, but we are still working on some things. We plan to be fully operational next week, but by then, you’ll mainly have beer and wine options, ”Stankovich said.
Mid-City offers a small, regularly rotating menu of items cooked on a plancha, which is a thick metal griddle with different heat zones. They also have a deep fryer.
Stankovich said they will serve “dishes inspired by regional European classics but with our twist”. He said Mid-City chef Francisco Alfaro was most excited about one of the desserts.
“He’s very proud of his Baked Alaska. It’s fernet and mint ice cream on a chocolate cake and then you add meringue to it. It’s pretty good,” Stankovich said.
When fully operational, the drinks menu will focus on large format drinks to be shared with friends. However, they don’t have to be.
The interior is described as “brighter and more airy” than its sister bar, Longfellow, in Over-the-Rhine. Stankovich described the decor as “pizza-like”.
Those who know Longfellow know that it is an intimate setting of just under 1,000 square feet. Mid-City is roughly the same size. It has about 40 seats, including the patio.
“We love small, intimate spaces,” Stankovich said. However, he did mention that they will be expanding to the Court Street side of the building in the future.
Phase 2, as Stankovich called it, will double the size of the restaurant. They plan to expand the dining room, but they will keep the space flexible enough to accommodate private events and low-key entertainment, like a jazz trio or a comedy show.
The name of the restaurant is partly linked to the history of the region. The former Mid-City Post Office on Dalton Avenue is located directly west of the site.
Stankovich said they chose a more general name for the restaurant to play on the theme that it is a place in town where people congregate.
“I moved to Cincinnati six years ago now, and I’ve always just been digging into the notion of what Court Street is,” he said. He mentioned the old market and butchers in the 1930s. The space itself was once a cigar. shop and then housed a butcher’s equipment repair workshop.
“I love this story and the vibe there. But to be honest, what really attracted me to this space was the covered walkway. That, added to the romantic idea of the old Court Street, made it the right space, ”he added.
The entrance and the patio of Mid-City are located in the covered passage.
The Court Street district is an important link between the central business district and the other side of the Rhine. It has been plagued in recent years due to a lack of activity and only a handful of inconsistent businesses, many of which were not operating at night.
To help bring new energy to Court Street, Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) just completed the $ 5.5 million renovation of a pedestrian plaza. The project consisted of widening the sidewalks and making the space more suitable for outdoor dining and large events.
3CDC rents space in Stankovich for Mid-City.
Mid-City is the second property to open in the Court Street Condos development in recent weeks. Pilar, a Hemingway-inspired bar, opened last month.
There are also several other businesses in the area, including Avril Bleh, which is across the street. There’s also Bebo’s, a new artisan burger restaurant a bit further afield.
On the Rhine Eatery, a food court, is located across the street at the location of downtown Kroger.
Joe Rudemiller, vice president of marketing and communications for 3CDC, said the Court Street Plaza aims to help better connect “OTR to Fountain Square”. He believes this new restaurant will achieve this goal.
“We believe that Court Street Plaza has the potential to become a new downtown destination and Mike Stankovich’s addition of Mid-City is just one more reason for people to explore this exciting new neighborhood.” , did he declare.
More information is available at www.instagram.com/midcitycinti/