High-end cocktail lounge to open along streetcar’s phase one route

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Obscura Cincinnati
Interior construction progress at Obscura

The Backstage Entertainment District is on a roll lately with all the newly announced business openings (like the J. Hamman Prime steakhouse, for example).

Well you can add another to the list as Obscura will open at the southwest corner of Seventh and Walnut streets.

The high-end cocktail lounge will take the place of the former optical shop that has sat vacant since its closing.

The new establishment (check out their website) will reportedly have seating for 80 people and employ 40.

It is expected to open within the coming months, and we’re excited that it’s yet another destination located directly on the phase one route of the Cincinnati Streetcar.

Phase one of the Cincinnati Streetcar already adding jobs to center city

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Hundreds of new residents have been buying condos and renting new apartments along the phase one route of the Cincinnati Streetcar, but office tenants are also starting to flock to the line, according to a story from the Business Courier this week.

Randy Simes reports that the owners of Over-the-Rhine’s historic Hanke Building have seen an uptick in occupancy rates, over the past three years, from 28% in 2010 to 84% now! These owners don’t just own the Hanke Building, but a collection of four other buildings in the Main Street area, and say that they are excited for the streetcar’s arrival.

Get the full details by checking out the story online!

Hanke Building photograph by Flickr user taestell.
Hanke Building photograph by Flickr user taestell.

John Schneider joins Brian Thomas on 55KRC to discuss the Cincinnati Streetcar

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John Schneider, aka Captain Transit aka Mr. Streetcar, was back on the radio this morning. He was invited to join Brian Thomas on his regular morning show on 55 KRC.

The two discussed the first phase of the Cincinnati Streetcar project in detail, and also discussed the merits of rail transportation in general.

The discussion started with Brian Thomas going on an uninterrupted prelude where he discussed the City of Cincinnati’s finances and its lack of ability to proceed with the project.

“The fundamental problem with Cincinnati, and the fundamental opportunity is we’ve lost population and we need to repopulate our city. We have a city that was built for 500,000 people, but we only have 300,000 people today,” Schneider explained to an agreeable Thomas. “But the snow still falls on Martin Luther King Boulevard and it has to be plowed, the grass still grows in Mt. Airy Forest and it has to be cut.”

Schneider went on to explain that investing in the Cincinnati Streetcar will help stabilize the city’s tax base and repopulate the city, in perhaps the greatest challenge and opportunity the Queen City has.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Thomas spent almost the entire interview using anecdotes and anti-city hysteria to support his points, but he did loudly profess how much of a bus fan he is. You can listen to the full interview on 55 KRC’s website, or stream it below. The interview lasts approximately 30 minutes.