These 17 Places Are Why You Should Be Paying Attention To Pleasant Ridge
We have several clients that have made home purchases in Pleasant Ridge this year and several who are house hunting currently in this neighborhood. It is centrally located with a strong community atmosphere and many lovely streets with well maintained homes that many are seeking!
I am fascinated by neighborhoods on the verge of change. And boy, is Cincinnati full of them. Everywhere you look there’s momentum, fueled by public-private partnerships, development corporations, and community good will.
And, of course, everyone seems to have their own opinion about where the next “it” place will be.
One I’ve heard a lot about recently is Pleasant Ridge.
Except until last week, I hadn’t, you know… actually been there. To my naive spatial awareness, the neighborhood existed somewhere vaguely beyond the boundaries of Oakley, as an array of shops littered along Ridge Avenue and Montgomery Road.
It is, however, far more than that — more charming, more interesting, more fun. Want proof? Check out our recent feature on the Homes of Pleasant Ridge.
Want more proof? Check out its coffee shops, boutiques, salons, drug stores, bank branches, barber shops, yoga studio, public library, community center, and arts scene. It s also happens to be placed quite advantageously on the Metro Plus line, which provides an easy connection it to Downtown.
Oh, and if you’re wondering where the obligatory brewhouse is, Nine Giant Brewing is opening later this year.
On the “aesthetics” front, Pleasant Ridge has a skeleton of well-preserved historic architecture, upon which future developments can model themselves. That said, the area is free from the blight and vacancy that bedevils so many other neighborhoods around town.
It would seem, then, that all the praise is completely warranted.
Pleasant Ridge really is a community on the up and up. Here are 17 reasons why:
To the Pleasant Ridgers that pointed me here, I owe a huge debt of thanks. Loving Hut is simply outstanding. Gourmet cuisine made with wholesome, vegan ingredients. This place is a chain, but it doesn’t feel like it. I got the Sunny Wrap (#17) and was blown away.
NINE GIANT BREWING
It almost seems like if you want to be taken serious as a “neighborhood on the up and up,” you have to have a local brewery. (See Northside, Over-The-Rhine, and MainStrasse.) For Pleasant Ridge, it’s Nine Giant Brewing, a brewery & eatery located in the center (literally, the center) of the community. When it opens in a few months, it will inhabit the new Sixty99retail development at the intersection of Ridge Road and Montgomery Road.
We recently did a profile of this bar (check it out here). It’s inspired by The Shining, butdon’t be scared –it’s a wonderful place to grab a boldly flavored craft cocktail. The signature drink, The Hatchet, is made with tequila, ginger, and lime and is rimmed in Spanish spices.
THE COFFEE EXCHANGE
Every neighborhood needs a good coffee shop, right? Pleasant Ridge has The Coffee Exchange. It’s a friendly place to drink a cup of java and relax with a good book (or the newspaper, if you’re a masochist).
Great barbecue, large portions, friendly people. That’s what you’ll get at J&W Bar-B-Que, and all in a food truck that probably couldn’t fit a decent-sized living-room couch. The truck is usually on Montgomery south of the Pleasant Ridge business district — that’s where I found it, anyways. Beef ribs are delicious, as is the half-chicken.
Not every neighborhood has a great record store, but Pleasant Ridge does, and it’s much better for it. Flipping through records old and new at Everybody’s Records is certainly an exercise in nostalgia, but if you do own a record player, you’re sure to stumble across some quality vinyl finds.
This taco truck is often located at the intersection of Montgomery Road and Ridge Avenue, in the BP parking lot. I just love food trucks, and Tacos Locos is one of the best. Fresh ingredients (more cilantro plz), delicious meats, wonderful flavors.
THE GAS LIGHTCAFE
The local watering hole. Complete with a long list of draught beers and a half-pound deluxe burger served with chips and an all-important pickle spear. If I lived in Pleasant Ridge, you’d likely see me here often. … Whether that’s a good thing or not, I leave to you.
C&M BBQ GRILL
Jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail, bbq ribs, pulled pork… This place isn’t just your standard bbq joint. It can be a bit hard to find, but it’s well worth it. The daily lunch special is a great deal, and with such a mix of food varieties, you’re going to want to come back more than once.
ELLIOTT JORDAN STUDIO GALLERY
Opened in 1995, this art gallery is home to the work of Elliott Jordan. (Gallery) But it also houses work of interest to the artist, including African artifacts, acrylic paintings from the Dominican Republic. Word has it that he even teaches art classes here. The gallery is an example of the strong arts scene in the community, which you should read more about here.
PLEASANT RIDGE CHILI
Cincinnati has the most competitive chili scene outside Texas (and, let’s be honest, what they’re cooking isn’t really chili, is it?) Pleasant Ridge Chili hits all the local high notes: coneys, three-ways, goetta, towering deli sandwiches. And for good reason: Pleasant Ridge Chili has been serving this Cincy comfort food for 51 years, and it seems to just keep getting better.
QUEEN CITY COMICS
Too bad comic books aren’t that popular anymore /s. Queen City Comics is located right in middle of Pleasant Ridge, meaning… If you have an afternoon to kill, there might not be a better place in the city to hang out. Start at Everybody’s Records, head to Queen City Comics, get a coffee or a beer, and chill the heck out.
Emanu is Ethiopian family dining. I was intimidated at first, but there was really no cause to be. Because the food is delicious. The bread/pita thing (technically injera) is placed on a common plate and topped with a variety of meats and vegetables. Typically eaten with your hands, which I was only too willing to try.
RED BALLOON CAFE + PLAY
This place bills itself as an escape for frazzled families. If Cincinnati Refined Assistant Editor (and new father) Clay Griffith gives his approval, that’s good enough for me. Great coffee, delicious food, and a wonderful play area for the little tykes.
Artisan, vintage products made locally and sold in Pleasant Ridge? Seems like a winner. And indeed, Dandy Haberdashery isan interesting place to shop. Filled with curious and unique items, It has jumped to the top of my list of places to go when I’m shopping for birthday presents for my fashion-forward male friends.
Rounding out the list are two places that, strictly speaking, don’t exist yet. They’re in the pipeline, though, and as long as you’re talking about gourmet cheese and deli meats… you have our attention. Grand Central Delicatessen and Share: Cheesebar, we’re rooting for you!)
GRAND CENTRAL DELICATESSEN
Sandwiches and cold cuts, New York-style. Hallelujah. Grand Central Delicatessen promises to be a real-deal deli, complete with a dog-friendly outdoor patio. When it opens later this year, it will have the look of a 1920s bistro with Art Deco flourishes, including a phone booth and a period-specific bar.
This is the spiritual heir of the C’est Cheese food truck, a popular Cincinnati truck serving gourmet grilled cheese. This year, owner Emily Frank will be opening Share: Cheesebar next to Nine Giant Brewing (in the same Sixty99 retail development mentioned above). Share: Cheesebar will offer cheese and charcuterie plates paired with wine and, of course, craft beer.
– – –
In summary… (Ahem.) Go, Pleasant Ridge!Return to Blog