Saturday, July 29, 2000

Restaurants close as Cincinnati festivals get going

By Mara H. Gottfried
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As thousands of festivalgoers descended on downtown Cincinnati Friday, many restaurants closed.

        Others shut down early, with employees citing slow business.

        A recorded message for Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse said the restaurant would be closed because of vacation Friday and Saturday.

Street closings
        Mr. Ruby, the owner, said that because his Walnut Street restaurant opened less than a year ago, he has not personally seen the impact of the festivals on business.

        “I'm just going on business decisions from other restaurants,” Mr. Ruby said. “There are times when there are conventions and activities that make it so crowded downtown that people don't drive because of the traffic and congestion.

        “Our business is generated by local business on the weekends, not out-of-town business. People just aren't coming downtown, because it's too crowded.”

        Geneve Keel, of downtown, peeked into the window of Akash India Restaurant on Sixth Street, and found it closed. “It's disappointing, it's a good restaurant,” she said.

        An employee who answered the phone at Petersen's said the Elm Street restaurant was planning to close at 8:30 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. The man also said Petersen's would be closed today for spring cleaning.

        The Redfish restaurant closed at 9 p.m. Friday instead of its usual 11 p.m. An employee said this is the third year the Race Street restaurant has closed early during the festivals.

        A recorded message for Maisonette said the Sixth Street restaurant, along with La Normandie, were on vacation from July 24 until Monday.

        Some restaurants were operating as normal.

        A Cafe Cin-Cin employee said the restaurant, also on Sixth Street, would be open until midnight, the normal closing time.

        Franco Cacozza, manager of the Palm Court, said five parties had already canceled reservations for tonight. .

        “They're saying they don't want to come downtown and deal with the closed-off streets and traffic,” he said.

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