Thursday, May 17, 2001

Schnitzel-and-a-song landmark closing

Owners selling venerable eatery on west side

By Polly Campbell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        GREEN TOWNSHIP — Forest View Gardens, the west side restaurant and supper club where the Wiener schnitzel is served by some of the best young singers anywhere, is closing June 3.

        Kurt and Trudie Seybold are selling the restaurant, which opened in 1940 and serving dinner and entertainment, with the help of students from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, since 1976.

        The property on North Bend Road in Monfort Heights is being bought by a developer with plans for a residential building.

[photo] Kurt and Trudie Seybold inside Forest View Gardens restaurant, which her parents opened in 1940.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        No customer has been more loyal to Forest View Gardens than Bruce Fields of Miami Township, who has eaten there nearly weekly — 1,030 times, by his count — since March 1979.

        “I'm very, very sad they're closing, but I'm happy for Kurt and Trudie,” he said.

        Mrs. Seybold said Wednesday, “I'm elated. We can now relax, visit our grandkids and travel. We plan to visit many of the singers who worked here over the years.”

        That could take a while. During their 25-year association with CCM, the couple has given jobs to more than 250 singers, conductors and accompanists-in-training who now are with opera and musical companies worldwide.

        “They have been a tremendous support to our singers,” Kelly Hale, coordinator of the CCM opera program, said of the Seybolds. They offered students a job that could be scheduled around their classes and a chance to entertain in a more personal way than the concert hall.

        Forest View Gardens has been among the few Greater Cincinnati restaurants that include entertainment with dinner. The formula has been German food served by the singing cast, sing-alongs, opera arias, Broadway musical numbers and the occasional participation by an audience member.

        The formula was a natural for Mrs. Seybold, whose parents opened Forest View Gardens. She grew up working in the restaurant, but her aspiration was to be a singer. When the Seybolds took over the business, she was able to combine her interests.


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