Sunday, February 9, 2003

Business Notebook

Jag's restaurant opens choice space

An upscale steak and seafood restaurant with multiple personalities has opened at 5980 West Chester Road.

Jag's, open since Jan. 17, offers patrons a choice of six separate dining rooms, each with its own theme decor. Five of the six have fireplaces, general manager John Allgaier said.

The restaurant hopes to tap into West Chester Township's rapid growth and taste for elegant fare. It features a full raw bar and piano lounge with nightly entertainment. Private wine boxes are available for frequent diners who want to request their own assortment of wines.

Signature entrees include Kobe beef filet.

"This beef has Japanese origins," executive chef Michelle Brown said. "It's a highly marbleized and extremely flavorful cut that comes from hand-massaging the cows daily with sake."

Jag's is owned by the privately held West Chester Restaurant Association. Hours are 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The piano lounge is open from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday.

Information: 860-5353 or

Taxes done for budget-minded

A budget-minded tax preparation firm in Springdale is ready to crunch numbers.

Econotax, based in Jackson, Miss., announces the opening of its first Cincinnati-area franchise. The new office is at 680 Northland Blvd., Suite 120. The company has been in business since 1968 and targets middle-income taxpayers. Its services include federal and state income tax preparation, electronic filing, refund anticipation loans and tax planning.

"Many people spend $30 to $50 on software programs to help them prepare their own taxes," franchise owner and lead tax preparer T.K. Black said. "A good tax preparer can increase the average person's refund an average of $400."

Black is a 1983 graduate of Ohio State University with a major in accounting and a minor in economics. He has more than 15 years' experience in tax preparation.

Econotax is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and late evenings and weekends by appointment.

Information: 742-5775.

Grover photo gets kid photo award

For the second consecutive year, Hamilton's Grover Photography has been recognized professionally for its children's portraiture.

A photographic portrait by Francis C. Grover won an Honorable Mention award in the 2002 Fujifilm Children's Portrait National Contest. It will appear in a new book of contest winners published early this year by Marathon Press and Fujifilm.

Grover Photography, at 528 Main St., has been in the business of portrait photography for more than 20 years.

Information: 863-7368.

Ace Toys now Games & Prizes

Ace Toys is now Ace Games & Prizes.

The new name doesn't change the company's business of working with schools, parishes and other organizations in Greater Cincinnati on fundraising projects, according to new owner Remy A. Loreto. He explained that Ace provides games, prizes and other supplies for carnivals, festivals and special events. Loreto bought the well-established company upon the death of owner Bob Prince last fall and moved its headquarters to 4002 Harrison Ave. in Cheviot.

"Ace is different for many reasons from other fund-raisers, not the least of which being that it really is a fun way to raise money as opposed to selling magazine subscriptions or chocolate bars," Loreto said.

The new owner is working on a "how-to" guide to planning and organizing fund-raising festivals that will be published on the company web site and available for downloading at no charge.

Available prizes and games can be viewed on the Web site or by appointment at Ace's showroom.

Information: 661-9000 or

Grant to allow Ukrainians to visit

Cincinnati's Center for Economic Initiatives has received a major grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The funds will enable four groups of Ukrainians to visit the Tristate this year for study tours.

According to the center, the tours' main objective is to increase Ukrainian productivity. Participants will study such endeavors as farm equipment manufacturing and the production of grain, livestock and edible fish.

"Conveying standard productivity and marketing technology to Ukrainian management is essential to improvement in Ukrainian living standards and the availability of low-cost consumer goods," center president Leland Cole said. He added that Ukraine has been moving toward a market economy in the 11 years since the fall of the Soviet Union. The U.S. wants to facilitate this transition.

Information: 831-6741.

E-mail or fax 564-6991 with openings, expansions and other news about neighborhood businesses.

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