Local community creates "Entertainment District"

Matt Miller - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX 19) - The residents of Pleasant Ridge are hoping to see the fruits of becoming the city's first nonprofit Community Entertainment District. Recently, the residents of Pleasant Ridge were granted a Community Entertainment District (CED) designation following their successful application to the city and state.

The East African restaurant Emanu received the first new liquor license under the designation and its owners have decided not only to stay in Pleasant Ridge, but to buy the building where their restaurant is located on the corner of Losantiville Ridge and Montgomery Road. Sam Yhdego, an Emanu owner, said, "We're investing because our customers and neighbors have shown us so much support. We want to be here a long time"

The Entertainment District ties into the collaborative Arts District with Kennedy Heights called District A. Residents envision a regional attraction where customers and art patrons will have a convenient family oriented Arts and Entertainment District within a five to ten minute drive for most Cincinnatians.

"Emanu's success epitomizes the community investment that District A and the Entertainment District works to multiply throughout the Pleasant Ridge/Kennedy Heights corridor along Montgomery Road," says Maria Kreppel, Board Chair for District A.

The Entertainment District designation was made possible by Cincinnati Councilmember Laure Quinlivan who visited the neighborhood and met with leaders at Emanu last April to understand their vision for business district revitalization. The group then says she guided the Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation through the application process and convinced her council colleagues to change city law to allow nonprofit groups like the PRDC to apply for entertainment district designation at a dramatically reduced fee.

"Pleasant Ridge has a great plan in place and committed organizations and residents to make it work," says Council member Quinilivan. The entertainment district designation offers entrepreneurs the incentive to open a restaurant and bar without paying an expensive liquor license brokerage fee. "It's terrific Emanu is committed and investing in the neighborhood, and I'm sure more restaurants will soon follow."

At noon on Tuesday March 29th, Marta Simmons, a Pleasant Ridge resident and Emanu customer, and Sam Yhdego, owner of Emanu, will address Councilmember Laure Quinlivan's Quality of Life Committee about the positive impacts of the Community Entertainment District designation on the neighborhood.

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