City businesses busy prepping for huge Opening Day crowds

City businesses busy prepping for huge Opening Day crowds

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - With just days to go until Opening Day, businesses citywide are busy getting ready for the big crowds.

"It's completely vibrant.  You come here and it starts at 8 AM on Monday morning.  You've got the parade firing on all cylinders - floats everywhere. People are bopping around," said Dan Klemmer of Rhinegeist.

For the 97th time, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade will step off Monday afternoon to official start baseball season in the Queen City.

For businesses in Over-the-Rhine, like Rhinegeist, the parade certainly helps with business.
Rhinegeist has plans to open at 10 AM and start serving breakfast.  They'll also offer a shuttle from their facility on Elm Street to Great American Ball Park, and will also show the game on a big screen projector.

"Elm Street is packed.  I promise you it is never that packed on a Monday morning at 8 AM.  It is packed with people," Klemmer told FOX19 NOW.  "We're pretty stoked about Opening Day."

Around the corner, their brewing counterparts are just busy at Taft's Ale House.  The brewery and restaurant is located on Race Street in the middle of the parade route.

"We definitely are expecting a busy night so we're going to be staffed to the T's," said Logan Hiudt with Taft's Ale House.

At Taft's they've brewed a limited edition beer for the day, and have ramped up brewing production to be sure to keep beer flowing for the crowds all day long.

"There's a lot of wonderful things happening in this city and we're just proud to be part of it," Hiudt told FOX19 NOW.

Bars and restaurants at The Banks are also swamped trying to get ready for the gameday crowds.

"It is a sea of red.  It is a sight to behold," said Jason Dahms with the Moerlein Lager House.

Dahms knows all about the crowds.  He knows all about the beer they'll drink and the mounds of food they'll eat as they pack The Banks for Opening Day.

"From food to brewing beer, we're definitely gearing up in all phases," Dahms said.

They're just like everyone else on the riverfront getting ready for gameday.

"Opening Day is probably one of our biggest days of the year - if not the biggest day of the year for us," said Denice Koenig with the Holy Grail.

The crowds likely won't be any smaller this year, either.  As part of the celebration, there is a block party around The Banks before Monday's first pitch, too.

"We've been trying to cover all of our bases - making sure we have plenty of food, plenty of alcohol," Koenig told FOX19 NOW.

Not to mention, they're also bringing in some beer trucks for backup to make sure they have enough on hand.  The restaurants and bars are also staffing up and getting ready for what's sure to be a long day.

"We're ready.  We're ready down here," said Dahms.

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A new restaurant is on its way to The Banks just in time for the middle of the baseball season.

Craft pizza and beer eatery Pies & Pints will open in the riverfront development this summer.

The restaurant features more than 30 craft beers on tap plus a menu of gourmet pizzas, and much more.  This is the second Cincinnati-area location for the restaurant as another location opened late last year in the Liberty Center development in Liberty Township.

The new restaurant will open in Phase II of The Banks sitting just west of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

"Pies & Pints is a perfect addition to The Banks," said Dan McCarthy, project executive for Carter, The Banks' master developer. "Gourmet pizza is a fast growing segment and Cincinnati's craft beer industry is exploding. Put those trends together with the great energy we already have at The Banks and you get an ideal match."

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