James Tarbell - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

James Tarbell

Councilmember Jim Tarbell's activities have centered on economic development, historic restoration, and re-establishing the balance of influences in the inner city, Over-the-Rhine and downtown areas. While Jim Tarbell has dedicated much effort to these areas his interests are far larger. They include the traditions, values, and enduring institutions of the entire city.

Schooled at St. Mary's grade school and St. Xavier and Withrow High Schools, Jim Tarbell moved toCambridge, Massachusetts in the mid-60's. While there, he studied pre-med at the Lowell Institute and worked for local hospitals and fishermen.

Jim Tarbell returned to Hyde Park in the late 60's. Soon after he moved to a tiny apartment in Over-the-Rhine. Jim Tarbell and a circle of friends believed that with a mixture of rehabbed housing, private investment, and flourishing neighborhood businesses, Over-the-Rhine could be revived to its earlier splendor.

In 1976, Jim Tarbell purchased Cincinnati's oldest tavern, Arnold's Bar & Grill. He followed this with the 1984 purchase of the old German restaurant, Grammar's. In 1985, Jim's passion for improving civic involvement and rebuilding the inner city prompted him to found the Over the Rhine Chamber of Commerce, which since it's inception has grown to 500 members, making it the largest neighborhood Chamber of Commerce in the city.

Jim Tarbell's dedication and hard work have not gone unrecognized. In 1994 he received the Charter Committee's Charles P. Taft Civic Gumption Award that honors persons of enterprise, ingenuity, and perspicacity. Further, he was honored in 1997 as the Over the Rhine Chamber's Man of the Year, and in 1999 was voted City Beat's Best City Council Member of the year.

His activities have included:

  • Cincinnati City Council, member since July 1998
  • Charter Committee of Greater Cincinnati, board member
  • Hillside Trust, Long-standing member
  • Cincinnati Preservation Association, Advisory Board
  • Pendleton Residential recycling program, co-sponsor
  • Downtown business recycling efforts, active last 22 years
  • Grammar's Restaurant (est. 1872), owner
  • Arnold's Bar and Grill (est. 1861), former owner
  • Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce (450 members), founder
  • Baseball at Broadway Commons Committee, founder and chairman
  • Cincinnati May Festival and Taft Museum board member

Biography obtained from the Cincinnati city council website

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