New look coming soon for Covington’s Roebling Point

The city and Smoke Justis owner Richard Dickmann decided to make better use of the six parking spots on that block.
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 3:25 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - Soon, you will notice a change to a popular business in Covington.

Smoke Justis is expanding the sidewalk on the west side of their building. It will not only allow for more outdoor seating but also enhances the look of the street outside their restaurant in the Roebling Point area of Covington.

Along the 300 block of Court Street in Covington, there’s not a lot of traffic most days.

The city and Smoke Justis owner Richard Dickmann decided to make better use of the six parking spots on that block.

“This area and being able to sit outside and enjoy the views and enjoy the hustle and bustle of everything happen just in Roebling Point,” says Smoke Justis Managing Partner Jade Colwell, “I think the patio is absolutely the place to be.”

But more than just seating, this will also enhance the entrance to Covington from the suspension bridge.

“It gives businesses an opportunity to increase their business, but it also adds life and activates the streets,” says Covington Economic Development Director Tom West.

West says that even though six parking spots will be gone, the apartment building renovation across the street added about 30 spots.

“Our former county building, millions were just spent to convert that into luxury apartments,” West adds, “So, we have people living here, people dining here. [Both] residents and visitors, they’re all going to be able to enjoy this new active sidewalk.”

The tax increment finance (TIF) district will pay half the $130,000 cost, while Smoke Justis will foot the remainder of the bill.

Smoke Justis says they have seen the success of a streetscape like what they have in front of Molly Malone’s and more recently Frosthaus.

“I think it’s important to show everybody that we are always growing,” says Colwell, “We’re always going to be changing, we’re always going to be adapting to what our consumer wants. I think that’s really important.”

Whether you are a regular visitor to Covington or it’s been a while, you may want to stop by and have a warm meal or a cold beverage this summer.

“Covington is just the place to be,” exclaims Colwell, “I mean, like Tom said, we are accepting of everybody, we welcome everybody there is something that everybody can enjoy here not just at Smoke Justis but in this area in this block. The community is something that just changes you once you’re a part of it.”

Construction will begin on June 26 and it should be complete within a month.

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