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Ice Cream Maker Returning to its Roots

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- A decision by one of Cincinnati's best known companies speaks volumes about a neighborhood's past and its future.

As Local 12 told you earlier this week, Cincinnati ice cream giant, Graeter's, plans to open a new store at 14th and Vine.  Local 12 News reporter Joe Webb has the scoop on Graeter's return to Over-The-Rhine.

Crews were hard at work Thursday reinventing 1401 Vine Street for what will be Graeter's newest and smallest store.  1,000 square feet. seating for about 20.   It will be the only Graeter's with an espresso bar.

Richard Graeter said, "It's your neighborhood ice cream parlor and that's the way my great-grandparents started as a neighborhood ice cream parlor."

The Gateway Quarter on Vine Street is thriving.  Vacant buildings are filling up with new businesses.  The arrival of a big name, local business won't hurt.

3CDC VP of Communications, Anastasia Mileham, said, "Sure, I mean Graeter's is Cincinnati.  We need to continue to bring unique businesses like Graeter's and yes, although they sell their ice cream all over the country they're a unique, family-owned business that got their start here in Over-The-Rhine."

In a time when Over-The-Rhine was a thriving neighborhood.  It's become that again.  The re-birth of 1401 Vine as an ice cream parlor seems to fit. 

Over the years, 1401 Vine Street has been a florist, butcher shop, insurance agency and music store.  50 years ago, this was Jim's Superette Grocery.  At that time, this block had 2 restaurants a hardware store, a beauty shop, barber shop, clothing store and a pawn shop.

Today, the mix is a bit different but much the same.  Graeter's new store won't look much like its traditional neighborhood stores.  But Richard Graeter says, like the others, he is locating here because it can serve a neighborhood.

"People are living here.  They're not just coming here for dinner. They're not just coming to go see a symphony at music hall.  They're living down here and that's what makes a community and Graeter's is all about community."

Richard Graeter says the new location will have bar seating along the windows so you can look out onto the street while having some ice cream or espresso.  It will also have later hours to accommodate the Vine Street crowd.  Ge says the best case scenario for opening is the week after Thanksgiving.

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