Square dancing on the Square, new businesses open

Square dancing on the Square

Had nothing particular to do Saturday evening, so I wandered down to Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati. I was little surprised – and delighted – to see square dancing happening right in the middle of downtown. I just needed a partner…

I was very happy to see Graeter’s Ice Cream had opened. I grabbed a scoop of my favorite raspberry chocolate ice cream. As I was doing so I was told Saturday was their “soft opening,” leading into the grand opening this week (which means they will add pastries to the line-up). In light of my recent and continuing slim-down venture, this came with mixed feelings.

Another much-anticipated business opened this weekend, Via Vite. It was another soft opening for the only stand-alone building on the Square. It’s the same family that owns Nicola’s, the popular Over-the-Rhine eatery, that owns Via Vite (Italian for “Vine Street”). I later met up with some friends and joined them for a light dinner. I had the pesto, artichoke, goat cheese pizza and it was delightful. I also tried a little bit of a Bolognese and pasta dish and – wow – it was wonderful. Probably what I’ll get next time. Didn’t get a price for that, nor it’s name (but it did say something about being “Grandma’s recipe,” if you go).

The atmosphere at Via Vite is very nice, with very contemporary finishes on two levels. They did a great job decorating and designing the interior. I agree with my friends that this place will quickly become one of Cincinnati’s “it” places.

Via Vite will be open starting Monday for both lunch and dinner and has moderately reasonable prices (the pizza was $11, for example).Main dining room at Via Vite

Saturday’s business was a little slow. But Friday’s word-of-mouth opening was packed, the owner said.

There are other photos from the Square that evening. Click on either photo on this post to be taken to the set.

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for About.com's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, iRhine.com. He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

1 thought on “Square dancing on the Square, new businesses open”

  1. Why you gotta hate on the square dancers? My fifth grade teacher – Ms. Irene O’Connor – used to have us move the desks to the side of the classroom on Fridays. Then we’d square dance to a record player. It was really a hoot, and nary a black-out tooth in the whole Colerain Elementary School (well, maybe one or two, but hey, we were kids).

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