Guess Who Makes Great Pizza?

Since the beginning, one of the consistent themes of this blog has been this: The Gaslight District is a great place to live because there’s lots to do AND it’s super convenient. Well, it just got a little more convenient. Clifton Market continues to add more and more new features, and now the deli makes pizza that’s modestly priced and immodestly yummy. Let’s take a look at the menu:

You’ll note that there’s a gluten-free option, and you’ll also notice some veggie options. Note also that you can customize your pizza to your heart’s content – and again, you can’t beat the prices. A couple days ago, based on a rave review from a friend of mine, I visited the deli and ordered a pizza. I got the lowdown on all things pizza-related from Ray and Anthony:

Our conversation ended up drawing a crowd that included Jeremy (“Tell everybody he’s the reason this deli is so good,” one of his co-workers said), Sharon, and Brandy, and they were up for a picture as well:

Our banter as we discussed the pizza (“You better make this good! This guy’s writing a blog!”) and the sense the employees really cared about their customers points to one of the best things about Clifton Market: its friendly and personable employees. Okay, so I ordered a Groovy Pizza, and while I was waiting for it I visited the beer selection, as one needs to wash down the pizza with something.

While there I remembered a conversation I’d overheard recently where someone standing in front of these doors was surprised to learn that the Brewery District also sells beers behind them. I can understand his confusion, as the wording is a little ambiguous, right?

After I took the pizza home I allowed the pizza to cool down a little…or long enough, at least, to snap a photo of it. Like my friend Suzanne, who recommended I try the pizza in the first place, I loved the crust, I thought the proportions were just right, everything tasted fresh, and it was one hot pizza. And somehow the personal touch added that extra something to it. Grab one the next time you visit Clifton Market!

Clifton Market

Seven Things To Know About Clifton Market:

The opening of Clifton Market was highly anticipated, and it has turned out to be better than we imagined. There’s much that’s unique about the store, and after I started this blog entry I started remembering other things (Clifton Market can now accept EBT and SNAP benefits, the store sources a high percentage of products locally, the hours are 7am to midnight seven days a week) that also bear mention, but one thing (well, seven things) at a time:

#1 – There’s a café at the front of the store, where you can sit and chat with friends or read a book or people watch. It’s called the Busy Bee Café, in memory of the restaurant that used to be across the street. As the café makes clear, Clifton Market is more than just a store; it’s a gathering place with a real sense of community.

#2 – Clifton Market sells bulk foods.

#3 – It has a walk-in beer cave.

#4 – The butcher shop does everything in-house, with its own cut room. Some of their best-sellers are marinaded pork chops and chicken, and salmon. Some of the more exotic fare included bison and wild boar.

#5 – Clifton Market has a drop-off and pick-up location for dry cleaning, making the store that much more convenient.

 

#6 – Clifton Market has its own sushi chef.

#7 – It’s a the only grocery co-op in Cincinnati. A couple things worth noting: you do not have to buy a share in order to shop at Clifton Market, and if you’re still interested, you can still buy shares. The fact that it’s a co-op underscores the sense of community that we associate with the store. So while we were sorry to see Keller’s IGA leave, the community involvement in connection with Clifton Market has added something extra to both Clifton and Cincinnati.

This Is What A Neighborhood Feels Like

First, the facts: Clifton Market is open now seven days a week, from 7am to midnight. It’s a coop, which means you can buy a share,  an option that still remains now the store is up and running. That said, anyone can shop there. As I walked around, I saw a store where most of the shelves were filled, plus there were signs announcing that such-and-such would be available soon (in most cases, later this week).

Them’s the facts, but there’s a lot more to it than facts. There’s the whole vibe of a neighborhood that had a grocery store forever and was a bit shell-shocked after it was lost…but slowly recovered its mojo and is in a perfect position to capitalize on Clifton Market. This really hit home for me last night when, as one of the thousands of people who live within walking distance, I realized when I walked outside about 11pm that I could saunter on over to a grocery store and buy a couple things. It’s been awhile since that’s been an option! And when I walked inside I ran into some old friends. I bet I’ll run into more of them during the opening festivities on January 26, 27, and 28.

And there are plenty of other things going on Ludlow Avenue, including the Whole Bowl, which was an immediate hit, and Clifton Barbers, which is about to reborn. Spring isn’t far off, and when it comes we’ll have more activities than ever at Clifton Plaza. As you may know, Plan A for the resuscitation of the grocery store went south and was replaced by the idea for a coop, which got the community much more involved than it would have if a business bought it. Now that’s what a neighborhood feels like!

For more on the Gala Opening Festivities, here’s the flyer – and remember, everyone is invited!

Clifton Market Is A Go!

Clifton Market

Perhaps you’ve heard the news, or perhaps you haven’t. Even if you have, it’s worth hearing again, and in fact you may want to say it aloud a few times just to let it sink in:

Clifton is going to have a grocery store again.

That splendid news spread like wildfire yesterday, after this email that was straight from the horse’s mouth: Clifton Market Closed on it’s Loans Today! With our loans coming online today we will be seeing construction starting in the new year!  

Construction is expected to be finished by summer.

It’s appropriate that it would occur during the holiday season and right before the dawn of a new year. This happened because the people of Clifton worked together and refused to give up. It was the same spirit that save the Esquire Theatre, which has been a great success and a cornerstone in the community. 2015 was a great year for our community, and 2016 will be even better!