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Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati: Chelsea Koglmeier



Flatbread at Zula

Washington Square Park

Chelsea Koglmeier grew up in Cincinnati. She studied public policy at Duke University with an emphasis on documentary studies (including film and photography). She spent time living in Philadelphia, North Carolina, and Uganda. She lived on an island, worked on a beach, and helped start a nonprofit in Durham, NC. In all that time she never really returned home for an extended period of time aside from the occasional weekend or holiday. It was that nonprofit in Durham which spurred her return to Cincinnati.
"I had always been socially-oriented," says Chelsea. "(Helping to start) that nonprofit (I realized) starting something and building it from the ground up is really cool!"
After several years working in the nonprofit realm, she came to her own conclusion that the nonprofit model, which is wholly dependent on donors, doesn't make a lot of sense. She wanted to do something socially-oriented but in a for-profit model.
She got involved with the first Cincinnati-based Venture for America fellowship program, which immerses recent college graduates in the startup world. She then connected with the Brandery, a Cincinnati-based startup incubator, and most recently left the Brandery to join one of the startups that grew out of it called Roadtrippers where she focuses on business development. She lives in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
Dining & Drinking
Over-the-Rhine has a ton of great bars and restaurants. Kaze is a sushi bar and gastropub with a sophisticated feel, dark inside with dramatic splashes of red. They also have an outdoor area with fire pits. Wednesday is karaoke night, which always draws in a big crowd, and Chelsea personally recommends their vodka-lychee cocktail.
Bakersfield is a taco, tequila and whiskey bar with tequila shot specials every night, excellent margaritas, and an L.A. rockabilly vibe. If you want to dance, head to Japps on a Friday or Saturday night.
A Tavola is a great pizza place with a wood-fired stone pizza oven, and their Italian entrée selections are also fantastic. For drinks, Chelsea recommends their homemade ginger beer with a bourbon float.
Zula on Washington Park serves a dozen different styles of mussels, wood-fired pizzas, and cold plates (think cheese and charcuterie). Park and Vine is a small vegan sandwich shop with good prices, but Chelsea warns to be prepared to wait at least 30 minutes because "they make their sandwiches with a lot of love," and sometimes love takes time.

Tucker's is a breakfast and brunch spot that sources a lot from the Findlay Market.
Retail Therapy
Substance is a women's clothing boutique that carries items from independent designers with a focus on sustainability. They carry items that are eco-conscious, repurposed, organic, vegan, and made in America, and each season they select a different nonprofit organization to support.
Mannequin Boutique is a vintage and second-hand clothing store that carries high-quality, fashionable items. Everything they get is donated and all the people who work there are volunteers. All the profits go to a nonprofit in Cincinnati.
Arts & Culture
Final Fridays are held every month when all of the galleries are open and people are on the streets just hanging out. In the summer on Sundays the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company puts on Shakespeare in the Park with different performances in Washington Square Park. The Cincinnati Symphony plays at the Music Hall, a beautiful old building with stunning architecture right in Washington Square Park. Music Hall also hosts a variety of different events, including events with the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce and events for young professionals. 

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