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Exclusive: New NKY Tri-ED CEO Lee Crume

The Steel Woods and Full Event Calendar PAGE 14





The New Newport on the Levee FALL 2019 VOLUME 9 ISSUE 3


Fall 2019

CELEBRATING A REGION This issue is all about celebrating the greatn e s s t h a t i s N K Y. While the Best of NKY always a presents an opportunity to honor the wonderful businesses and people that make up the region, the other stories in this issue do the same. From a preview of the new Newport on the Levee to our profile on Northern Kentucky Tri-ED’s new CEO, many stories in this issue point out the great things going on right here in NKY. This is a pretty great place to live—why shouldn’t we celebrate?



Newport on the Levee starts a new chapter thanks to its new ownership. BY NOAH TONG

9 Q&A

Five questions with St. Agnes Oktoberfest’s Jason Collins. BY KEELY BROWN


Countries all over the world are debating some rather stupid pieces of legislation. BY RICK ROBINSON


Change can be found throughout the region thanks to a new region-wide project and several retirements. BY JUDY CLABES


Shopping in Covington, yesterday and today. BY DAVID SCHROEDER


Smokin’ This and That BBQ’s owner on the importance of good barbecue and helping others, plus listings. BY ERIC SPANGLER


Homeowners should plan properly and ahead of time when repainting their homes. BY KEVIN MICHELL




From barbecue to bookstores and cupcakes to car washes, the attendees of Best of NKY have named this year’s winners. Find out who came out on top in this extraspecial feature. BY THE EDITORS


Covington’s new Esperanza Latino Center provides an array of services to Northern Kentucky’s Latino population. BY KEVIN MICHELL


New NKY Tri-ED CEO Lee Crume is bringing something new to the organization by taking down both literal and figurative walls. BY JULI HALE


Hilton Cincinnati Airport’s renovations make it ideal for area visitors. BY DAVID HOLTHAUS


Diet, exercise and advancements in care can help women through menopause. BY KEVIN MICHELL

63 PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE What parents need to know before looking at private schools for their children. BY CORINNE MINARD


Notre Dame Academy completes a $7 million expansion and renovation. BY DAVID HOLTHAUS


PUBLISHED BY magazine Locally, family and veteran-owned Cincy Co. LLC Cincinnati Club Building, 30 Garfield Place, Suite 440, Cincinnati, OH 45202 PUBLISHER: Eric Harmon MANAGING EDITOR: Corinne Minard ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Kevin Michell, Eric Spangler CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Judy Clabes, Juli Hale, Daivd Holthaus, Rick Robinson, David E. Schroeder CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Guy Kelly ART DIRECTOR: Katy Rucker DIGITAL CONTENT COORDINATOR: Danielle Cain ADVERTISING & CIRCULATION MANAGER: Laura Federle AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT: Nakya Grisby PRODUCTION MANAGER: Keith Ohmer EVENTS DIRECTOR: Stephanie Simon EVENTS COORDINATOR: Amanda Watt ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Rick Seeney ADVERTISING SALES: Abbey Cummins, Lori Gregorski, Brad Hoicowitz, Anthony Rhoades, Neena Vazquez, Katelynn Webb INTERNS: Keely Brown, Noah Tong For questions: email info@BestofNKY.com or call (513) 421-2533. Go to www.BestofNKY.com to get your complimentary subscription of Cincy and NKY magazines..


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NKY SCENE BEST OF NKY More than 1,000 people attended NKY Magazine’s annual Best of NKY Party this year at the Newport Syndicate May 30. Attendees voted for their favorites in more than 80 categories. The event was sponsored by Union Institute & University, meetNKY, First Watch and Charles Schwab.

More than 1,000 people attended the event.

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NKY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME Northern Kentucky Magazine, in partnership with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, held the sixth annual NKY Business Hall of Fame May 2 at the Newport Syndicate to recognize the rich tradition of success and civic involvement in the region’s business community. The Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame honors men and women who have made a lasting contribution to the community in economic, cultural and civic endeavors. This year’s honorees were Garren Colvin, St. Elizabeth Healthcare; Dan Tobergte, Graydon; Lytle Thomas, Heritage Bank; and Rodney “Biz” Cain. This event was sponsored by Northern Kentucky University’s Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

From St. Elizabeth Healthcare: Lisa Frey and Robert Princhard

Betty Bentle and Lytle Thomas, Heritage Bank

Gary Blank, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, and Tim Schoonover

From Cincinnati Sports Club: Kevin Donovan and Patrick Ewing

Lori Ritchey-Baldwin, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, and Janice Way, Heritage Bank

From Clark Schaefer Hackett: Sergio De La Fuente and Eric Hanson





NKU PRESIDENT ASHISH VAIDYA’S INSTALLATION CEREMONY Northern Kentucky University President Ashish Vaidya took the oath to serve as NKU’s sixth president on March 29. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members gathered in BB&T Arena for the Installation Ceremony, which centered on the theme of Empowering the Future. President Vaidya’s longtime friend and mentor, Richard R. Rush, gave the keynote address. NKU Board of Regents’ Chair Lee Scheben and Vice Chair Andrá Ward presented the president’s medallion to President Vaidya, and the Honorable Michelle M. Keller, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice and Chase College of Law alumna, administered the oath of office.

The NKU Chamber Choir opened the ceremony.


NKU President Ashish Vaidya

Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce




The NEW Newport on the Levee The retail and entertainment destination starts a new chapter thanks to its new ownership BY NOAH TONG acing the south bank of the Ohio River, Newport on the Levee has developed a reputation as a dominant retail and entertainment destination since its introduction to the region in 2001. Attracting over 4.5 million visitors annually, this iconic locale now finds itself under new ownership. North American Properties, a privately held real estate operating and development company headquartered in Cincinnati, recently acquired the 360,000-square-foot development in December 2018. Its goal: To transform one of Northern Kentucky’s most authentic spaces with “renewed relevance,” says Tim Perry, managing partner of NAP Acquisitions. Newport on the Levee chose to kick off this new era on the same night as its summer music concert series. Before Soul Pocket, a self-proclaimed party and dance band, started to perform, various influential business figures took to the stage to emphasize how this night was worthy of celebration. “I can confidently say the direction of North American Properties will lead us into the future,” said David Spaulding, vice president of Turner Construction, the company




responsible for the building improvements, at the event. “This brick and mortar milestone has a groundbreaking vision. “This property is critical to the region’s prosperity,” Spaulding continued. “It makes a difference in people’s lives.” The crowd, consisting of a few hundred guests throughout the night, listened in as they sat in lawn chairs or on benches in front of the stage facing a picturesque view of the Ohio River. Others mingled with friends and family while purchasing drinks from Braxton Brewing Company or buying food from the concessions stand. Concertgoers could look in any direction and be reminded of the popular businesses that make up the plaza with Newport Aquarium on their left, AMC and Barnes and Noble to their right, and local favorites like Sweet Dreams Candy and Tom + Chee directly behind them. Different signage lined the venue’s perimeter with on-brand mottos such as “New Romance on the Levee” or “New Wellness on the Levee.” The plans outline construction beginning in late summer 2019 that will continue throughout 2020.

A rendering of Newport on the Levee’s new look

“Today starts the journey of a new reintroduction,” Perry said while onstage to a warm round of applause. “Next Christmas in 2020 we will have a completely redesigned Newport on the Levee.” After the opening remarks concluded, a group of men and women, white hard hats on and sledgehammers in hand, symbolically broke ground on an unwavering vision to offer the best public space to Kentuckians and Greater Cincinnatians possible. Turner Construction is tasked with revamping current capital spaces for the benefits of residents. Further announcements regarding new restaurants, retail concepts, activation efforts and events are still to come, although Reztark Design Studio has come up with preliminary renderings giving people an opportunity to glance into the future. It remains to be seen whether the reimagined Newport on the Levee can feature exciting changes while still offering the hometown familiarity that local customers appreciate, but Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso believes the entire city can benefit from these changes. “Newport on the Levee remains one of the region’s top draws,” Peluso says. “There’s an exciting ripple effect. Tremendous commitment and investment will continue to transform the city and region.” n


5 Questions About St. Agnes Oktoberfest Committee Chair plans Oktoberfest for St. Agnes Parish BY KEELY BROWN


or the last five years, St. Agnes Parish has hosted its annual Oktoberfest on its parish grounds in Fort Wright. Jason Collins, the chair of the St. Agnes Oktoberfest Committee, plans the familyfriendly event each summer. This year’s festival will take place from Friday, Sept. 27, to Sunday, Sept. 29. We spoke with Collins to learn more about the parish’s yearly Oktoberfest.


Can you tell me a bit about how and why the St. Agnes Oktoberfest was started?


The parish started it to help out the school. It’s a great event—the community comes out in droves to supports us. The first year, it was unbelievable. All the people came out in the horrible weather we had. It was Friday night, raining with a high of 50 degrees, but people were so excited about the event that they came out and supported the community and the school anyway. It was wonderful.


What types of food and drinks will be offered for festivalgoers?

Well, we definitely won’t run out of food or drinks. One of our specialties is our goetta burger, which is Glier’s Goetta. We also do a goetta Rueben on a pretzel bun. We have your standard bratwurst, hot dogs and hamburgers. We also have LaRosa’s pizza, popcorn and a bake sale—we have the holy doughnuts from the Knights of Columbus and soft drinks and beer, of course.


What kind of activities and entertainment will be at the St. Agnes Oktoberfest this year?


We have things for all ages, from the kids to the adults. We have games and a great lineup of entertainment. We h a ve a b a nd e ac h night—Friday night we’ve got Doghouse pl ay i ng, S at u rd ay night we have DV8 and on Sunday we have the Derek Alan B a nd pl ay i ng. We have your traditional gambling games, like wheel games for the adults. We have a kid’s area with carnival rides, obstacle courses, soccer darts, basketball shoot and inflatables for kids of all ages.


There’s a lot of Oktoberfests in the area and all around the world. What makes yours special?


Our community. We try to put a good product out there and make it family friendly. As far as pricing wise, we want you to come back for three days where you can afford it for all three days. It’s a familyfriendly atmosphere all three days—there’s not one day where we say, “Hey, this is more

of an adult type of day.” We want it to be family friendly and we want it to be good for the community.


What is your favorite part of the event?

Seeing everybody enjoying themselves is really what makes it worthwhile. We put in hundreds of hours of work, and to see the success and the kids enjoying themselves, adults enjoying themselves and friends and family enjoying themselves is what makes it worthwhile. I just appreciate the community support. It’s very flattering and very humbling to see everybody coming out and supporting the event year after year. n www.BestofNKY.com




Stupid Government Tricks Countries all over the world are debating some rather stupid pieces of legislation


overage of local city council meetings often reminds me of some 1960s summer-replacement sketch comedy show. Seemingly, the only thing separating these meetings from such a label is a guy spinning plates on top of poles. These monthly live assemblies are generally good for a snicker or two until you’re ready to spend the rest of the evening binge watching the latest new series on Hulu (BTW, I highly recommend Letterkenny). For those who bemoan the monthly circus of city council sideshows, take heart—these meetings and the actions of our local elected officials have nothing on the neo-goofy ideologies of those from around the globe. Let’s start in America. The landmark Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing. The legislation itself prohibits a landlord from denying housing based upon seven so-called protected classes: race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status and national origin. The Fair Housing Act is one of the most significant laws to be enacted in our nation’s history. However, some states think the Fair Housing Act does not go far enough to protect against discrimination and are pushing legislation to protect new classes of people. For instance, the legislature in Washington state recently proposed a bill to make it illegal to discriminate against anyone “dressed like a biker.” As dressing like a biker was undefined in the legislation, I am not sure if they were talking about Lance Armstrong or Dennis Hopper (Writer’s note: millennials may need to find a gray-haired person to explain why the Dennis Hopper reference is so funny). Not to be outdone in the race to protect people against unfair discrimination, New Jersey is debating legislation making it illegal to discriminate against people based upon their hairstyles. This bill is discriminatory on its face, because it leaves the follically challenged unprotected from



the ill intent of unscrupulous baldhead-hating landlords. And states aren’t the only place in America where you find silly legislation and laws. The city of Washington, D.C., has dedicated a great deal of money to keeping its citizens protected from a virtual crime wave of … wait for it … sucking on plastic straws. Following an ordinance outlawing the use of plastic straws at public eateries, D.C. hired a “Straw Cop” to walk around the city looking for these evil restaurateurs allowing their customers to sip tasty beverages through a straw that does not collapse when it gets wet. Violent crime in D.C. is three times the national average, but its citizens can rest well at night knowing its Straw Cop is handing out tickets costing violators up to $800 for using a device actually invented in D.C. in 1888. It’s hard to pick out any one stupid thing done by our federal government. However, I’ll hang my hat on commemorative legislation and executive orders. Most any given day is dedicated to some cause requiring an official proclamation. Not that Americans shouldn’t support good philanthropic causes large and small, but do we really need a congressional declaration that July 30, 2019, should be National Whistleblower Appreciation Day? Julian Assange may think so. Not me. And Congress isn’t the only one to blame on these national waste of paper days of celebration. In March, President Trump signed an order commemorating the 198th anniversary of Greek Independence Day. The order was signed months after a violent 60,000-plus person protest in Athens over the word “Macedonia,” and who should be allowed to use it—the country to the north (coincidently, named “Macedonia”) or a northern province of Greece bearing the same moniker. On a side note, I wonder if Kenton County had similar riots when the City of Kenton Vale was established, but I digress.

And it’s not just us; other countries have people passing stupid laws. Cuba, and their fun-loving brood of oppressive authoritarian thugs, has strict limits on the amount of goods that can be brought onto the island. For instance, artificial fingernails are limited to 24—an odd number since it’s not divisible by the fingers on a hand. Of course, considering the sad state of health care in Cuba, maybe it is. In any event, Fidel’s little brother, Raul Castro, is learning that math is hard. And up in the Great White North, Canadian law requires 60% of a radio station’s on-air content to be of Canadian origin—a boon for Gordon Lightfoot and Geddy Lee, but a bust for the Beatles’ channel on Sirius (millennials, again find a gray-haired person on your way to your favorite vegan matcha bar for an explanation of the punch line). So the next time you’re watching your local city council meeting, realize it could be worse. Your council could be considering some completely silly ordinance like those debated around the world. Although, I did hear a rumor that Bromley City Council was considering an ordinance to change the city’s name to Macedonia. n




A Time for Change Change can be found throughout the region thanks to a new region-wide project and several retirements RETIREMENT/REWIREMENT Two prominent and popular Northern Kentucky educators are moving on after long careers dedicated to bettering the lives of our children. Longtime head of the NKY Education Council, Polly Lusk Page, retired—or rewired, as she says—after 10 years there and 46 years as a teacher. As executive director of the nonprofit, Page was instrumental in creating opportunities for education, business and community leaders to impact schools Polly Lusk Page and educational goals recently retired from the NKY across the region. Education Council. “It’s the power of all of us working together that maximizes success for each and every one of our youth,” Page says. This mantra guided her work and drove her commitment. There’s no question she’ll be missed—and also involved. But she looks forward to more time with husband, Ken Page, and her family, which includes three grandchildren. Page has received plenty of recognitions along the way and others are coming. For one, she’ll be honored with the Person of the Year Award by the Covington Education Foundation Oct. 9. Randy Poe, superintendent of Boone County Schools, will take over as executive director of the council. A “rewirement” is definitely in store for Tim Hanner, a beloved and innovative educator, who has been battling serious health issues while building an incredible service portfolio.

The NKY Chamber and the Catalytic Fund have partnered to create a wayfaring project featuring custom-painted bourbon barrels.

He has been a classroom teacher, a principal, an associate commissioner of education, superintendent of Kenton County Schools and founder of NaviGo Prep, a nonprofit supporting middle and high school students through their decisions for life and careers. Hanner found a great home for NaviGo at Children, Inc. Hanner had a kidney transplant in 2013; his sister, Rebecca White, retired dean of the University of Georgia School of Law, was the donor. A rare, non-hereditary disease—which may have started with an untreated strep infection when he was an elementary school principal—has been identified as the cause of his health issues. That disease is also causing the failure of the new kidney. The upbeat Hanner is not deterred, and neither are his fiercely loyal extended family members. They are rallying around, committed to finding a new, compatible kidney donor and to helping see Hanner through this new challenge. Hanner has started the new transplant process, working with Christ Hospital on the prep process and waiting for the right donor. Jessica Ratcliff, donor transplant coordinator at Christ, will conduct phone screenings to determine eligibility and provide details. Her number is 513-585-1427.

Hanner’s sister, Rebecca, says being a donor is the most rewarding experience of her life: “I am so happy that I was able to make possible the impact Tim has had over the last six years. I urge everyone to consider being a donor.”

ROLL OUT THE BARRELS To ramp up to the BLINK expansion into Northern Kentucky in October, the NKY Chamber and the Catalytic Fund are rolling out the barrels. The new public art and wayfinding project will feature custom-painted bourbon barrels, each with a solar lighting feature, that will be placed in key areas in Northern Kentucky to connect residents and visitors to the region’s bourbon heritage. Each barrel will be sponsored and each sponsor will select an artist and collaborate on a design. They will remain in place for a year. The barrels will be rolled out with an Unveiling Party and, of course, a bourbon toast. Northern Kentucky is the official gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and meetNKY, the convention and visitors’ bureau, has spearheaded the development of the B-Line, a self-guided tour of some of the area’s best bourbon-focused distilleries, bars and restaurants. Just follow the barrels! n www.BestofNKY.com




Shopping in Covington: Yesterday and Today S

hopping in Northern Kentucky before 1980 was a much different experience than today. When my parents told us we were going downtown to shop for clothes or shoes, they meant Covington. Shopping in the suburbs didn’t become much of an option until the opening of Florence Mall in 1976. Even then, my Ludlow-raised dad and Covington-raised mom preferred the Covington experience. Covington was the retail center of Northern Kentucky for more than a century. Madison Avenue, Pike Street, Seventh Street and Main Street were lined with stores selling everything from clothes to produce to hardware. If by chance it wasn’t available in Covington, you crossed the river to Cincinnati. Cincinnati also had a particular charm at Christmastime to see the decorations and the trains. Like most in my generation or older, I can still remember the iconic Covington stores that were part of my childhood. The John R. Coppin’s Department Store loomed large in the region—figuratively and physically. Located in Covington’s tallest building at the time at Seventh and Madison, the store opened in 1873 and operated until 1977. The store was located in several buildings in Covington until 1910 when the last structure was built (the current Hotel Covington). Designed by architect James Gilmore, the building presented an elegant interior and exterior. By 1922, the store employed 200 staff and boasted sales of $2 million per year. Many will remember the intricate payment system at the store. The salesperson would



ring up your purchase and place the cash and receipt into a cylinder, which wa s t ran sported by air through overhead tubes to the accounting department. There, change was made and sent back to the desk. Your purchase was placed in a bag or box, you received your change and you were on your way. Ch i ld ren i n particular found this The removal of the Sears sign in Covington in 1976 system fascinating to watch. Eilerman and Son’s opened a store in Covington in 1892 (their also located on Madison Avenue, conducted first store was located on Monmouth Street in a similar business beginning in 1898 at Newport). The Covington store was located Pike and Washington Streets. In 1942, a in a four-story building at the corner of Pike new building was constructed at a cost of and Madison Avenue and was topped by a $240,000. The store had air conditioning distinctive spire. The store was a bit more and was known for its impressive 100-foot upscale than Coppin’s and was known for lunch counter that could seat 55 people. its fine men’s clothing selection and tailor’s Woolworth’s eventually closed in 1990 and became home to the Madison Event Center. shop. Eilerman’s survived until 1973. Two of the country’s biggest retailers Montgomery Ward also operated in Covington for decades. The store was located also operated in Covington. In 1935, Sears on the 700 block of Madison Avenue and and Roebuck opened a store on Seventh opened in 1929 right before the stock market Street. Over the years, the store expanded. crash. Despite hard times, Montgomery Ward Like most Sears stores of this era, it sold a flourished to a point that an addition was little bit of everything, including clothes made in 1940. As shopping patterns changed, and hardware. Opening day was such a big the store closed in the 1960s. Woolworth’s, event in Covington that the mayor and all

ABOVE: Madison Avenue, from left: Woolworth’s, Coppin’s, Goldsmith’s YMCA and Eilerman and Son’s TOP RIGHT: The counter in Coppin’s BOTTOM RIGHT: The inside of Eilerman and Son’s

the commissioners were present. The location did a brisk business for more than 40 years. It closed the same week as the Sears store at the Florence Mall opened in 1976. J.C. Penney (Covington’s current city hall) arrived in the city in 1941 on Pike Street. Like Sears, J.C. Penney did quite well. Even when a Penney’s opened in the Florence Mall, the Covington location remained open. Eventually, however, the lack of parking and a drop in sales prompted its closure in 1984. This marked an end to the downtown department store business in Covington. Other smaller, but no less impressive, stores also attracted many to shop in Covington. Countless boys bought their first suit at the Parisian Men’s store at 40 W. Pike St. (now the home to Adams, Stepner, Woltermann & Dusing Law Firm). Other stores included Ideal Shoes, where you could get your feet X-rayed to achieve that perfect fit, Dan Cohen Shoes, with locations on Pike Street in Covington and Monmouth Street in Newport, and Motch Jewelry. Motch Jewelry was established in 1857 by Michael Motch in Covington. The current location at the corner of Madison and Pike was occupied in 1871. Franks Men’s Shop, now Frank’s on Pike, has stood the test of time and remained open for over 90 years. The store has found its niche and continues to thrive, meeting the needs of the community. Furniture stores were also plentiful, most

being located on Madison Avenue. Marx Brother’s (now the home to Gateway Community and Technical College’s TIE Building at 516 Madison Ave.) was owned and operated by Louis Marx and family. The First Marx Furniture was in Newport and opened in 1888. The Covington store opened in 1898 in a converted hotel. This building was destroyed by fire in the 1920s and replaced by the current structure. The business later passed to his son-in-law Nathan Rosenberg. It competed directly with Modern Furniture, which was located across the street and owned by the Greenberg family. Both stores carried a full range of home furnishings and appliances. Marx Brother’s had one of the last old-fashioned open elevators with accordion style doors in the city. Other furniture stores included Tillman’s, owned by Jim O’Connell and Sims, operated by Ralph Mazer. Few homes in Northern Kentucky lacked at least

one piece of furniture from these stores. These are only a few of the historic businesses that once operated in Covington. The interstate highway system and growing suburbs proved a major blow for many urban cities. As a result, many businesses closed or moved. While the large department stores are gone in Covington, many smaller specialty shops have taken their place. A lively restaurant scene has also emerged, making downtown Covington once again a popular place to shop, eat and people watch. With renewed activity in the MainStrasse neighborhood and the Pike and Madison corridors, Covington is moving forward. The Internal Revenue Service site also provides innumerable opportunities for growth. Covington is smartly using its past to build its future. Not to recreate what once was, but to use the historic buildings and neighborhoods to meet the needs of today’s residents. n www.BestofNKY.com



August GLIER’S GOETTAFEST Aug. 1-4 Head to the river for the second weekend of Glier’s Goettafest. The beloved annual event includes live entertainment, games and plenty of inventive food featuring goetta. Th-F 5-11 p.m., Sa noon-11 p.m., Su noon-9 p.m. Free. Riverboat Row, Newport. goettafest.com

LUDLOW FLEA & CRAFT FAIR Aug. 4 Ludlow businesses will be showing off their goods during the second Ludlow Flea & Craft Fair. In addition to meeting and learning about local stores, attendees will be able to enjoy beer specials courtesy of Bircus Brewing Company. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Bircus Brewing Company, 322 Elm St., Ludlow. facebook.com/ events/435665663902464/?event_time_ id=435665673902463.

PARTY ON THE PURPLE Aug. 7 The last Party on the Purple of the year gives attendees a preview of the Great Inland Seafood Festival with live music, fresh seafood and more. 6-10:30 p.m. Free. Purple People Bridge. cincinnatifestivalsandevents.com.

lobsters) while enjoying the music and the view. Th-F 5-11 p.m., Sa noon-11 p.m., Su noon-9 p.m. Free. Riverboat Row, Newport. cincinnatifestivalsandevents.com.

GREAT INLAND SEAFOOD FESTIVAL Aug. 8-11 Celebrate all things seafood at the Great Inland Seafood Festival. Attendees will get the chance to taste a variety of seafood (including raw oysters, crab cakes and whole

September 26th, 2019 5:30p.m - 8:30p.m

Hilton Cincinnati Airport

7373 Turfway Rd, Florence, KY 41042

Sponsored by:

For tickets and information visit bestofnky.com or cincy.live 14



FESTIVAL ON THE LAKE Aug. 10 Country music, crafts, food and more can be found at AJ Jolly Park during the Festival on the Lake. Attendees will be able to enjoy the sounds of The Steel Woods, Branden Martin, The Georgia Thunderbolts and others. 4-11 p.m. VIP $15, regular admission $5. AJ Jolly Park, Race Track Road, Alexandria. facebook.com/ events/323181211680031/.

TOBY KEITH Aug. 16 Country singer Toby Keith brings his “That’s Country Bro” tour to BB&T Arena. 7:30 p.m. $29.50-$109. BB&T Arena, Northern Kentucky University, 500 Louie B. Nunn Drive, Highland Heights. 859442-2652, thebbtarena.com.






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RIDES ON MONMOUTH: NEWPORT DOWNTOWN CAR SHOW Aug. 25 See more than 200 classic cars on Monmouth Street during this family-friendly event. In addition to seeing the cars, families will be able to sample food from area restaurants. Noon-5 p.m. Free. Monmouth Street between Fifth and 11th streets, Newport. newportky.gov.

BELLEVUE ART IN THE PARK Sept. 7 Meet and view the work of local artists during this annual event. In addition to seeing unique crafts and art, attendees can enjoy the food of local restaurants and a children’s arts and crafts area. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Bellevue Beach Park, 100 Ward Ave., Bellevue. facebook.com/ bellevue.ky.art.in.the.park/.

Northern Kentucky University, 500 Louie B. Nunn Drive, Highland Heights. 859-4422652, thebbtarena.com.


September NKY MUSIC FESTIVAL Sept. 7 The 10th annual NKY Music Festival promises to be fun for the entire family. The festival will feature music from bands like Shifted Fate and Chicken Bone; a Kids Lot, with activities to keep kids busy throughout the day; and food and drink. Noon-8 p.m. Free. Devou Park Band Shell, Covington. facebook.com/ events/592961394504422/.

Sept. 11 Jazz-funk collective Snarky Puppy brings its unique sound to the Madison Theater. 8 p.m. $40 in advance, $45 at the door. Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., Covington. 859-491-2444, madisontheater. com.

MIRANDA LAMBERT Sept. 21 Country singer Miranda Lambert will be joined by Elle King, the Pistol Annies and Caylee Hammack for a show at BB&T Arena. 7 p.m. $56.75-$96.75. BB&T Arena,

NKY BOURBON FESTIVAL Sept. 26 Celebrate the bourbon created right here in Northern Kentucky during this second annual event. Attendees will be able to taste different types of bourbon, enjoy bourbon-inspired fare and meet area vendors. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $37-$55. Hilton Cincinnati Airport, 7373 Turfway Road, Florence. 513-297-1346, bestofnky.com.





We would like to thank the sponsors of RiverBlast for investing in Gateway students.




RHYTHM BREW ART AND MUSIC FEST Sept. 28-29 Badfish – a Sublime Tribute, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Frontier Folk Nebraska and other bands will converge on Wooden Cask Brewery for this intimate music festival. Weekend $25, single day $15, VIP $100. Wooden Cask Brewery, 629 York St., Newport. rhythmbrewfest.com.

Don’t see your event? Visit bestofnky.com to add it to our online event calendar for free.

MERCHANTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL Sept. 28 Back for another year, this festival brings national acts to the community for a free concert. This year’s performers include Andrew McMahon, Tone Yard, River City, G. Miles and the Hitmen, The Powell Brothers and Borderline. 2:30 p.m.-midnight. Free. Tower Park, 950 S. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas. merchantsandmusic.com.




A Deal With God Smokin’ This and That BBQ owner learned the importance of helping others BY ERIC SPANGLER

Guy Cummins, owner of Smokin’ This and That BBQ, says his goal is to do something good for someone every day.


bout the only thing bigger than Guy Cummins’ smoker is his heart. Cummins, owner of Smokin’ This and That BBQ restaurant in Florence, Kentucky, needs a smoker that’s big to cook all the meat that’s eaten at his restaurant and catering business. “We can smoke a couple thousand pounds at a time on it,” Cummins says of the smoker. His wife, Mandy, calls the smoker that Cummins built with his buddies “Brick and Mortar” because it was needed when the couple opened their restaurant at 10020 Demia Way. “She named it that because we needed a brick and mortars [location] in order to have a legitimate business,” says Cummins. The genesis of the restaurant started in the couple’s backyard in Hebron. About once a month on the weekends Cummins would use the first smoker he built along with his friends on a $40 budget, nicknamed “Eileen,” to cook meat. He’d then sell his



smoked meat to people in the surrounding neighborhoods. “We started out in the backyard until I found out we needed permits and stuff,” says Cummins. “I didn’t know that.” In the meantime, word quickly spread about how good his food was. The owner of the former Friendly Market was one of those who heard about him and soon approached Cummins about smoking a hog at the market for a charity event. Everyone loved it and the owner then asked Cummins to join other vendors at the market in order to attract more customers. Cummins reluctantly agreed. His food operation was so popular that it doubled in size three times at the Friendly Market, he says. Clearly there was a market for what Cummins was smoking and the award-winning Smokin’ This and That BBQ restaurant opened about 2 1/2 years ago, he says. It’s been a huge success in the community. The family style restaurant serves bar-

becue ribs, pulled pork, barbecue tacos (its No. 1 seller), coleslaw, smoked eggs, smoked tater tots, smoked beans, smoked green beans, mac ‘n’ cheese and potato salad along with beers, soft drinks and sweet tea. And although they’re not on the menu or available at all times, the restaurant also serves chocolate-covered smoked bacon and smoked water to make smoked ice for bourbon. The secret to the popularity of his smoked meats is the dry rub that Mandy created, says Cummins. He also smokes his meats slowly over a low heat created with a combination of hickory and cherry wood. Cummins says he doesn’t rely on barbecue sauce to create flavors for his meats. “Sauce is for [those] who can’t make barbecue,” he says. Other barbecue restaurants cook their meat too quickly and use the sauce to make up for the lack of flavor, he says. One thing that Smokin’ This and That BBQ doesn’t lack is an understanding of

NKY DINING how important the community is to everyone. That’s why the restaurant staff is so welcoming of customers. “You walk in our place and if you don’t feel welcome I’m firing somebody,” he says. “I want people to feel like this is your house to come on in and enjoy.” That sense of community carries over to caring about others in the community. That means providing free food for funerals, police officers, military members and other events that touch their hearts, says Cummins. “We were $18,000 short of giving away half a million [dollars] worth of food last year,” he says. The former Marine has an especially soft spot for those in the military and first responders. One of his favorite stories—and Cummins has lots of those—was about the time he wanted to provide food for a woman whose husband was getting ready to deploy overseas. “She was just short of crying,” he says. So he agreed to provide a meal for everyone attending the going-away party. “I thought I was feeding her family and friends to send the dude off,” he says. It turns out

that Cummins provided the food for the soldier’s entire unit. Once deployed, the soldiers in the Army unit couldn’t stop talking about what Cummins had done for them. The soldier’s wife later came back to the restaurant and told him that the commanding general of the unit called her and wanted her to find out what day would be ideal for flying an American flag on his base in honor of Cummins. He told her Nov. 10. “That’s the Marine Corps’ birthday,” says Cummins. The flag was flown on that day and it was then framed along with a certificate. “She came in and gave it to me,” he says. “Isn’t that cool?” It is now proudly displayed on the restaurant’s walls. The importance of helping others, however, wasn’t always Cummins’ top priority. Before he inadvertently got into the restaurant business he had a successful career in the construction management business in Chicago. “I built skyscrapers for 30 years and all I cared about was being the best, the fastest at what I did,” he says. “And I was.” But along the way he forgot about what

was truly important in life and didn’t care about what was going on around him, says Cummins. “I was an a--hole,” he says. He suddenly learned what was truly important in life when he was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident while helping someone along the side of the road. He was unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair for several years, he says. The experience was life changing. “When you take a guy who can go anywhere in the world any hour of the day, anytime I wanted to go anywhere … and now you’re laying in a wheelchair and bed and you have to ask somebody to wipe your a-- for you,” says Cummins, “it’s humbling.” So Cummins decided to make a deal with God. If God would let him walk again Cummins promised to do something good for somebody every day. Once he was able to walk again he has done just that and never broken that promise. Not once. “I think the thing that scares me the most is I just want to make sure that I live up to my word,” he says. “I’ve made a deal with God.” n

Smokin’ This and That BBQ’s barbecue tacos with sides like its coleslaw, mac ‘n’ cheese and smoked beans www.BestofNKY.com




American ARTHUR’S BISTRO ON THE GREEN 1911 Golf Club Drive, Burlington (859) 534-2668 arthursbistro.com Barbecue, burgers and drinks. BARLEYCORN’S 8544 US 42, Florence (859) 371-4100 barleycorns.com Burgers, chicken wings and American classics. (Multiple locations.) COLONEL’S KITCHEN 22 N. Ft. Thomas Ave., Ft Thomas (859) 215-0200 Breakfast, sandwiches and salads. COLONIAL COTTAGE 3140 Dixie Highway, Erlanger (859) 341-4498 thecottagenky.com Goetta, steak, chicken and homemade pies. FIRE AT RIVERCENTER 50 E. RiverCenter Blvd., Covington (859) 392-2850 fireatrivercenter.com American dishes, extensive bourbon list. FORT WRIGHT FAMILY RESTAURANT 1860 Ashwood Circle, Ft Wright (859) 331-8359 Burgers, double deckers and breakfast. GREYHOUND TAVERN 2500 Dixie Highway, Ft Mitchell (859) 331-3767 greyhoundtavern.com Fried chicken, pork chops and Southern cuisine. Sunday brunch. HOLLER HOPS AND GRILL 7500 Oakbrook Drive, Florence (859) 918-6532 Pub food, burgers, wraps, tacos and pulled pork. KITCHEN 1883 9003 US 42, Union (859) 334-9450 kitchen1883.com Mac and cheese, chicken and waffles, burgers, sandwiches, salads and more. LOYAL CAFE 402 Foote Ave., Bellevue (859) 431-5223 Sandwiches and coneys.



MANSION HILL TAVERN 502 Washington Ave., Newport (859) 581-0100 Traditional American fare in a jazz club. OLD TOWN CAFE & CATERING 9 W. Pike St., Covington (859) 291-0664 Burgers, sandwiches and salads. PIPER’S CAFE 520 W. Sixth St., Covington (859) 291-7287 piperscafe.biz Fresh, made-to-order, locally sourced food. Breakfast, lunch, and soft serve ice cream. RAFFERTY’S RESTAURANT AND BAR 7379 Turfway Road, Florence (859) 371-1140 raffertys.com Cheese fries, spinach salad and wood-fired pork chops. SUB STATION II 1826 Dixie Highway, Ft Wright (859) 341-9494 substationii.net Subs, soups and chili.

Asian HIDDEN DRAGON 56 Martha Layne Collins Blvd., Cold Spring (859) 781-8800 hidden-dragon-asion-fusian. business.site Asian fusion with roots in Khmer and Cantonese Chinese cooking.

Bakeries MOONRISE DOUGHNUTS 3718 Winston Ave., Covington (859) 415-0308 moonrisedoughnuts.com Fresh doughnuts inspired by the classics.



CASUAL CHINESE 88 Carothers Road, Newport (859) 431-2900 casualchinese.com Top-notch Chinese, known for Pad Thai and egg rolls.

POMPILIOS 600 Washington Ave., Newport (859) 581-3065 pompilios.com Pasta, chicken, veal, beef and fish. Homemade sausage, sauces.

ORIENTAL WOK 317 Buttermilk Pike, Ft Mitchell (859) 331-3000 orientalwok.com Traditional and modern Chinese cuisine.

Coffeehouse CARABELLO COFFEE 107 E. Ninth St., Newport (859) 415-1587 carabellocoffee.com Philanthropic artisan coffee. VELOCITY BIKE & BEAN 7560 Burlington Pike, Florence (859) 371-8356 velocitybb.com Full-service bike shop and coffee bar.

Dessert EMERSON’S BAKERY 7606 Dixie Highway, Florence (859) 371-9228 emersonsbakeryky.com Cookies, pies and pastries. (Multiple locations.) LITTLE FLOUR BAKED GOODS 2479 Dixie Highway, Ft Mitchell (859) 341-2253 littleflourbakedgoods.com Scones, cookies, cupcakes and more..

Guatemalan TERCER DIA 915 Madison Ave., Covington Pollo dorado, caldo and tamales.


Ice Cream/Yogurt

CITY BBQ 2760 Alexandria Pike, Highland Heights (859) 415-4544 citybbq.com Slow-smoked brisket, ribs and chicken. (Multiple locations.)

SCHNEIDER’S SWEET SHOP 420 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue (859) 431-3545 schneiderscandies.com Old-time corner ice cream and candy store .

SMOKEY BONES BAR & FIRE GRILL 7848 Mall Road, Florence (859) 371-5425 smokeybones.com Fire grilled and marinated barbecue. SMOKIN’ THIS AND THAT BBQ 10020 Demia Way, Florence (859) 817-0492 smokinthisandthatbbq.com Barbecue rubbed pork, chicken and beef.

Indian GURU INDIA 2303 Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent Springs (859) 341-5858 guruindiarestaurant.com Lamb, shrimp and vegetarian specialties.

Japanese JO AN JAPANESE RESTAURANT 3940 Olympic Blvd., Erlanger (859) 746-2634 joanjapanese.com Authentic Japanese sushi, noodle dishes and tempura. MIYOSHI JAPANESE RESTAURANT 8660 Bankers St., Florence (859) 525-6564 miyoshirestaurant.com Authentic Japanese dishes with seasonal ingredients.

Mediterranean PARADISE RESTAURANT & CAFÉ 4135 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring (859) 781-8000 paradisehookahcafe.com Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine.

Mexican ACAPULCO 8101 Connector Drive, Florence (859) 282-0687 acapulcocinci.com Tex-Mex burritos and tacos. (Multiple locations.) CHUY’S 6825 Houston Road, Florence (859) 525-2489 chuys.com Burritos and tacos. (Multiple locations.) GUTIERREZ DELI 1131 Lee St., Covington (859) 431-3354 Tacos and fresh tamales. MI TIERRA 3420 Valley Plaza Pkwy, Ft Wright (859) 331-1234 mitierrafortwright.com Mole, enchiladas and fajitas. TAQUERIA RAMIREZ 6910 Burlington Pike, Florence (859) 371-1190 Tacos, tortas, burritos and enchiladas.

Pizza CAMPOROSSO 2475 Dixie Highway, Ft Mitchell (859) 331-0155 camporosso.com Wood-fired and classic pizzas.

GIUSEPPE’S PIZZERIA 2607 Madison Ave., Covington (859) 814-8444 eatattheg.com Pizza, salads, hoagies. MAC’S PIZZA PUB 604 Main St., Covington (859) 431-6227 macspizzamainstrasse.com Known for custom pizzas like the Flying Pig. PASQUALE’S NEWPORT 630 Monmouth St., Newport (859) 291-1443 pasqualesnewport.com Pizza, stromboli and pasta. TOM’S PAPA DINO’S PIZZA 288 Main St., Florence (859) 371-5567 Pizza, wings, hoagies and salads.

Pub Fare BROTHERS BAR & GRILL 1 Levee Way, Newport (859) 291-2767 brothersbar.com Wings, burgers, wraps and entrees. LUCKY DUCK PUB 6072 Limaburg Road, Burlington (859) 282-8570 luckyduckpub.com Pizzas, sandwiches and burgers. (Multiple locations.) O’BRYON’S BAR & GRILL 736 Washington Ave., Newport (859) 291-7600 obryonsbarandgrill.com Taters, fish and chips, and burgers. ZAZOU GRILL & PUB 502 W. Sixth St., Covington (859) 261-9111 Pizzas, burgers and cheesy tots.

Steakhouses TROTTA’S STEAK AND SEAFOOD 441 Sixth Ave., Dayton (859) 360-5573 trottassteakandseafood.com Hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood.

Thai SIAM ORCHID THAI RESTAURANT 511 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue (859) 694-7700 siamorchidky.com Siam crispy duck and curries.

Comprehensive online dining listings for NKY at



Whether Old Fashioneds, Mint Juleps or classic Manhattans, enhance your cocktail credentials with Four Roses’ family of premium Bourbons.

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Maintaining a Pleasant Exterior Homeowners should plan properly and ahead of time when repainting their homes BY KE VIN MICHELL


hough repainting the outside of a house can be mostly about updating its look and raising its curb appeal, putting on a new coat of paint also helps to protect a house from the elements. Quality exterior paints can take a pounding from heavy rain or intense heat. Some also feature higher elongation rates that allow the coat to flex



with shifts in the house’s foundation or for better application to varied surfaces like stucco, thus preventing cracks from arising not long after it has been applied. Timing is key when planning out a painting project. Randall Reese of Newport’s LVX Painting suggests homeowners planning on repainting the outside of their house call for appointments early in the spring. Calling in autumn and hoping for an appointment before the end of the year can be risky because of earlier bookings to contend with and the many variables that determine how long repainting the exterior will take. Depending on the size and layout of the house and whether the weather permits work to be done quickly, a complete paint

Repainting is a great way to add curb appeal.


According to Randall Reese of Newport’s LVX Painting, a good exterior paint job should last 15-20 years.

be apparent for years. Reese mentions that he’s surprised by the amount of homeowners who come to LVX after getting their house repainted seven or eight years ago, expecting it to be time to do it all over again. “A good paint job should last 15 or 20 years,” he explains, adding that the quality of exterior paints keeps improving. For example, Sherwin-Williams’ Emerald exte-

rior paint tends to resist fading for longer and tends to hold up well in intense heat or moisture. From the professional side of things, Reese appreciates Emerald because it applies better and is an overall nicer paint with which to work, something for homeowners to consider whether they’re painting a house themselves or utilizing contractors to do so. n

Bed Bugs

License #12227 Ohio, #299 Kentucky, #F225001 Indiana

job can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week. “I usually tell people, plan on at least six weeks of lead time,” says Reese, “but that changes so much through the season.” Reese advises those doing multiple projects on their home in one year to make sure that the work is done on those improvements before bringing a painting company out to the house. This is especially true right now as many of the home improvement trades are busy with appointments because of a good economy. With more people looking to do work on their homes, the timeline for completion on carpentry, roofing or other projects may stretch because of high demand, putting a strain on the availability of materials and labor. And if a homeowner is cutting it close with arranging multiple projects in a row, that can spell trouble—if the house isn’t ready to be painted by the time one’s appointment arrives, they run the risk of being pushed to the end of the list and their paint job will be significantly delayed. One of the tougher parts of repainting a home is that the quality of work may not

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For the past eight years, the Best of NKY has celebrated all that Northern Kentucky has to offer. From doughnuts to bike stores, we love celebrating the businesses of this community. More than 1,000 people attended NKY Magazine’s annual Best of NKY Party May 30 at the Newport Syndicate. Attendees voted for their favorites in 84 categories, and we are excited to bring you this year’s winners. The event was sponsored by Union Institute & University, First Watch, the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau (meetNKY) and Charles Schwab.

By the Editors 24



Best Food Truck Marty’s Waffles 300 Washington St., Suite 6, Alexandria 513-310-3607, martyswaffles.com Marty Meersman’s obsession with making the perfect waffle has culminated in Marty’s Waffles being voted Best Food Truck in NKY. Meersman, whose one side of the family is from Belgium, says he tasted a couple of different waffles in town and thought he could make a better waffle. “I wasn’t starting a business, I was just doing it for fun,” he says. He tinkered with a Liège waffle recipe that uses a dough base developed in Liège, Belgium, until he was happy with the result. A college art professor at Northern Kentucky University at the time, he would treat his students at the end of the semester with his waffles. They were a hit. The students would ask others, “Have you had Marty’s waffles?” The name and the business were born in 2013 when Meersman left the teaching profession and started his food truck business. The dense, pretzel-like consistency of the waffles that exude the sweetness of a glazed or powdered-sugar doughnut makes it one of the “best, most unique dessert products out there,” says Meersman. – ERIC SPANGLER

Best Butcher

Best Catering

Bill Finke & Sons 1502 Amsterdam Road, Fort Wright. 859-261-8899

McHale’s Events & Catering 859-442-7776, mchalescatering.com

Best BBQ City Barbeque Multiple locations including Highland Heights (2760 Alexandria Pike, 859-415-4544). citybbq.com

Best Breakfast/Brunch First Watch Multiple locations including Crestview Hills (2762 Town Center Blvd., 859-341-0222). firstwatch.com

Best Burger Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar Multiple locations including Union (8863 US Route 42, 859-371-2337). flipdaddys.com www.BestofNKY.com


FOOD Best Chinese Cuisine Oriental Wok Multiple locations including Fort Mitchell (317 Buttermilk Pike, 859-331-3000). orientalwok.com

Best Cupcakes Little Flour Baked Goods 2479 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell. 859-341-2253, littleflourbakedgoods.com

Best Donut Shop Moonrise Donuts 3718 Winston Ave., Covington. 859-415-0308, moonrisedoughnuts.com

Best Family Dining Greyhound Tavern 2500 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell. 859-331-3767, greyhoundtavern.com

Best Farmers Market Boone County Farmers Market 6028 Camp Ernst Road, Burlington. 859-586-6101, boonecountyfarmersmarket.org

Best Fried Chicken Colonial Cottage 3140 Dixie Highway, Erlanger. 859-814-4701, thecottagenky.com

Best Fast Casual Skyline Multiple locations including Independence (1968 Declaration Drive, 859-359-4700). skylinechili.com.

Best Fresh Catch (Seafood) Knotty Pine on the Bayou 6302 Licking Pike, Cold Spring. 859-781-2200, theknottypineonthebayou.com 26


Best Frozen Yogurt Whit’s Frozen Custard Multiple locations including Independence (2026 Harris Pike Road, 859-359-1700). whitscustard.com

Best Happy Hour Lucky Duck Pub Multiple locations including Burlington (6072 Limaburg Road, 859-282-8570). luckyduckpub.com



Are you looking for good country eating? Well look no further than Smokin’ This and That BBQ, where you can get authentic, southern barbecue ribs, pulled pork, and a heck of a lot more! At Smokin’ This and That BBQ we love a good hunk of meat and a good barbecue. Additionally, we don’t need sauces on our meat because our dry rub is THAT good. Every BBQ item we prepare is tender and falls right off the bone and if you’re not careful, right into your lap! We smoke our meat slow and season it just right so when you try our beef, chicken, or pork you’ll immediately understand why we’re the best BBQ place in the area! We also offer beers and drinks and whole lot of sides so your barbecue main course won’t get too lonely.






10020 Demia Way • Florence, KY 41042 (859) 817-0492 • smokinthisandthatbbq.com

FOOD Best Wings Buffalo Bob’s Family Restaurant 9910 Berberich Drive, Florence 859-371-5244, eatatbobs.com Buffalo Bob’s Family Restaurant, an independent and family-owned wing specialist on Berberich Drive, has taken the title of Best Wings in NKY this year, and for good reason. The restaurant serves a true buffalo-style chicken wing, says owner Bob Luehrmann. Every wing is fried to the perfect crispy texture, while the sauces that accompany meals are made on the premises. Buffalo Bob’s has been in business since 2000 and features friendly and dedicated staff, party and game rooms, a full bar, patio seating and over 25 TVs for sports fans. The eatery was voted Best of NKY because customers love the product, says Luehrmann. “Because of that, we feel like we are the best in the area and maybe the best in the United States—there’s nowhere I’ve gone that matches up to ours.” Luehrmann hopes to expand the building within the next year to increase the restaurant’s indoor seating to roughly 200 seats. “We’re so busy in the winter time with football and basketball that we don’t always have room for everybody, so [expanding] would really help out,” he says. — KEELY BROWN



Featuring fine Antiques, Collectibles, Furniture, Jewelry and Art from over 200 Dealers in our spacious 50,000 sq. ft., one level, air-conditioned Showroom!

Best of NKY Winner 2019, Best Brewery Thank you for all of your support and making our first year in business amazing!

Located at: 7926 Alexandria Pike; Ste 1 Alexandria, KY 41001 (across from Alexandria Drugs) 28


OPEN DAILY 11 AM to 8 PM On Mall Rd. in Florence, Kentucky

FOOD Best Patio Dining

Best Pizza

Barleycorn’s Multiple locations including Cold Spring (1073 Industrial Road, 859-442-3400). barleycorns.com

Strong’s Brick Oven Pizza Multiple locations including Newport (336 Monmouth St., 859-291-6836). strongsbrickovenpizza.com

Best Ice Cream Schneider’s Sweet Shop 420 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue. 859-431-3545, schneiderscandies.com

Best Independent Coffeehouse Reality Tuesday Café 1518 Dixie Highway, Park Hills. 859-261-4939

Best Italian Pompilios 600 Washington Ave., Newport. 859-581-3065, pompilios.com

Best Mexican Cuisine El Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant 34 Carothers Road, Newport. 859-292-8750, riograndenewport.com

Thank You Northern Kentucky for Voting Us Best Bowling Alley!

16 State-of-the-Art Lanes - Full Bar & Menu - Private Rooms - Customizable A/V Systems Let Us Host Your Next Event! Contact: sales@axisalleylevee.com or call 859-652-7250 Newport on the Levee ~ 1 Levee Way, Suite 1112 ~ Newport, KY 41071 ~ AxisalleyLevee.com www.BestofNKY.com


FOOD Best Sports Bar Dickmann’s Sports Café 479 Orphanage Road, Fort Wright. 859-331-8076, dickmannscafe.com

Best Steak Blinkers Tavern 318 Greenup St., Covington. 859-360-0840, blinkerstavern.com

Best Sushi Wabi Sabi 508 Madison Ave., Covington. 859-360-5097, wabisabicovington.com

Best Restaurant (overall)

Best Sandwich Shop

Best View From a Restaurant

Walt’s Hitching Post 3300 Madison Pike, Fort Wright. 859-360-2222, waltshitchingpost.com

Sub Station II 1826 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright. 859-653-9408, substationii.com

Buckhead Mountain Grill 35 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue. 859-491-7333, buckheadmountaingrill.com

We are grateful that the people of NKY recognize what goes into the comfort food in which we specialize. There is nothing more comforting than good fried chicken. Please join us soon! 3140 Dixie Highway • Erlanger, KY 41018 859-341-4498 • thecottagenky.com 30





PEOPLE Best Chef Ken Durbin, The At Home Chef 859-640-6958, theathomechef.com Ken Durbin believes a home-cooked meal provides a valuable opportunity for friends and families to reconnect face-to-face, but that too often homeowners do not wish to bear the burden of preparing food or hosting a gathering. In pursuit of creating a “unique, one-of-a-kind dining experience,” Durbin promises his clients excellent tasting food with minimal hassle with his company The At Home Chef. After agreeing to hire Durbin for your upcoming event, homeowners can create a menu together. From there, Durbin agrees to handle the food sourcing, preparation, cooking, cleaning and serving. His commitment to utilizing local farms and markets is a big reason he feels he creates a “better product and experience.” Clients can also choose to handle the serving on their own if they choose. “They get to relax and have friends over, and drink as much wine as they want,” he says. “It’s very enjoyable and very relaxed. This allows people to make memories that last a lifetime.” - NOAH TONG

Best Master Stylist Jennifer Campbell, Cloud 9 Salon & Spa 393A Mt. Zion Road, Florence. 859-371-1999, cloud9salonspa.com

Best Pediatric Dentist Dr. David Rider 1809 Alexandria Pike, Highland Heights. 859-781-1500, teeth4kidz.com

Best Tailor Rip ‘N Stitch 8105 Connector Drive, Florence. 859-283-2566

Best Fitness Class Instructor Gabby Williams, SWT Fitness 2001 Backwoods Parkway, Independence. 513-445-9191, swtfitness.com

Best Personal Trainer Brian Voorhees, Town & Country Sports & Health Club 1018 Town Drive, Wilder. 859-442-5800, towncountrysports.com



“...We had total confidence in [our technicians], and they cleaned everything up when they left. Ryan went over everything with us, and answered all our questions. A new HVAC system isn’t cheap, but I felt we got a very professional installation at a fair price. I do recommend Arlinghaus...” - Keith S. via Facebook


“No nonsense, straight shooting talk. I’m not well versed in HVAC but just give me the facts, let me choose what’s going to work for me and no pressure to choose one option over the other.”

- Neil B. via Facebook

(859) 429-0980

CHILDREN Best Swim Lessons Silverlake “The Family Place” 301 Kenton Lands Road, Erlanger 859-426-7777, silverlakefamily.com Jenny Kammes, marketing director of Silverlake “The Family Place,” believes the business took home the prize for Best Swim Lessons at the 2019 Best of NKY because of its loyal members. “We put in the work to give [clients] the best experience possible, and when they finish our programs, we know they are skillfully trained to be awesome, safe swimmers,” says Kammes. “We truly appreciate their support of our programs year after year.” Silverlake’s swim lessons are a skill-based program where instructors base swim levels and lessons solely on ability, so kids can learn to safely swim no matter their age, explains Kammes. The business hopes to expand its offerings to add more swim classes in the future and adapt existing programs to meet its members’ needs. “We are constantly looking to grow and expand our offerings to meet our members’ needs,” says Kammes. “We care about creating memorable, fun experiences for the entire family and that includes things for kids to do, things for adults to do, youth programs including swim lessons and more.” – KEELY BROWN



CHILDREN Best Birthday Party Location

Best School Spirit (K-12)

Lazer Kraze Multiple locations including Erlanger (1335 Donaldson Road, 859-371-5729). lazerkraze.com

Beechwood High School 54 Beechwood Road, Fort Mitchell. 859-331-1220, beechwood.kyschools.us

Best Dance/Theater Instruction

Best Summer Camp

Studio Dee 3420 Valley Plaza Parkway, Fort Wright. 859-261-3337, studiodeenky.com

YMCA Camp Ernst 7615 Camp Ernst Road, Burlington. 859-586-6181, myycamp.org

Best Gymnastics Center

Best Toy Store

Top Flight Gymnastics 721 Centre View Blvd., Crestview Hills. 859-344-1010, topflightgymnastics.com

Learning Express Toys Multiple locations including Crestview Hills (2812 Town Center Blvd., 859-331-2094). learningexpress.com

Best Music Instruction NKU Music Preparatory Northern Kentucky University, Fine Arts Center 378A, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights. 859-572-7737, nku.edu

Best Preschool Lakeside Presbyterian Preschool 2690 Dixie Highway, Lakeside Park. 859-241-1124, lakesidechurch.org/PreSchool/

YMCA Camp Ernst Find year-round dates and MyYcamp.org Camp Ernst hosts children ages 6-15 for week-long overnight camp. Campers have top notch counselors and make friends, doing a wide variety of activities including zipline, banana boat, 100 ft waterslide, giant swing, horseback riding, the BLOB, and much more!



ENTERTAINMENT Best Bourbon Selection Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar 629 Main St., Covington. 859-581-1777, oldkybourbonbar.com

Best Bowling Alley Axis Alley 1 Levee Way, Newport. 859-652-7250, axisalleylevee.com

Best Live Music Southgate House Revival 111 E. Sixth St., Newport. southgatehouse.com

Best Wine Store/Tasting StoneBrook Winery 6570 Vineyard Lane, Melbourne. 859-635-0111, stonebrookwinery.com




ENTERTAINMENT Best Brewery Alexandria Brewing Company 7926 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria 859-694-6999, alexandriabrewingcompany.com Andy Reynolds, head brewer, majority owner and founder of Alexandria Brewing Company, believes winning the Best Brewery in NKY award is a testament to his loyal customers. “Number one, I think we have really good fans, I guess you could say,” Reynolds says. “It felt like all of Alexandria was at the event.” The community has supported this project since its humble beginnings, as local donors pledged just over $20,000. The money went towards securing and renovating a location, among other priorities. The craft brewery is separated into three different sections designed to appeal to different audiences, including families. The front of the brewery is a restaurant featuring food from Four Mile Pig, whereas the back room is a more “industrial-type area” where customers can witness the brewing process firsthand. A dive bar is situated in between both areas. “I like to think we’re making great beer,” he says. “Of course, that’s up to the end user to decide.” – NOAH TONG



SERVICE Best Car Wash Mike’s Carwash Multiple locations including Florence (8036 Burlington Pike, 859-282-3630). mikescarwash.com

Best Carpet Cleaners Stanley Steemer 1-800-783-3637, stanleysteemer.com

Best Electric Best AC/Heating Co. Arlinghaus Heating & Air 859-429-9169, arlinghausair.com

Wiseway Supply 7103 Turfway Road, Suite 100, Florence. 859-283-9473, wisewaysupply.com

Best Barber

Best Event Center & Best Place for a Family Day

Best Florist

Spanky’s Barbershop Multiple locations including Newport (439 W. 12th St., 859-815-8592). spankysbarbershop.com

Newport Aquarium 1 Aquarium Way, Newport. 859-815-1466, newportaquarium.com

Swan Floral & Gift Shop 4311 Dixie Highway, Erlanger. 859-342-7575, swanfloral.com

Best Plumbing Jolly Plumbing 101 Beacon Drive, Wilder 859-320-7811, jollyplumbing.com Jolly Plumbing, winner of this year’s Best Plumbing award at Best of NKY, credits its success to implementing a company culture in which employees are valued. “Our values are honest, friendly and prompt,” says Ryan Eten, the business’s marketing director, noting that “a lot of plumbing companies make their plumbers work off high commission rates.” In comparison, Jolly Plumbing employees do not rely as heavily on sales-based incentives to make a living. This approach, according to Eten, gives employees freedom from feeling as though they must convince customers to fix something that doesn’t need repaired. In return, customers feel they can trust any quote that a Jolly Plumbing technician gives them. “We provide quick, seamless service and stand behind our work,” Eten says. “You may dread a plumbing issue, but you’re not going to dread working with us.” – NOAH TONG




Boone County






www.boonecountyfarmersmarket.org | (859) 586-6101

SERVICE Best Medical Spa

Best Place to Pamper Your Pet

Sweet Serenity Massage & Salt Therapy 9910 C Berberich Drive, Florence. 859-371-7258, sweetserenitysalt.com

Allie’s Walkabout 2640 Crescent Springs Road, Erlanger. 859-486-2196, allieswalkabout.com

Best Photographer Sugar Sprout Studio 300 Washington St., Alexandria. sugarsproutstudio.com

Best Home Remodeler Granite World 1450 Dixie Highway, Park Hills. 859-371-7444, graniteworldnky.com

Best Place to Have a Wedding Newport Syndicate 18 E. Fifth St., Newport. 859-491-8000, newportsyndicate.com

Best Landscaper Maddox Garden Center & Landscaping Serves Northern Kentucky. 8430 Dixie Highway, Florence. 859-371-6340, maddoxgardencenter.com

Best Place for a Spa Day

Best Manicure/Pedicure

Best Retirement Community

Mi Salon & Spa 7535 Burlington Pike, Florence. 859-647-2566, misalonspa.com

St. Charles Community 600 Farrell Drive, Covington. 859-331-3224, stcharlescommunity.org

Cloud 9 Salon & Spa 393A Mt. Zion Road, Florence. 859-371-1999, cloud9salonspa.com

Voted Best of NKY


4 YEARS in a row

Thank you NKY! Voted Best 6 Years Running “Lettuce” show you what fresh truly is! We slice every sandwich to order. Produce is sliced everyday to ensure the best taste and without the addition of chemicals. Our bread is a true east coast Italian sub roll. 1826 Dixie Hwy Ft. Wright KY 41011

Order Now @ substationii.com herzogjewelers.com



Pick up or delivery




SHOPPING Best Consignment Shop Let It Go Consignment 7926 Alexandria Pike #9, Alexandria 859-448-4488, letitgoconsignment.com Mary Beth McGarr, owner of Let It Go Consignment, knew that there was still life in things that people didn’t want anymore when she opened her shop in 2017. She also found a new life for herself. McGarr lost her job of 26 years at the age of 60 when her boss retired and she prayed to God for an answer. “I literally got on my knees and prayed, ‘God, where do you want me next?’” The answer of opening a consignment shop kept coming back to her. “One thing led to another and things lined up and I just said, ‘I’m doing it, I’m not waiting.’” She gives all the credit for the store’s success to God and her cosigners, which now number over 1,000. Her store only accepts and sells women’s clothing, home décor and furniture in good shape. Her motto is that if things don’t bring people joy they should let them go. “Things are constantly changing and if we can bring joy to somebody else why not do it?” she says. – ERIC SPANGLER

INDEPENDENT LIVING • Spacious private apartments – 5 individual floor plans • Screened porches, patios and Bay windows • Housekeeping and Maintenance provided • Cable TV provided • Scheduled social activities, clubs and outings • 24 hour Emergency communication in each apartment • Local transportation • Staffed Wellness Center

My New Kentucky Home….at Colonial Heights and Gardens!

• 2 Well-prepared Meals Daily in our Dining room • Carports Available / Ample Extra Storage • Over 17 Acres in a Park-like setting

LICENSED PERSONAL CARE/ ASSISTED LIVING/MEMORY CARE • Spacious Private apartments – 5 individual floor plans • Assistance with Bathing, Dressing and Grooming • Medication Administration • Private, Nurturing Environment for Memory Impaired • Scheduled social activities, clubs and outings

Thank You

• 3 Well-prepared meals and Snacks daily • Laundry, Housekeeping and Maintenance Service provided

6900 Hopeful Road Florence, KY 41042 www.colonialhg.org 859-525-6900



• Ample Storage


• Now offering Respite Care

The Lifestyle you Deserve. The Value you Expect. Call for a Tour Today 859-525-6900 TDD 800-545-1833 ext 359

859-287-0912 Jollyplumbing.com

SHOPPING Best Book Store

Best Place for Antiques & Best Place for Home Accessories

Blue Marble Books 1356 S. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas. 859-781-0602, bluemarblebooks.com

Florence Antique Mall 8145 Mall Road, Florence. 859-371-0600, florenceantiquemall.com

Best Shopping Center Crestview Hills Town Center 2791 Town Center Blvd., Crestview Hills. shopcrestviewhillstowncenter.com

Best Gift Shop Bunches of Bows 2497 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell. 859-331-4222, bunchesofbows.com

Best Bridal Shop

Best Jeweler

Donna Salyers’ Fabulous Bridal 601 Madison Ave., Covington. 859-291-9222, fabulousbridal.com

Herzog Jewelers 2510 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell. 859-331-4653, herzogjewelers.com

Lawn Aeration • • • • •

Controls harmful thatch Increases root development Improves overall turf health Reduces soil problems Increases water retention

(8 5 9) 3 8 4 - 0 2 6 6



Contact Us for a Free Consultation!




Best Bike Shop Velocity Bike & Bean 7560 Burlington Pike, Florence. 859-371-8356, velocitybb.com



Best Charitable Race

Best Health Food Store

NKY Hates Heroin 5K nkyhatesheroin.com

Best Fitness Center

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Multiple locations including Newport (82A Carothers Road, 859-486-2106). freshthyme.com

Move Your Body Fitness 22 Commonwealth Ave., Erlanger. 859-322-4425, moveyourbodynky.com

Best Place to Buy Fitness Gear

Best Fitness Trail & Best Park Devou Park 790 Park Lane, Covington. covingtonky.gov

TriState Running Company Multiple locations including Edgewood (148 Barnwood Drive, 859-341-9999). tristaterunning.com

HEALTH Best Yoga Studio Yoga Studio43 300 Washington St., Alexandria 859-512-8599, evolationyogastudio43.com After Nikki Taylor’s father passed away from cancer, she found strength, peace and healing through yoga. Years later, Taylor opened Yoga Studio43 to honor her father’s legacy and to spread health and wellness in the Alexandria community. Yoga Studio43 was voted 2019 Best Yoga Studio in NKY because of support from patrons, says Taylor. “Our community came together and wanted to let everyone know how great [the studio] is,” she says. “We come into class, we all know each other, we all care about each other and we support each other.” The studio provides yoga and fitness classes for everyone regardless of age, gender, fitness level or lifestyle. ​Taylor hopes that her business will continue to grow in the future and is confident in the moral and physical support Yoga Studio43 provides to its customers. “We just want people to know that we’re here if they need us,” says Taylor. “We’re a good place to go if you’re looking for friendship and trying to better yourself.” —KEELY BROWN



The 2019 Best of NKY is a celebration and competition among the top establishments in Northern Kentucky. Finalists were determined by nominations cast by the general public and the readers of NKY Magazine. The event featured 100-plus booths hosted by participating Best of NKY finalists from 84 categories, including food, retail and service organizations. Over 1,000 attendees cast their votes at the Best of NKY Party to determine the winners in each category. Below you will find the finalists as

Finalists FOOD BBQ Four Mile Pig City Barbeque Smokin’ This and That

BREAKFAST/BRUNCH First Watch Ingram’s Sparetime Mokka and the Sunset Bar & Grill

BURGER Bard’s Burgers Flipdaddy’s Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar PeeWee’s Place

BUTCHER Bill Finke & Sons Market Brooks Meats Eberts Meats Market

CATERING Be Creative Catering Chef Barone’s Catering McHale’s Catering

CHINESE CUISINE Amerasia Casual Chinese Oriental Wok

CUPCAKES Buttercream Boutique Gigi’s Cupcakes Little Flour Bakery

DONUT SHOP Emerson’s Bakery Moonrise Doughnuts Oakbrook Bakery

FAMILY DINING Barleycorn’s Greyhound Tavern The Farmstead Market and Cafe

well as the winners in each category.

FARMERS MARKET Boone County Farmers’ Market Covington Farmers’ Market Ft. Thomas Farmers Market

FAST CASUAL Agave and Rye Miami Style Tacos Skyline

FOOD TRUCK Lita’s Tacos Marty’s Waffles Melissa’s Soup Kitchen Food Truck

FRESH CATCH (SEAFOOD) Afishionados Bonefish Grill Knotty Pine on the Bayou

FRIED CHICKEN Colonial Cottage Greyhound Tavern The Purple Poulet

FROZEN YOGURT Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt Whit’s Frozen Custard

HAPPY HOUR Barleycorn’s Lucky Duck Pub Riverside Marina

ICE CREAM Ft. Thomas Ice Cream Schneider’s Sweet Shop Whit’s Frozen Custard

INDEPENDENT COFFEEHOUSE Point Perk Reality Tuesday Cafe Velocity Bike & Bean

ITALIAN CUISINE Buona Vita Pizzeria Camporosso Pompilios

MEXICAN CUISINE Acapulco Mexican Restaurant El Jinete Mexican Restaurant Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

PATIO DINING Barleycorn’s Camporosso Grandview Tavern

PIZZA Buona Vita Pizzeria Camporosso Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria

RESTAURANT (OVERALL) Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar Greyhound Tavern Walt’s Hitching Post

SANDWICH SHOP Cobblestone Cafe Sandwich Block Deli Sub Station II

SPORTS BAR Dickmann’s Sports Cafe House of Orange Longnecks Sports Grill

STEAK Blinkers Tavern Lisse Steakhuis Walt’s Hitching Post

SUSHI Mai Thai Sweet Basil Wabi Sabi

VIEW FROM A RESTAURANT Buckhead Mountain Grill Chart House Restaurant Eighteen at the Radisson

WINGS Buffalo Bob’s Family Restaurant Dickmann’s Sports Cafe Knuk-N-Futz

SERVICE AC/HEATING COMPANY Arlinghaus Heating and Air Conditioning Arronco Comfort Air Schneller and Knochelmann Plumbing, Heating and Air

BARBER Breakroom Barber Ft. Mitchell Plaza Barbers Spanky’s Barber Shop

CAR WASH Bailey’s Car Wash Classic Car Wash Mike’s Car Wash

CARPET CLEANERS Blue Sky Carpet Cleaning Mella Window & Carpet Cleaning Stanley Steemer

ELECTRIC A&S Electric Supply, Inc. Arc Electric Wiseway Supply

EVENT CENTER Newport Aquarium Receptions Event & Banquet Center The Carnegie Hall - Newport

FLORIST Country Heart Florist Jackson Florist Swan Floral and Gift Shop

HOME REMODELER Corbin Custom Remodelers Granite World Maile Construction

LANDSCAPER A&A Lawncare and Landscaping Karschner Lawncare and Landscaping Maddox Garden Center & Landscaping



MANICURE/PEDICURE Cloud 9 Salon & Spa Mi Salon Spa Sassy Nails

MEDICAL SPA Kathy Jones Aesthetics Sweet Serenity Salt and Massage Therapy Synergy Holistic Center

PHOTOGRAPHER Gold Moose Photography Sugar Sprout Studio Tonya Bolton Photography


Newport Syndicate The Stables Entwined The Inn at Oneonta The Madison Event Center

PLACE TO PAMPER YOUR PET Allie’s Walkabout Doggie Paddles LLC Pawsitively Purfect Salon and Daycare

PLACE FOR A SPA DAY Cloud 9 Salon & Spa Mi Salon Spa The Woodhouse Day Spa


LIVE MUSIC Behle Street by Sheli Riverside Marina Southgate House Revival

WINE STORE/TASTING Brianza Gardens and Winery DEP’s Fine Wine and Spirits StoneBrook Winery

HEALTH BIKE SHOP Reser’s Bicycle Outfitters Trek Shop Velocity Bike & Bean

CHARITABLE RACE Honor Run Half Marathon NKY Hates Heroin 5K The Kentucky Dragon Boat Festival

FITNESS CENTER Empower Studio Move Your Body Fitness Vibe Dance Fitness

FITNESS TRAIL Boone County Arboretum Devou Park England-Idlewild Park


Arronco Comfort Air Jolly Plumbing Joe Lay & Sons Plumbing

Better Blend Nutirtion Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market Healthy Alternatives



Brookdale Senior Living Carmel Manor Colonial Heights and Gardens Rosedale Green/Emerald Trace St. Charles Community

ENTERTAINMENT BOURBON SELECTION Newberry Bros. Coffee & The Prohibition Bourbon Bar Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar Wiseguy Lounge

BOWLING ALLEY Axis Alley LaRue Lanes SuperBowl

BREWERY Alexandria Brewing Company Braxton Brewing Company Darkness Brewing



Atlas Home Fitness Muscle Gear USA Tri State Running Company

YOGA STUDIO Madison Pike Yoga Yoga Studio43 Yogatta Breathe

SHOPPING BOOKSTORE Blue Marble Books Half Price Books Joseph-Beth Booksellars

BRIDAL SHOP David’s Bridal Donna Salyers’ Fabulous Bridal

CONSIGNMENT SHOP Let It Go Consignments Snooty Fox Walk in Closet

GIFT SHOP Bunches of Bows L&M’s Busy Hands Crafts and Gift Shop That Special Gift

JEWELER Boyle Jewelers Herzog Jewelers Schulz and Sons Jewelers

PLACE FOR ANTIQUES Burlington Antique Show Florence Antique Mall Ft. Thomas Antiques & Design Center

PLACE FOR HOME ACCESSORIES Faded Finds Florence Antique Mall Ole Grey Mare

SHOPPING CENTER Crestview Hills Town Center Florence Mall

CHILDREN BIRTHDAY PARTY LOCATION Dave and Buster’s Lazer Kraze Silverlake, The Family Place

DANCE/THEATRE INSTRUCTION Rapture Dance Company Studio Dee The Dance Realm

GYMNASTICS CENTER Five Star Cheerleading and Gymnastics Spirit Athletics Top Flight Gymnastics

MUSIC INSTRUCTION Bowman Music and Creative Outlet DrumPower NKU Music Preparatory

PARK AJ Jolly Devou Park Tower Park

PLACE FOR A FAMILY DAY Full Throttle Indoor Karting Newport Aquarium Silverlake, The Family Place

PRESCHOOL Lakeside Presbyterian Preschool Skidaddles The Children’s Home

SCHOOL SPIRIT (K-12) Beechwood High School Campbell County High School St. Paul School

SUMMER CAMP Camp Ernst NKU Music Preparatory Silverlake, The Family Place

SWIM LESSONS Bear Paddle Swim School Silverlake The Family Place Town and Country Sports & Health Club

TOY STORE Hobby Villa Learning Express Toys Stoney’s Gift & Toy Shoppe

PEOPLE CHEF Ken Durbin, At Home Chef Steven Williams, Bouquet Restaurant Travis Faris, Be Creative Catering

FITNESS CLASS INSTRUCTOR Christine Stayton, Empower Studio Gabby Williams, SWT Fitness Lacey Carter, Vibe Dance Fitness

MASTER STYLIST Angie Vanlandingham, Mane Avenue Salon Carly Smith, Uniquely Senise Hair & Nail Salon Jennifer “JJ” Campbell, Clould 9 Salon & Spa

PEDIATRIC DENTIST Dr. David Rider Pediatric Dental Center Union Pediatric Dentistry

PERSONAL TRAINER Brian Voorhees, Town & Country Sports & Health Club Mary Rider, Move Your Body Fitness Sharon Miller, Thriveology

TAILOR Alterations by Frances Rip N Stitch Theresa’s Alterations

ESPERANZA MEANS HOPE Covington’s new Esperanza Latino Center provides an array of services to Northern Kentucky’s Latino population BY KE VIN MICHELL


young Guatemalan woman entered a court pretrial diversion program after her 6-year-old son, Jonathan, was thought to be abandoned while she was inside a store. She did not speak English—her native tongue is one of the over 20 Mayan-influenced languages spoken in Guatemala. When the court gave her the requirement of 20 community service hours, her attorney came to Esperanza Latino Center, which



opened in January at 234 Pike St. in Covington. Leo Calderon, chair of Esperanza’s board of directors, accompanied her to the next meeting with her diversion officer to explain the compounded communication barrier she was facing. After she fulfilled her service obligation, she had found in Esperanza a place where she could learn, help and be helped. She and Jonathan have been coming to the center ever since. This highlights a portion of why Calderon and Esperanza’s executive director, Irene Encarnacion, created a Latino-focused community center in Covington. With around 13,000 Latinos living in Northern Kentucky— including 500 students enrolled at Northern Kentucky University, where Calderon and Encarnacion are both faculty—and well over 90% of them coming from Guatemala, there are massive barriers to Latinos who want to work and live in the area. Language divides

The volunteers at Esperanza Latino Center with Irene Encarnacion and Leo Calderon at center

and the fear that they aren’t welcome in their communities make daily and mundane tasks that much more difficult. Hence, Esperanza—meaning “hope” in Spanish—tries to provide as much education and guidance as its small, entirely volunteer staff can provide. “We are basically like the welcome center where you come to ask questions,” says Encarnacion. “We try to direct you to where the resources are. We try not to reinvent things.” At the center, Encarnacion and Calderon organize English language classes, civil rights education, legal assistance, financial advisement and access to the young childhood literacy program Read Ready Covington. Sometimes, Esperanza’s volunteers help people start from scratch, setting up an email account for them so that they can apply for jobs or helping them set up a bank account. For other Latino residents, the center can provide connections to career opportunities or community organizations

to provide them a better sense of belonging. Calderon, who is NKU’s director of Latino programs and services, and Encarnacion, who is a professor and senior lecturer with the university’s world languages and literatures department, had both thought about creating this center for some time. And they didn’t let any uncertainty stop them when they found the place where they could establish it. “We threw ourselves in the water and then we went to find the lifejackets and the towels,” says Encarnacion with a laugh. Esperanza opened with $4,000 donated by four founding members—a shoestring budget that put pressure on the founders to make every dollar and effort count. “But that didn’t stop us. We had a location and we had the drive and the idea,” says Encarnacion. Calderon adds that the center isn’t focused solely on one population in Northern Kentucky. Esperanza is meant to provide and build community awareness, connections and trust among all residents. It’s educating the non-Latino community about the need to have a center like this,” Calderon explains, “and then educating the Latino community, in this case the recently arrived immigrant. It’s education, education and education.” Esperanza opened in January and only had its first open house in May, but the community has responded with a generosity and acceptance that has exceeded Encarnacion and Calderon’s hopes. First there was the need for basic furniture and materials. Josh Skipper of the Kentucky Baptist Connection provided chairs and tables for the center, NKU gave desks from its surplus property and the city of Covington helped Esperanza procure 10 computers. Encarnacion and Calderon’s peers in the nonprofit sphere of Northern Kentucky pitched in, too. Sister Alice Gerdeman and the Sisters of Divine Providence provided their time, advice and a donation. Juan Peña from the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights hosted a workshop on July 9 that provided counseling and education on housing and employment rights. Matt and Rebekah Butler of The Devou Good Project paid the center’s first year of rent and offered to match community donations up to $25,000, a threshold that the online donations have almost reached already. “The generosity of the community has been incredible,” says Calderon. After two weeks of operations, 30 local organizations had reached out to Calderon and Encarnacion about assisting or partnering

with Esperanza. By the end of the center’s first month of being open, that number had climbed to 50. “We haven’t had to go out to ask aggressively or fundraise aggressively,” adds Encarnacion. “It has been everybody coming or calling and saying, ‘We want to help you.’” With the communities of Northern Kentucky embracing the Esperanza Latino Center so quickly, Encarnacion and Calderon can look to and plan for the future. After achieving 501(c)(3) status in early July, the nonprofit is looking to organize events to bring the Latino and non-Latino communities together in celebrations of Latino heritage. August 18 will feature a dual salsa competition at the Covington Farmer’s Market, where both the best spicy dipping sauces and dances will be judged. September 28 will be the first Latino picnic of what Esperanza hopes to be many, happening near the Behringer-Crawford Museum at Devou Park. And Calderon is eyeing spring of 2020 for a big fiesta to bring everyone

ABOVE: The new center is located at 234 Pike St. in Covington. BELOW: The center features space for meetings, computers and people willing and able to help.

together for a truly communal celebration. The events reflect the joy Encarnacion— who calls Covington her “happy place”— and Calderon feel in building trust between Northern Kentuckians and their Latino neighbors. But they also know it will continue to be tough work. Their schedules only permit the center being open on Tuesday and Thursdays and they receive no pay from their work for Esperanza. But there is hope that they will hire a director in the coming months after achieving official nonprofit status and recent fundraising. Above all, both Encarnacion and Calderon are focused on Esperanza’s mission—if there’s any way to help anyone in Northern Kentucky as a bilingual welcome and resource center, they will. n www.BestofNKY.com



New NKY Tri-ED CEO Lee Crume is bringing something new to the organization by taking down both literal and figurative walls BY JULI HALE

Lee Crume, new president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED), started in April.




s the new president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED), Lee Crume is knocking down walls, figuratively and literally. The Ohio transplant has kicked off his tenure not by compiling a list of potential businesses to approach, but by looking inward. He is taking a close look at the organization’s relationships with community partners and its internal operations, examining accounting policies, human resources, hiring practices and even the layout of the office. Walls will come down. Founded in 1987, Tri-ED has played a pivotal role in growing the business climate in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties. To date, the organization has led the successful relocation or expansion of 670 business projects. These projects created more than 67,000 jobs with a capital investment of more than $8.4 billion. Much of that growth came under the leadership of Dan Tobergte, who served Tri-ED in an executive role for 28 years, the last 13 as president/CEO. He resigned in August 2018, spurring an intensive national search for his replacement. “A little different from the Northern Kentucky Tri-ED I’m inheriting, I want us to be a more visible and vocal community partner,” Crume says. “This was a very successful company for a long time. We have an opportunity to restart it, to rebuild it for the next iteration. It is all looking forward for us at this point.” Crume comes to the position with more than 25 years of economic development experience, most recently as the global director of business development for JobsOhio, a Columbus-based nonprofit developed to drive job creation and new capital investment. That experience was the lynchpin in securing the search committee’s and the Tri-ED board’s approval. “Lee possesses both private and public experience in the economic development field. His economic development experience with JobsOhio was a key factor in his final selection,” says Gary Moore, Boone County judge-executive and Tri-ED board member, who has high expectations for the organization under Crume’s guidance. “In Boone County we expect to see an increase in the number of workers, but we must also experience an increase in wages and the quality of the jobs that will be created. The capital investment made by our companies should also increase. In addition to these indicators Tri-ED should be a catalyst to the

economic growth of Northern Kentucky as a whole.” Revamping the organization has kept Crume busy since his arrival in April. His first 60 days were filled with more than 80 meetings and personal appearances in a quest to both learn about Northern Kentucky, its needs and its resources, and to introduce his strategy for a new and improved Tri-ED. “Thinking tactical to strategic, we have to build an operating company that is Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, which is what we are doing today. I want to make sure from April 2019 to this time next year that we have a competent, capable team in place who can execute on our two primary initiatives, which are economic development and entrepreneurship,” Crume says, noting that he intends to hire additional staff to round out his existing team. “Secondly, we are working with our partners to present the strategy for this community over the next five to 10 years that says, ‘Here is how we want this community to look different 10 years from now.’ When we have that done, we want to be definitive about what goals inside of that plan Northern Kentucky Tri-ED owns and how we are going to support our community partners on their goals. And then, of course on top of that work, we are operating two business objectives—economic development and entrepreneurship. We want to make sure we are posting wins and putting up results in those spaces.” While topics like population growth, the urban core and increased educational opportunities don’t fall under the scope of Tri-ED, they are topics that are vital to companies choosing to stay in or relocate to Northern Kentucky and, therefore, ones that Crume wants the organization to help strengthen. Tri-ED cannot work in a vacuum to grow the economy, he says; it will take the collaboration of many to develop the meaningful goals to bring jobs to the community. And so he meets with people—city leaders, local civic organizations, government officials, existing business owners and executives—to connect with them, determine their needs and discover what resources they have to offer. It is a crash course in Northern Kentucky that hasn’t left much time for enjoying all that the area has to offer on a personal level, something he hopes to change very soon. And though he is still finding his way around Northern Kentucky, he isn’t new

to the state. The Commonwealth native was born in Bowling Green and raised in Owensboro. A stuffed Big Red, the Western Kentucky mascot, sits nestled on a table in his office among the Northern Kentucky memorabilia he was gifted upon his arrival. He is a proud Hilltopper who earned two degrees from the school, a master’s degree in communication and bachelor’s degree in corporate and organizational communication. “My family came to Kentucky when it was still called Virginia,” he jokes. “We have Kentucky going back very long way in our blood.” He is proud of his strong Kentucky roots, and was sure to mention them during the interview process. And though a Kentucky connection was not required for the job, it didn’t hurt to already have an appreciation for the state and all it has to offer. “It’s not critical but it is a benefit. He has operated outside the region, but he has roots in this state,” says Kenton County JudgeExecutive and Tri-ED Board Member Kris Knochelman of Crume’s Kentucky roots. “Lee will need to bring his national experience and help us to direct our energies to long-term success. Employee growth, business retention, entrepreneurial successes and workforce solutions will be evaluated annually and that will mark his success.” While Crume can already expound on the many positive attributes of Northern Kentucky, and the Tristate as a whole— proximity to most of the country, local arts, professional sports, strong business community, good schools, highways—he has also been in this business long enough to know that luring businesses to an area isn’t about selling them on Northern Kentucky but proving to them that the solution to their business challenges can be found here and that a wealth of additional assets can be found nearby. “Each of our clients, just like every other purchasing decision that gets made, has a different set of requirements, so what we really endeavor to do is build a mindset at Northern Kentucky Tri-ED like we are a professional services company helping each of our clients solve their issues,” he says. “Our challenge is to get inside their heads and understand their needs. The beauty of Northern Kentucky is that we do have all of those attributes that could come into play for a client, whether it is access to industries, access to supplies or access to infrastructure.” n www.BestofNKY.com



Close to the Action

Hilton Cincinnati Airport’s renovations make it ideal for area visitors BY DAVID HOLTHAUS


he Hilton Cincinnati Airport hotel is not just for air travelers. After completing a multimilliondollar comprehensive renovation, the managers want day travelers and visitors to Greater Cincinnati to know it’s a good option for them, too, as it comes without some of the hassles that a stay in the city center might have. “Our location is fantastic,” says General Manager Imran Hussain. “We are close to the interstate, close to the airport. The location is a very calm, peaceful area. You don’t have to deal with a parking garage.” The $12 million overhaul included a renovation of the hotel’s parking lot, which is connected to several restaurants, making this airport hotel a place where dining out can be a walkable experience. The hotel, which opened in 1987, is in the heart of Florence, Kentucky, at 7373 Turfway Road, 5 miles from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, 10 miles from downtown Cincinnati and moments away from tourist destinations such as the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, horse racing at Turfway Park, and sports, entertainment and business at Northern Kentucky University. “There’s a lot to do here, so it’s kind of like being downtown but you don’t have



to deal with traffic and parking fees and all that,” says Director of Sales Lori Fahey. The renovation included a redesign of all 314 guest rooms. “We did a complete A-to-Z renovation of the guest rooms,” Hussain says. Each room now includes the Hilton Serenity Bed, which comes with a quilted mattress designed with extra coil support, and a 49-inch LCD television. The decor, including wallpaper, fixtures and furniture, was updated and so was the air conditioning, Hussain says. The meeting space and public areas were transformed with the addition of a small ballroom, the Turfway Room convening space, and a food option called Herb N’ Kitchen, where guests and meeting attendees can grab a coffee, a morning snack or lunch. A new restaurant concept called Kentucky Crave was also added. A spacious, 24-hour fitness center now has all new cardio and strength training equipment and the heated indoor pool area was also upgraded. The lobby space and public area was designed with an open floor plan inspired by an equine paddock, a nod to Kentucky’s horse racing traditions. It was designed by J. Kattman Associates, LLC, a Colorado-

ABOVE: Hilton Cincinnati Airport’s renovated lobby BELOW: General Manager Imran Hussain

based design firm, and Cincinnati-based TRA Design. The hotel also now offers a “park and fly” service. Travelers who stay overnight can leave their cars at the hotel parking lot and take a free shuttle that runs every half hour all day and night to the airport. “This marks a new chapter for the hotel,” Hussain says. “We are providing a new look and a new experience.” n


Hilton Cincinnati Airport’s updated 24-hour fitness center



LIVE CincyLive is the home of all Cincy and NKY Magazine events, as well as our partners. From food and community events to professional and nonprofit ones, all can be found on CincyLive.

2019 Best of the West

Aug 22nd, Nathanael Greene Lodge This event is a celebration and competition between the top establishments from the West Side. (West of I75) It will feature booths hosted by participating Best of the West finalists from categories including food, retail, and service organizations. At the event you will sample and vote on who will win in each category!

2019 Greater Cincinnati Women in Business Expo Aug 24th, 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati

Ready to be inspired and empowered to launch a business or take your career to the next level? Join us for panel discussions, brunch ‘n’ learn sessions, access to a variety of professional resources. Plus, shop with 20+ woman-owned businesses, from health & personal development experts to fashion boutiques and beauty gurus! Visit this FREE event to power up your life!

Bourbon in the Park

Sept 14th, Washington Park The 1st Bourbon Festival in the heart of OTR. Come experience your favorite bourbons in ways you haven’t before and try a few you you have been meaning to get your hands on!

NKY Bourbon Festival - Tasting Party Sept 26th, Hilton Cincinnati Airport

Celebrating Northern Kentucky community’s bourbon heritage and it’s growing local distillery and culinary scene! Come sample from some of the most well known brands, the best restaurants of NKY, and talk to experts and learn more about bourbon and its growing impact to our region. Tickets will include bourbon tastings, unlimited food samples, music, and undoubtedly good friends.

Are you a nonprofit looking for a no upfront cost promotion for an upcoming event?

Contact: Eric Harmon, President & Publisher • eharmon@cincymagazine.com • 513-297-6205


Healthy Living During Menopause

Diet, exercise and advancements in care can help women through menopause


Dr. Sandra Eisele of The Christ Hospital has expertise on the evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis and foot and ankle conditions.


hen women enter menopause, there are many attendant health concerns that can cause worry or stress. But addressing those potential issues has become a great deal easier over the last couple of decades, both through preventative care and treatment. Osteoporosis is one of the first things that comes to mind for many women, as

decreased estrogen production during menopause can lead to a loss of bone density without any corresponding symptoms. Indeed, most women with osteoporosis don’t know it until they break a bone from what would otherwise be a mild or harmless fall. But menopause isn’t the sole contributor to osteoporosis developing in women. As

Dr. Sandra Eisele of The Christ Hospital explains, the medications many people take to treat diabetes, chronic pulmonary issues and arthritis can reduce bone strength over time and make someone vulnerable to osteoporosis. As much as anything else, a woman’s activity level can affect her risk of developing osteoporosis. Those with issues that limit www.BestofNKY.com



Drs. Eric Stamler (left) and Elbert Nelson of The Christ Hospital’s obstetrics and gynecology division confer with osteoporosis physician Dr. Sandra Eisele.

their ability to exercise—even if it’s just walking—are vulnerable. “When your activity is low, your bones tend to be weaker,” explains Esiele. “Bones really respond to the impact of weight bearing. So if your weight bearing is limited, your bones will be weaker as well.” That makes it all the more important for women who are mobile and able to exercise in middle age to maintain healthy bones through activity as a way to mitigate the deterioration caused by menopause. Walking daily is a simple and easy way to keep bones strong, as is yoga. For those who have ankle or foot issues or anything else that makes walking difficult, pool exercises and swimming can help, though not as much as weight-bearing activities.



“If you don’t have any of these predisposing conditions,” Eisele says, “without really knowing what your bone strength is you want to maintain what you have as much as possible.” Diet is also both a potential contributing factor in developing osteoporosis and, through healthy eating, a way for women to combat its onset. Many people know from childhood that calcium helps build and maintain strong bones, but vitamin D is particularly important in tandem as it helps bones retain their calcium. Dairy products are a common source of both, but women who are lactose intolerant can find products enriched with vitamin D and calcium—like orange juice—or pair foods together that are rich in either. Eggs

and many kinds of fish provide plentiful vitamin D while soy, broccoli, kale, okra, beans and almonds pack a good amount of calcium into small servings. Premenopausal women should target getting 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 600 to 800 international units of vitamin D daily. Women 50 and older should increase their daily intake to 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 to 1,000 international units of vitamin D. Women who are concerned about their bone density can get a DEXA scan if they want to know if they are at risk or have already developed osteoporosis. The procedure is usually covered by insurance for women 50 or older and can be approved for younger women with prior conditions that heighten their risk of weakened bones.

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NKY LIVE WELL But bone health is hardly the only health concern that comes with menopause. As menopause entails the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, the lack of estrogen being produced by her ovaries can cause issues in areas that have sensitive estrogen receptors such as the breast, vaginal and vulvar tissue. Less internally produced estrogen can also affect the lower part of a woman’s bladder, potentially causing incontinence, and other areas. “When you take estrogen away from those areas,” explains The Christ Hospital’s Dr. Michael Karram, “they undergo certain changes.” Dryness, irritation and atrophy can occur which can lead to various issues spanning from discomfort during intercourse to increased vulnerability to tract infections. Though these effects can be persistent concerns for women in menopause, one of the more negative effects Karram points out is a corresponding anxiety or depression that stems from not feeling normal. “One of the things we try to promote is



don’t let it get to this point because there are things that we can do to stop the process or reverse the process to make you feel better,” says Karram. Gynecologists want to make sure that women know there are actions that can be taken that weren’t available 10 or 20 years ago, but they need to be willing to bring their concerns or issues up with their doctor. Karram recommends that menopausal women append their diet with foods that contain natural phytoestrogens. Soy products are particularly rich in these. Some herbs and other foods are also particularly effective, such as black cohosh, ginger and some legumes. Eating foods rich in natural estrogens should be done in tandem with regular activity in order to keep the body from producing other estrogens that have negative effects on a woman’s body. “Once you get overweight and your [body mass index] goes up, you start to produce different estrogens from different parts of your body,” Karram says. Fat cells produce an estrogen called estrone that adds to

ST. ELIZABETH OPENS WOMEN’S HEALTH CENTER Women can also find quality health care at Elizabeth. St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s primary Edgewood campus has added a 15,000-squarefoot facility focusing exclusively on women’s health. At the new Women’s Health Center, St. Elizabeth will offer expanded urogynecology services, four mammogram devices and two rooms for DEXA scans to check for bone density issues and osteoporosis. In line with the expanded urogynecology services, the center will also hold physical therapy suites specifically for woman receiving treatment for pelvic floor issues, dealing with osteoporosis and recovering from surgery. weight gain and increases swelling and tenderness in tissue. An emerging issue is alternatives to hormone replacement. Women with breast cancer cannot go through estrogen therapy as the sensitive estrogen receptors in the

NKY LIVE WELL breast tissue can cause cancer cells to spread. As such, even just five years ago, they had to deal both with their cancer and the fact that they couldn’t get menopausal relief through estrogen supplements, which would exacerbate any physical or emotional health issues they were experiencing. But there are now effective alternatives. Chief among them is the MonaLisa Touch low frequency carbon dioxide laser, which is used in a simple, 10-minute procedure that can relieve genitourinary issues. The Christ Hospital started utilizing it in 2014 and, along with Stanford University, has led the way in utilizing the laser for treating menopausal women through encouraging vaginal cell regeneration. The key, Karram stresses, is that women be aware that new treatment options exist now that can relieve discomfort and genitourinary issues. All it takes is being open with their doctor who can illuminate the many options that relieve menopausal issues and help them enjoy happier, more comfortable living after 50. n

Dr. David Rider Dr. Kelty McLaurin Pediatric Dentistry Serving Children, Adolescents and Special Needs

Thanks for voting us the Best of NKY Call today for an appointment, 859-781-1500 1809 Alexandria Pike Highland Heights, Kentucky 41076 859-781-1500 • teeth4kidz.com www.BestofNKY.com



Finding the Right Fit Local private schools offer advice for those looking for the right school for their family BY CORINNE MIN ARD


f you’re considering private school for your child for the first time, the process can seem overwhelming. Northern Kentucky has more than 30 private schools— how do you choose which is right for your child? To help guide you on this journey, we spoke with several of the region’s private schools to get their advice on how to make this decision just a little easier.

KNOW WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU According to local schools, families should head into the process knowing what’s most important to them when it comes to education. “I think that if private school is a priority for you and your family, for whatever reason that might be, … it’s OK for that to be your priority and follow through with that and find the best fit for your family and where your child is going to thrive,” says Tessy B. Krebs, recruitment and admissions director for Newport Central Catholic High School. A family’s priority could be a specific sport, faith formation or a science program—whatever that priority is should be guiding the family as they look at schools. For example, Villa Madonna Academy, a Catholic coed kindergarten-through-12th grade school in Villa Hills, is focused on the student as a whole person. “We’ve got one of the highest ACT scores, one of the highest average composite score on standardized test at the elementary school level, but we focus more on forming kids’ identities, building character, helping them discover passions, helping them to create friendships and relationships, and preparing them for collegiate success,” says Janet Baugh, director of admissions at Villa Madonna Academy. “The academics are one thing, but all of those other things really stand out as being that super exclamation point that you get when you come to a school like this.”

Newport Central Catholic High School is a coed Catholic high school that prides itself on being socioeconomically diverse.

Notre Dame Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Park Hills, also focuses on holistic education, but with a different model. “The single-gender environment at NDA empowers young women to become fearless, curious and enthusiastic learners both in and out of the classroom,” says Katie Caccavari, director of admissions at Notre Dame Academy. “Graduates leave NDA with a strong ethic of service uniquely prepared to manage leadership positions in society.” Knowing what is most important to you and your student can guide you both as you learn about the region’s schools.

sizes. “There’s a buzzword: differentiated instruction. In the smaller class sizes, teachers are able to differentiate their instruction that they do in the classroom to meet the needs of each child,” says Baugh. There are other environmental factors to take into consideration, too. “I think it comes down to a feeling for the student and the parents. They need to do their homework, they need to go to open houses, they need to shadow, the student needs to come during the school day and get a feel for it. Not just classes, but what it feels like socially in the cafeteria, in the lunchroom, those kinds of things,” says Krebs.

LOOK FOR SCHOOLS WITH YOUR IDEAL ENVIRONMENT MAKE DECISIONS AS A FAMILY Another thing to keep in mind is what kind of classroom environment your child does best in. “I think you have to know what your student’s comfort level is. Are you looking for a smaller environment, are you looking for a bigger environment?” says Krebs. Villa Madonna Academy and many other private schools specialize in smaller class

Local schools also recommend that prospective families make the final decision together—parents and child—to ensure the right decision is being made. “It has to fit your family well,” says Krebs. “To be in an environment where [the student is] uncomfortable for six, seven to eight hours of the day… a miserable teenager is nothing to have.” www.BestofNKY.com


NKY PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE 2019 Caccavari says that the parents she’s spoken with recently are taking this advice to heart. “The parents I’ve been speaking with over the past year or two are certainly looking at academic quality but also at the overall experience their daughter will have at NDA,” she says. “Prospective students have to believe that they fit in well at a school in order to be successful there.”

EVERY SCHOOL HAS ITS OWN CHARACTER Each school has unique qualities that can help guide your family. For example, Villa Madonna Academy was founded on the principles of the Benedictine sisters, and those principles can be felt throughout the school. “It’s a Catholic school but around 40% of our students are non-Catholic. And the Benedictine traditions, they support that because everything about these sisters is about hospitality, welcoming everyone,” says Baugh. The school also hosts international students, creating a diverse student body. And Newport Central Catholic High

S chool i s s oc ioeco nomically diverse, an unexpected trait for a private school. “We have wealthy families whose parents are doctors and lawyers and architects and engineers, we have a whole lot in the middle and then we have a lot of students that are from the inner city and their families struggle. We have an excellent tuition a s s i st a nce prog r a m in place and several scholarships available for students who want to come to school here. It’s been the philosophy of Villa Madonna Academy is a kindergarten-through-12th grade coed our administration that Catholic school that was founded by the Benedictine sisters in 1903. if a student really wants to be here, we’re going to work with that family to figure out how we these four things in mind as you make your can make it happen,” says Krebs. decision. “I think they just have to listen to Deciding on a private school doesn’t have themselves and what feels good, what feels to be painful—just make sure that you keep right for them,” says Krebs. n

Holy Cross

District High School







Holy Cross District High School 3617 Church St Covington, KY 41015 859-431-1335

Open House Wednesday November 6, 2019

• Customized, Tiered Curriculum • Dual and AP Credit Classes • Academic Enhancement Program • Over $500,000 Awarded Annually in Scholarships and Financial Aid

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Holy Cross District High School

Notre Dame Academy

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3617 Church St., Covington, KY 41015 859-431-1335 • hchscov.com Grades: 9-12

1699 Hilton Drive, Park Hills, KY 41011 859-292-1829 • ndapandas.org Grades 9-12 • Religious Affiliation: Catholic

3755 Scheben Drive, Erlanger, KY 41018 859-525-0255 • shdhs.org

Holy Cross District High School strives to provide a quality Catholic education for all of the students through our deeply rooted commitments to education, diversity, family and religion. As a Catholic institution, Holy Cross District High School exists to provide each student with an atmosphere of responsible freedom in which they can develop and thrive while learning skills and abilities, enabling them to prosper and live as a good Catholics.

Notre Dame Academy is Northern Kentucky’s ONLY Catholic college-preparatory high school exclusively for young women. Sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame, NDA provides a premier education empowering young women to become intelligent and compassionate leaders who strive to make a difference in the world. NDA graduates are poised, confident, loving and intellectually competent young women prepared for a life of service to others centered in the Catholic faith.

St. Henry District High School (SHDHS), a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School, is Northern Kentucky’s largest Catholic, co-educational high school. Guided by faith, scholarship, athletics, arts and leadership, students are provided with a comprehensive, college-preparatory education and a wide range of extracurricular and community service opportunities. SHDHS faculty and staff are invested in student success and are dedicated to developing well-rounded men and women of strong character and integrity in the Catholic tradition who are prepared to meet the demanding challenges of the future.



Book Your Holiday Party with Us & Select One Gift Below! In addition, we will offer a $99.00 room rate for hotel accommodations! Gift 1

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7373 Turfway Rd. Florence, KY 41042


A 21st Century Building

Notre Dame Academy completes a $7 million expansion and renovation BY DAVID HOLTHAUS


otre Dame Academy, the 113-year-old Catholic girls school in Park Hills, recently finished a major expansion and renovation that created a new collaborative learning space as well as renovated space for reflection and worship. A $7 million capital campaign provided the funding to transform much of the current school building, opened in 1964, into a more modern space, giving students better access to technology and creating improved spaces for social engagement. “The girls are here a lot outside of school,” says Jane Kleier, director of marketing and communications. “They’re here all evening for clubs and sports. We wanted to make it a home away from home.” The campaign was called Excellence Without Boundaries – Empowering 21st Century Women, and was jumpstarted by a Notre Dame alumna who bequeathed the school money for a library. That was used to help create the centerpiece of the campaign, the 21st Century Collaborative Learning Center. The Center is wired for tech, and includes a video editing bay, a production suite and technology that permits collaboration on projects. “The goal behind the learning center is definitely collaboration,” Kleier says. The cafeteria, which dated to the school’s opening in the mid-‘60s, was completely renovated into a food court and student commons. The space now allows for quiet

study time, group event s and even presentations for the entire student body. “It’s a much more updated, state-of-theart cafeteria, much more colorful, much brighter,” Kleier says. The project included the construction of “Spanish stairs,” TOP: Notre Dame Academy’s new Collaborative where students can Learning Center encourages quiet study time. gather, study or just hang out. The stairs, BELOW: The Collaborative Learning Center is also wired for tech. which are made for sitting, can hold up to an entire grade level into classroom spaces that are compliant with the requirements of the Americans of students, she says. Along with the upgraded space for tech- with Disabilities Act. Notre Dame Academy is sponsored by nology, collaboration and socializing, the Catholic school’s leaders also prioritized the the Sisters of Notre Dame, who founded expansion and renovation of the school’s the school in 1906. Today, it has about chapel. The chapel is able to hold about 575 girls in ninth through 12th grades, 200 people, roughly an entire grade plus and is the only all-women Catholic college faculty and staff. preparatory school in Northern Kentucky. A reflection space was added, including a With the project, school officials say Marian shrine as a place to be inspired by they’ve reimagined a 55-year-old school and reflect on Mary, the Blessed Mother, the building into a facility that is responsive to central figure of the school’s spiritual life. the demands of 21st century education and Bishop Roger Foys, the bishop of the the academy’s focus on its Catholic identity diocese of Covington, presided over the and the spiritual formation of its students. chapel’s dedication on March 30. “The Sisters of Notre Dame have taken The last piece of the project was a second very good care of the building and we conelevator and renovation of “half-floor” areas tinue to do that,” Kleier says. n www.BestofNKY.com



Stephen T. Shumard, photographer



18 E. 5TH ST., NEWPORT, KY 41071

18 E. 5TH ST.,859-491-8000 NEWPORT, KY 41071 859-491-8000


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NKY Magazine: Fall 2019  

NKY Magazine: Fall 2019  

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