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Mt. Washington, Mt. Auburn approved for entertainment districts with extra liquor licenses

three wine glasses on a bar
Jacek Dylag

Two Cincinnati neighborhoods are getting a designation to allow for more liquor licenses. Council voted Wednesday to approve central entertainment districts in Mount Washington and Mount Auburn. The requests now go to the state for final approval.

State law limits the number of liquor licenses in the city based on population. When all licenses are claimed, it can cost up to $20,000 to buy one on the private market.

“This kind of allows within specific geographic areas for there to be an increase in the availability of those licenses,” said Dan Bower, deputy director of the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development. “Then, helping businesses come and move into the city, obtain a license, and open a food and beverage establishment.”

Each new entertainment district will get up to 15 licenses that have to be used within the designated area, which is along part of Beechmont Ave. in Mt. Washington and along the Auburn Ave. corridor in Mt. Auburn.

President of the Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation Wendy O’Neal says an entertainment district is a key part of growing a vibrant and diverse business district.

“The neighborhoods that you all are familiar with — like Northside, Walnut Hills, several parts of OTR, Pendleton, College Hill — the growth that you have seen in the last five to 10 years in those neighborhoods,” O’Neal said. “[It’s the] chicken and the egg, but either the chicken or the egg was the central entertainment district.”

The city has about 20 entertainment districts, including at The Banks and Short Vine.

Becca Costello grew up in Williamsburg and Batavia (in Clermont County) listening to WVXU. Before joining the WVXU newsroom, she worked in public radio & TV journalism in Bloomington, Indiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. Becca has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including from local chapters of the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and contributed to regional and national Murrow Award winners. Becca has a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Becca's dog Cincy (named for the city they once again call home) is even more anxious than she is.