Round The Corner

The people and neighborhoods of our region have fascinating stories to tell, and WVXU is committed to telling them.

Round the Corner is our community storytelling initiative, shining a light on the people, businesses, history, and events that make Greater Cincinnati such a fascinating place to live, work, and raise a family.

The first Round the Corner community is Roselawn where WVXU reporter Jolene Almendarez has been spending the last several weeks meeting with community leaders, business owners, and longtime residents. Her first story, about the popular Vietnamese restaurant Song Long, is posted below.

Additional stories from Roselawn will air on 91.7 WVXU and 88.5 WMUB, and stream on wvxu.org, the WVXU mobile app, and on your smart speaker.

Courtesy of Great Parks of Hamilton County

The Great Parks Nature Center at The Summit is receiving a grant from Ohio EPA to jump-start its educational programming. The center in Roselawn was established in 2019 to provide environmental education and nature programming.

JCC Picture Collection

It was the 1950s in Roselawn. You could pay a nickel for a pickle out of barrel at the pharmacy. There were at least five kosher butcher shops on or near Reading Road, and Jewish refugees fleeing Europe set up bakeries to sell traditional goods like braided challah and mandel bread, a Jewish version of biscotti.

Rabbi Irvin Wise, 72, says his family moved to Roselawn in the fall of 1962 during the heyday of the Jewish community in the neighborhood.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

The Community Economic Advancement Initiative, an organization founded in 2015 to support the African American community in Cincinnati, has loosely broken ties with The Port over ideological differences. CEAI claims the development group may inadvertently gentrify neighborhoods.

CEAI Board Secretary Gene Ellington said his organization and The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority have "sort of divergent concerns and issues," and the relationship between the two organizations has been challenged over the years.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

It's a Saturday morning and Roselawn Community Council trustees are pulling weeds, picking up cans and getting rid of garbage along Reading Road. Council Trustee Carla Foster has a weed sprayer strapped to her back.

"It used to be a destination spot," she said of Roselawn. "I grew up in Avondale, so growing up this is where you wanted to move and I did. And now it's not the way it was." 

Jim Nolan / WVXU

In addition to covering the big stories of the day, WVXU has launched a community storytelling initiative to seek out the people, places and events that make Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky unique.

For 'Round the Corner, a WVXU reporter will spend several weeks getting to know residents, business operators and leaders in one neighborhood, suburb or a community of folks, like say, veterans.

First up: The Cincinnati neighborhood of Roselawn.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

On any given morning, about 550 students at the Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies in Roselawn are greeted with "Hola" and "¿Cómo estás?" It's a school where students learn Spanish or English in an immersive experience, which educators say is part of a long term goal to prepare students for life in a diverse society.

new prospect baptist church
Kevin Weber / WVXU

A church in Roselawn has been transforming into a neighborhood hub for just over a decade, renovating a dilapidated community space in an effort to return it to its glory days. It's not just about the space. New Prospect Baptist Church says it's focusing on essentials, like childcare and business development, to creates a playing field where the community can thrive.

Kevin Weber / WVXU

Cuc Le is a 74-year-old woman who's about four feet tall with a slight body. She wears jade bracelets that clink while she cooks Vietnamese staples at her restaurant in Roselawn.

She, her husband, Anthony, and their young family left Saigon as refugees just after the Vietnam War in the fall of 1975. She hardly spoke any English as they moved through military bases when they first arrived in the United States. But then, Saint Antoninus Catholic Church on the West Side of Cincinnati sponsored them and the city became their home.