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by Michael C. Lowe | May 01, 2011
Upgrades
The Cincinnati Convention Center is surrounded by $2 billion of new developments, including a seasonal ice rink, more than a dozen restaurants, and a handful of hotels and retail outlets.
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Local Update
In February, Caesars Entertainment broke ground on the $400 million Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati. Along with 33,000 square feet of meeting space, the 354,000-square-foot complex will feature approximately 2,300 slot machines and 72 gaming tables, three restaurants and a 2,500-spot parking garage. Completion is set for 2012.

In March, the 134-room Residence Inn by Marriott opened in the former Phelps Apartments on Fourth Street in the Lytle Park historic district. The property underwent a $10 million transformation and offers 1,157 square feet of meeting space.

The Christian Moerlein Lager House Res­taurant and Brewery will open in October and will feature a working microbrewery producing Moerlein craft beers, along with smoked rotisserie meats and bread made from leftover grains collected after the brewing process. The $4 million restaurant, available for private dining and meetings, will include indoor areas with seating for up to 500, while two outdoor beer gardens will accommodate 600.
 
A lot is happening in the up-and-coming neighborhood known as The Banks, which runs along the Ohio River between Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park. Phase one of a massive redevelopment project finished earlier this year and includes 80,000 square feet of retail space. With work continuing over the next decade, the area eventually will offer nearly three million square feet of residential, retail, restaurant and business space.

The Holy Grail Tavern & Grille opened in March not far from the Great Ameri­can Ballpark. The 6,000-square-foot eatery features 20 beers on tap and locally sourced American pub fare, generally priced below $10. Regular patrons swear by the double-marinated chicken teriyaki sandwich with provolone and grilled pineapple.

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill is scheduled to open this summer in downtown Cincinnati. The 16,000-square-foot restaurant will double as an entertainment venue and be outfitted with dozens of high-definition TVs as well as a mechanical bull named Toby. Menu items will feature Southern-style dishes, from pulled pork sandwiches to Southern-fried Twinkies.

Cincinnati's leafy Washington Park currently is undergoing a $46 million renovation and expansion that will add six to eight acres of green space, in addition to an underground garage able to hold 450 cars. The project is expected to be completed in 2012.