Hand in Hand

Taking Care of Each Other, Supporting Each Other—It’s What You Do, What You’ve Always Done

Article by Henry Allen

Photography by Elizabeth A. Lowry | Alicia + Will Photography | Matt Capps of Loveland Premium Portraits

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

The world is always changing. Sometimes quickly. And yet nothing has altered the way we live—as individuals, families, communities—more than COVID-19. Some of us worked from home. Others lost their jobs. Restaurants and retail closed; biz owners were faced with tough decisions. Some were able to keep selling online or at walk-up windows. Others closed indefinitely. But the fact remains—local businesses are what makes this place feel like home. So, we asked a few familiar faces to call out some of their favorite Loveland gems—to help you find new ways to support those that need it most, and maybe find a new treasure of your own. Because that’s what community is all about.

Favorite Beer Stop

Think about your favorite place to grab a beer—what stands out? The people, live music, the lighting … atmosphere is everything. Don Smith of Cincinnati Certified Home Inspections is partial to Kirby’s. “Kirby Brakvill offers a warm and friendly reception to everyone. The food is good and the beer is cold!” Aside from a good vibe, the best watering holes encourage spontaneous hanging-out. Cappy’s is the spot for Molly Edmondson of MoJo Advantage, where you can “come as you are and explore some new beer.” But craft beer is always changing—luckily, some joints are rounding up the best for us. According to MoJo’s JoAnne Kennard, the Casual Pint always has “new beers you might not otherwise try.” Family outing, anyone? You can’t go wrong with Ramsey’s. For Dr. Doug Portmann at Wards Corner Chiropractic, it’s his favorite place to grab a bite and a brew. Additional favorites: Narrow Path, O’Bryan’s, outdoor festivals, Little Miami Brewing 

Favorite Place to Burn Energy

If you’re used to exercising in a group setting, you’ve probably been experiencing some withdrawal. Home workouts are only so versatile, and let’s be honest—your cat isn’t the best training partner. “I’m missing my tennis team and the friendships I’ve made at Harper’s Point Tennis Club,” says Nicole Russell of Lauren Alexandra Interiors. Our editor Stephanie Meinberg is in a similar seat. “Power Ryde is my workout tribe—I’d be lost without this inspiring (and now virtual) community.” Any yogis in the house? Honor Yoga is Chamber Pres CeeCee Collins’s favorite studio. “The owner, Carey, embodies the true practice of yoga.” Whether you’re missing practicing, pedaling or paddling, breathe deep and burn some energy in your favorite way. Additional favorites: SAW Pilates, Fitness 3K, Grailville hiking trails, Cincinnati Nature Center, Loveland Bike Trail, TITLE Boxing

Favorite Coffee Shop

Where do you get your morning joe? The choices are abundant—but most of us have a go-to fave. Mile 42 is the newest kid on the block, and it’s quickly become a regular stop for Wolterman Law’s Amber Rayburn. “You can’t beat the location—right by the bike trail!” Even a particular vibe can make the difference. For our publisher Emily Barlow, Hometown Cafe is the place to be. “I love drinking my steaming cup of coffee in their cozy sitting area … early in the morning before the rest of Loveland is open.” Sometimes, it’s about more than just the caffeine. Terry Sanderson of The Maids favors Branch Hill Coffee Company for their “great service, fun vibe and tasty treats.” Ellie Kowalchik of Move2Loveland appreciates how the staff at BIGGBY Coffee “welcomes you every morning with friendly smiles.” Next time you’re looking for a brew on the go, consider one of these java gems! Additional favorites: Dunkin’ Donuts, Skip’s Bagel Deli

Favorite Sweet or Ice Cream Shop

If you have a sweet tooth, you know how it feels to indulge in a treat from your favorite sugar stop—it’s magical. For Wendy Knight of Lemons and Limes Boutique, she’s no stranger to this feeling. “Walking into Cocoa Bites is like a whimsical break from reality.” These shops have a way of evoking emotions in us all. Véronique Hammons of Gallery Véronique loves the handmade feel of everything at the Loveland Sweet Shoppe. “It feels like the European shops I used to go to.” For some of us, ice cream stirs up sweet nostalgia—Family Wealth Advisory Group’s Rob Grossheim recalls bike rides to the Loveland Dairy Whip with his teammates after baseball games. “I still have the plastic baseball caps I would get the sundaes in.” We don’t blame him. After all, nothing beats feeling like a kid in a candy store. Additional favorites: Trailside Provisions, Graeter’s Ice Cream, Buzzed Bull Creamery  


Favorite Boutique or Salon

With so many online retailers, shopping is more convenient than ever. Unfortunately, convenience doesn’t always make for the just-right gift—that’s where local boutiques come in. “Lemons & Limes Boutique is my ‘hit it out of the park’ place for gift shopping,” shared our own Mandy Geyman. Lori Holmes of Holmes Custom Renovations favors Alley Boutique, where the E in “Alley” stands for “eclectic and on trend,” and the Y is “your soon-to-be favorite boutique.” Embody SKIN Care’s Heather Buckles is partial to Haven Grey. “Haven Grey’s owner offered to help me create the look I wanted—exactly what I had envisioned.” Dr. Peter Hill from PetCare Animal Hospital finds the best ideas at Busy Bee. “Guys like to ‘get it and go,’ and this is the perfect place for that.” In the market for some fashion and beauty pointers? Susan Maggard of CMH Montessori depends on Exquisite Design Salon & Spa. “The gals at Exquisite don’t just do haircuts and color—they’re part of my personal glam squad!” Additional favorites: Frizzy Melon Salon, Mainstream Boutique, Blume, Ambiance Nail Spa, The Wild Hare Salon, Pink Nails, Woodhouse Day Spa, Ten Thousand Villages


Favorite Restaurant

When it comes to creating a sense of community, nothing compares to food—we’re fortunate to have such an eclectic local selection, so let’s get to the meat of it. Paxton’s Grill is housed in one of Loveland’s oldest buildings, and part of the reason why John Hill of John Hill Construction appreciates it. “It’s the Cheers of Loveland—where everyone knows your name.” You’ll find a comparable vibe across town at Shooters Sports Grill—Perennial Professional Services’ Tim Gill is a big fan. “It has such a great family atmosphere, and the food selection is awesome.” 

Certain eateries serve up cuisine and atmosphere that transport their patrons around the world—The Works has Michael DiSalvo of A+ Tutoring & Test Prep feeling right at home. “It makes me feel like I’m back in Italy again. The brick oven pizza, architecture and delicious smell of baked breads ...” According to Dale Robertson of Dale Robertson Jewelry, El Picante is “muy delicioso! The menu is enorme, and we always have a great time with the family.” The Southern comfort food at Bishop’s Quarter is a staff favorite for the team at Watson’s. “It’s right off the bike trail, but it feels like you’ve stepped into New Orleans.” 

For classic meets creative, check out the culinary expertise of brothers Paul and Neil Barraco at the Governor. Pete DeLois of Recreations Outlet is partial to their tasty choices. “The food there is inventive and delicious.” While Finer Lawn & Landscaping’s Donnie Powell can find no better option than Tano. “The food is very fresh and full of flavor—second-to-none in Loveland.” Supporting local? It doesn’t get much easier than enjoying an incredible meal. Additional favorites: Tony’s, Mezedes, LePeep, Bucks Tavern, Enoteca Emilia, Bones’ Burgers, Chez Renée 

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