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Looking to the Future

Mason’s Looking Glass Hospitality continues to grow with the local community and beyond.

Article by Jonathan Stout

Photography by RVP Photography, April Sova, Jenna Beers, Eric Thomas

Originally published in Mason & Deerfield Lifestyle

Scott Schmidt founded Mason’s Looking Glass Hospitality (LGH) in 2016. His first restaurant was TAHONA Kitchen+Bar located at Summit Park in Blue Ash, a concept created with his wife Erin. He formalized his partnership with LGH Senior Vice President and operating partner, Will Wadsworth to create S.W. Clyborne Co. Provision & Spirits in 2018, bringing urban-style dining to Mason.

Clyborne's was first featured in the October 2018 issue of Mason + Deerfield Lifestyle and has since been named a five-time Readers’ Choice fine-dining winner. Both Mason residents themselves, Scott and Will chose their home base to open Clyborne’s because they didn’t want to always drive downtown to have a unique dining experience and they believed their neighbors felt the same way.

“This community embraced Clyborne’s from the beginning and we are grateful for, and humbled by their support,” Scott tells us. 

Scott and Will also both have children with food allergies and dietary restrictions so it was important to them to develop a menu with gluten-free options and have an educated staff who takes allergies seriously. 

“At Clyborne’s, we’ve had people with celiac disease tell us with tears of joy that they never thought they would be able to eat fried chicken again and they can’t believe how tasty ours is,” Will describes.

“It’s music to our ears every time someone with a food allergy or dietary restriction tells us that they feel safe dining with us,” Scott adds. 

LGH now has five currently operating restaurant concepts with two additional openings planned for 2023. Their current restaurants include S.W. Clyborne Co. Provision & Spirits (Mason), Emery (Mariemont), Fretboard Brewing & Public House (Hamilton), TAHONA Kitchen+Bar (Blue Ash and Loveland) and Toast & Berry (Montgomery and Liberty Township).

Growth continues to be the goal of Looking Glass Hospitality. “We plan to continue creating distinctive, chef-driven concepts that are unique to the neighborhoods in which they operate,” says Scott. 

“This region has a great restaurant scene with a wide variety of neighborhoods and a lot of opportunity,” Will explains. 

A new Toast & Berry, located at Liberty Center in Liberty Township, opens this spring, and they plan to bring the concept to multiple neighborhoods throughout the Tri-State area in the coming years. Their newest concept, Alara, planned to open this fall, is currently under construction in Madisonville at the Madison Square entertainment district.

Among their many accomplishments, they are proudest of their people. “We are fortunate to have a team of people in our restaurants who work hard and do everything they can to take care of our guests and provide them with a memorable dining experience,” shares Will. 

Scott adds, “We set out to grow the company and create opportunities for our team members and those looking to join our team. We’re proud to say that many people have found a career with us. We’re looking forward to continuing to grow and offering more career opportunities for those looking to grow with us.”

Brewery Boom

Check in with a few of the local breweries that have opened and expanded since we first covered 16 Lots Brewing in 2018. 

Sonder Brewing

Sonder continues to focus on making uniquely crafted and high-quality beers and seltzers. “Sonder is grateful to Mason and Deerfield for its continued support and strives to give back through community partnerships and philanthropy,” Sonder Vice President Jennifer Meissner tells us. They plan to open the Sonder Taphaus on Civic Centre Boulevard in West Chester in 2023. 

The Common Beer Company 

Common is celebrating a win as the MADE Chamber 2022 Business of the Year and its 5th anniversary in 2023. “Our biggest advancement was in rebuilding our production facility with all new equipment,” founder Mark Lortz shares. Their plans include providing more indoor space, as well as continued collaborations with local breweries to showcase the inclusiveness of the beer community. 

16 Lots Brewing

The original 16 Lots location in Mason boasts a 2,000 sq. ft. tap room and a wide selection of flagship and seasonal beers, along with a food menu from Mad Monks Pizza. A recently opened location in Newport, Kentucky includes a robust riverfront patio, cigar speakeasy lounge, indoor stage, ample seating, scratch kitchen and more. 

Cartridge Brewing

Cartridge Brewing offers an airy taproom and dining room and a tree-lined outdoor patio. Despite summer road closures, Communications Director Stephanie Meinberg promises lots of new features are on the horizon. “If you stick with us throughout the road closures this summer we’ll have new beers, new events and workshops, live music, trivia, coffee pop-ups and more coming throughout the rest of the year and into 2024,” Stephanie explains. 

Fretboard Brewing 

Fretboard Brewing and Public House, an LGH restaurant in Hamilton, Ohio, offers fresh takes on pub fare with exclusive beer partner Fretboard Brewing’s most award-winning beers. 

A new Fretboard Brewing location (not an LGH property), is scheduled to open in June as part of the Gatherall located at Factory 52 in Norwood. It will feature a large outdoor patio and a roomy indoor space.

  • Erin and Scott Schmidt, Photo By: April Sova
  • Photo By: Jenna Beers
  • Photo By: Eric Thomas
  • Photo By: April Sova