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The Banks Cincy

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Bar operator bringing new venue to The Banks

Bar operator Four Entertainment Group already has popular bars around the region in its portfolio such as Lachey’s, Keystone Bar & Grill, Igby’s and Righteous Room.

But the Cincinnati-based company is now turning its attention to The Banks as it plans to open a new entertainment venue called The Stretch, said Bob Deck, managing partner of 4EG.

The Stretch will operate in space previously occupied by Johnny Rockets along East Freedom Way, according to representatives from The Banks’ development team. The nearly 3,000-square-foot venue is expected to bring in local and national DJs. Deck said 4EG is still working on bar designs but would like to have The Stretch open by this fall.

“We’re just that cool bar,” Deck said about what he’s planning to bring to The Banks. “We’re focused on drinks. That’s where we can be unique at The Banks. Let us be the cool bar down there and people can eat at the other establishments.

“I always thought that Johnny Rockets spot was a great spot because of its location, being a corner spot right across from the (Cincinnati) Reds stadium,” he said. “There’s concepts down there that do really well and there’s concepts that didn’t do well. I think it all comes down to having the right concept for the area.”

Deck studied the potential of locating an attraction at The Banks for a long time, and said Thursday the company was “pleased to now be a part of the equation for the continuing success and development of The Banks.”

“4EG operates some of Greater Cincinnati’s most popular and hip entertainment venues, and we’re excited to bring that same energy and excitement to the riverfront,” said Laura Griffin, an associate with Nicol Investment, owner of the Phase I development at The Banks. “We continue to seek out a diverse mix of retail, entertainment, business and residential at The Banks. 4EG’s reputation for friendly service, great drinks, and superior music and décor will be a terrific draw.”

Last week, The Banks announced it had deals with fast-growing burger restaurant chain BurgerFi and its first retail tenant, Tervis, to locate at the riverfront mixed-use destination. Nashville-based Nicol Investment owns the buildings where the tenants will be locating after buying the property in 2013.

Taste of Belgium plans to open a new location at The Banks this spring.

The new announcements are helping to reset The Banks after exits of venues such as Mahogany’s, Toby Keith’s, Johnny Rockets and the Wine Guys Bar & Grill. Banks planners promised a new wave of attention and development at the site in 2016 as it matures. The city and county picked Atlanta-based companies Carter & Associates and the Dawson Co. to be The Banks’ master developer in November 2007.

In addition to the buildings under construction, the University of Cincinnati is studyinghow it could move its law school and PromoWest is interested in locating an indoor and outdoor entertainment facility at The Banks.

“We feel like we’re in the next phase of the project and the project’s kind of growing into its own and it’s developing a personality, identity and brand,” Griffin told The Enquirer last year.

Four Entertainment Group was founded in 2007 and also operates Mt. Adams Pavilion, the Sandbar, Low Spark, the Lackman, and the St. Clair.