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The Banks Cincy

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Holy Grail owners opening second concept in former Mahogany’s space at the Banks

The owners of Holy Grail are opening a second concept at the Banks.

Santo Graal, which is Italian for “holy grail,” will be a new restaurant serving traditional Italian fare. The restaurant will open in the 3,250-square-foot space in phase I of the Banks that was the home of Mahogany’s, which closed in mid-September 2014.

“We know that an Italian concept will do exceptionally well at the Banks,” said Tom Heitker, one of Santo Graal’s owners. “It will be a place where you can relax with friends and experience freshly made, traditional Italian fare that you might find in Nonna’s home.”

The new restaurant will have build-your-own pizzas, calzones, classic Italian pasta dishes, salads, desserts and appetizers. The pasta and pizza dough will be made fresh daily. Santo Graal also will have contemporary wine offerings and a full bar. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner.
Jim Moehring, another one of the owners of Holy Grail and Santo Graal, said he and his partners are bullish on the Banks. They signed a 16-year lease for the space.

“We see the future being incredibly bright,” Moehring said. “It’s in its infancy down there. We’re fortunate enough to be in on the ground floor.”

Demolition has started on the former Mahogany’s space. Moehring said the kitchen is being expanded, as well as the bathrooms. A private dining area is being added and the bar is being redone.

“It’s not down to four walls, but it’s pretty close to it,” Moehring said.

Santo Graal is the first Italian restaurant at the Banks. It is expected to be open for business by mid-March 2015. Moehring would like to open the restaurant on the anniversary of Holy Grail at the Banks, March 17, but he’s not sure if they can hit that date.

The menu and price points are still being worked on. Moehring said the restaurant will serve “fresh takes” on standard Italian dishes as well as some eclectic Italian fare. The owners went to other markets, such as Boston, to get some different flavors.

Moehring expects to hire about 30 employees to work at the new restaurant. Santo Graal will have seating for about 140, plus patio space.

The Banks is a multi-phase mixed-use development on the Ohio riverfront. The Banks Phase IA, which includes 300 apartments and 77,000 square feet of retail space, is owned by NIC Riverbanks Retail One.

Phase 2 of the Banks broke ground in May 2014 and will add another 291 apartments, about 20,000 square feet of retail space and a 340,000-square-foot, build-to-suit office building for General Electric. Carter and Dawson are the master developers in partnership with Nicol Investment Co. Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate Inc. is handling retail leasing for the Banks.