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The Banks Cincy

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Luxury bowling, live music venue coming to Banks

Howl at the Moon is returning to Cincinnati, but this time, it’ll be located on Cincinnati’s side of the riverfront with a luxury bowling component.

The live music venue Howl at the Moon and Splitsville Luxury Lanes will renovate a 16,000-square-foot space at The Banks to create a new entertainment destination slated to open in the summer. The new venture will operate in the former space of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill. The new destination offers room for up to 800 patrons.

The newest venue helps complete the transition of commercial spaces vacated since private developers – with the blessing of the city of Cincinnati’s and Hamilton County’s governments – began new construction at the site nearly a decade ago. Atlanta-based real estate development team Carter & Associates and the Dawson Co. were named the site’s master developer in late 2007.

Since that time, apartments, a museum, a park, and an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars now sit sandwiched between two pro sports stadiums.

Howl at the Moon’s centerpiece is a stage with twin pianos accompanied by other musical instruments. Performances focus on hits from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s in a dance-friendly format.

Jimmy Bernstein, a Cincinnati native, founded Howl at the Moon, which opened its first location at Covington Landing on the Ohio River in 1990 and moved to Newport’s Riverboat Row in 1997. The venue later moved to Over-the-Rhine in April 2001, but closed the same year. Howl at the Moon has 17 other locations around the country.

“We’re excited to welcome Howl at the Moon home,” Laura Griffin, an associate with Nicol Investment, said in a statement. Nicol Investment is owner of the Phase I development at The Banks. “The dueling pianos and high-energy environment are legendary and will be a perfect fit on Second Street. The combination really complements both the new venues we’ve announced recently and the long-time favorites at The Banks.”

Since the opening of the original location in Tampa, Florida, in 2003, Splitsville has grown to six locations including one at the Walt Disney World Resort. Splitsville has a menu that includes pizzas, burgers, appetizers and cocktails.

Here are the new tenants The Banks has announced since December: restaurant BurgerFi, bar-restaurant  Pies & Pints, restaurant Taste of Belgium, drinkware retailer Tervis and a bar called The Stretch.

The Banks is now seeing construction on a variety of fronts – the $90 million General Electric Co.’s U.S. Global Operations Center, $35 million AC Hotel development, $29.3 million public project underway on Race Street and space build-outs for new restaurant and entertainment tenants. New apartments opened at The Banks earlier this month could double the residential population at the riverfront site.