The Incline Public House: A must go

The Price Hill Incline opened in 1874. Just two years after its opening, the Price Hill House, a restaurant at the top of the incline, was built by William Price. Price and his family abstained from selling alcohol, which set them apart from the saloons at the summits of the other inclines. Since the Price Hill House did not serve alcohol, the Price Hill Incline was named “Buttermilk Mountain”. Despite the lack of alcohol, the Price Hill House was still a popular destination because of its pavilion and enclosed park that overlooked the Ohio River and downtown Cincinnati. However, the food was so good at the Price Hill House that its customers were able to overlook the lack of alcohol. One newspaper once reported that over 30,000 customers flocked to the restaurant with their own beer in their own kegs. After the death of William Price and his son Rees, the Price Hill House began selling alcohol until the 18th Amendment prohibited the selling and distribution thereof. After prohibition ended, the Price Hill House began selling alcohol once again. However, the restaurant was unable to survive during the Great Depression. Then in the summer of 1943, almost 69 years after it had opened, the Price Hill Incline suffered a major breakdown from which it could not recover. The repairs were deemed too expensive and, despite the effort of the local community, Mayor Ed Waldvogel closed the Incline for good. The Price Hill House was changed to an American Legion hall in the 1940s, but in 1948 the hill overlooking the city caught the attention of the WSAI radio station. WSAI demolished the old pavilion and built their transmitter in its place. In 1964, a 20-story luxury apartment building opened where the local powerhouse had been located. In 1965 the luxury apartments changed their name to the Queen’s Tower, which is its name to this day. Perched atop the hill where the Incline used to run sits a new restaurant which, like the Price Hill House, has received much acclaim. This new restaurant opened on February 1, 2013, and to commemorate the rich heritage of the Incline District, was dubbed the Incline Public House. Since construction began last year, neighborhood members and restaurant-goers alike had wondered what type of restaurant the Incline Public House would be. Ben Jaeger, a senior here at Elder, is an employee at the Incline Public House. “I used to work at Werkhaus Pizza but I was stuck at minimum wage and I didn’t like working there anyway. I applied to the Incline Public House on Wednesday, March 13th and I was hired the next day, said Jaeger. “I still make minimum wage, but I get evaluated for a raise every 90 days, where I was stuck at minimum wage at the Werkhaus.” “My favorite part about working here is the dishes,” said Jaeger. “For some reason, they are really fun to do. I do dishes mostly anyway along with some food prep. The people at IPH are also quite enjoyable to work with.” “The food is fantastic,” Jaeger continued. “Everything on the menu is made from scratch. My favorite thing on the menu is easily the cookie in an iron skillet with vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel. It is hard, but I try to limit myself to one a week.” Jaeger had this to add about the Incline Public House: “It is a great place and I would highly recommend coming down for a bite to eat!” Taking Jaeger’s advice, we decided to head up the hill to the Incline District to try for ourselves what the Incline Public House had to offer. Based on our experiences on Wednesday April 3rd, we broke up our ratings of the restaurant into four different categories: Food, Service, Location, and Atmosphere . Food: 5/5 The food at IPH is all made from scratch. According to the general manager, the restaurant doesn’t even have a freezer—meaning all food is made fresh—never frozen. The restaurant does have a small refrigerator for food that must be kept cold. Because their food cannot be frozen, IPH receives deliveries about five times a week. IPH takes simple foods, like sandwiches, burgers, fish, and pizza, and serves them up professionally. For example, the dough for each pizza is handspun for each order. The cooks then add the proper toppings and place the pizza in IPH’s own pizza oven. The pizza reminded us of Dewey’s—only better. Finally, The Purple Quill gave the food 5 out of 5 because of the sizeable amount of food that is served at a moderate price. Most menu items cost somewhere between the range of $6 to $12. Service: 5/5 From the minute customers walk into the door at the Incline Public House, they are met with friendly, professional employees. The hosts and hostesses did a really nice job ball parking the estimated waiting time and were very thorough in taking down customer information. This is exemplified by the fact that the hostess took our picture on an iPad at the hostess stand so that she could come find us while we gazed upon the city view from the outdoor deck with the other customers who were waiting to be seated. Our waitress was also very professional. The water at IPH is brought out in two different vase looking jugs. Not once did we have to pour ourselves a glass because our server was always around to fill our glasses up. Our waitress provided excellent recommendations about what to order. It was clear that she knew the menu really well. A final unique aspect of the Incline Public House is how orders are taken. Upon placing one‘s order, the waitress enters it into a small, handheld computer to ensure that it reaches the cooks as quickly as possible. If paying with a credit card, the waitress can swipe your card into the machine. This way, the card never has to leave the customer. Location: 5/5 Although the drive to the Incline Public House doesn’t go through the nicest neighborhood, the restaurant is actually located in one of the most prime pieces of real estate in the city of Cincinnati. As implied by the name, the restaurant sits on the very edge of Price Hill, next to the Primavista and Olden View Park, overlooking the city in the same spot the Incline used to run many years ago. From any angle inside the Incline Public House, visitors have magnificent views of downtown Cincinnati—a view of the city that can only be experienced from the West Side. IPH capitalized on its location by creating two outdoor decks—one upper and one lower—that will seat 60 once the weather begins to get warmer. Atmosphere: 4/5 The Incline Public House has a young, hipster feel to it which can be seen through the attached pictures of its interior. This restaurant draws customers from every age, ethnicity, and financial background—making it a sort of “great melting pot”. This atmosphere definitely makes the dining experience more enjoyable. The only criticism about the restaurant’s atmosphere is the awkward, communal tables that customers sit around in the middle of the dining room. Albeit the host did ask whether or not we were alright with sitting at this type of table before she sat us, it was still a little weird sitting extremely close to strangers. Other than that, we had no criticisms of the restaurant. Overall, we gave the Incline Public House a score of 4.75 out of 5 for its Food, Service, Location, and Atmosphere. We, along with Seton Senior Katarina Gay would recommend the Incline Public House to anyone and everyone. “My family and I went the week it opened and we had a great time!” exclaimed Gay. “I definitely recommend the short rib grilled cheese.”