Member Login

Premium Content

New Restaurant, Dessert Bar Opening in Bromley

The landmark Keyhole in Bromley is unlocked again.

Chris and Tina Schivner will soon open the Keyhole Eatery & Dessert Bar inside the Pike Street building known for its keyhole-shaped sign that preceded the new business.

The Schivners decided to try their hands at taking over the former bar space and making it something new.

"The place has a somewhat notorious past, having been a bar a lot of its life," said Chris. "We want to do what we can to change that image, and integrate the building and business with the community. Our motto is, the past doesn't determine the future. Today does."

The Schivners' business is already active on Facebook. They have completely changed the inside of the place, formerly known as Simpler Times, a bar owned by Bromley council member Nancy Kienker.  She bowed out of her business when it came down to a choice between helping her daughter, expecting twins, or the business.

"It was really no choice," Kienker said. So her business closed, and now she has leased the building so it will live a new life as the Keyhole Eatery.

The interior of the space retains the bar. The walls are light with unique booths. Two TVs will play sitcoms from the 1940s through the 1980s. Tina Schivner supervised the redesign of the door that leads to the basement.

"I always wanted a hobbit door, and this was a perfect place," she said. "It just gives an interesting air."

There will be a checkers game at every table, and a shelving unit in the rear room with over a hundred board games. Still under construction is the room behind the bar, which will be the ice cream room, where people can order ice cream and sit at parlor tables. Outside on the patio there will be tables, too, and a small stage for entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

Hours will be Monday through Thursday from 2 to 10 p.m., and on Friday the Keyhole will be open for lunch at 11 a.m. and stay open till 1 a.m.  On Saturday, breakfast will be served at 8 a.m., and the business will be open until 1 a.m.

The Keyhole isn't the Schrivers' first business. The couple operates Furniture Flippers in Crittenden, and a vending machine and catering business, AYSV Food Services, that they operate out of the former Ludlow church where they live.

Bars and churches are common on the corners of Northern Kentucky's river cities, and now the Schrivners have their hands on one of each.

"I looked up the ratio of saloons to churches, and in Ludlow there are 17 saloons and 13 churches," Chris laughed. "In Bromley there are 6 saloons and 5 churches."

In the 1980s, Bromley had one less bar after the city fought for three years to shut down the problematic Keyhole.

And now, it reopens as a more wholesome and inviting place.

The restaurant will host a soft opening when the inspections are all completed, and then later, a grand opening will be hosted. 

"When we cater, we might have 300 people, but we have no variables," he explained. "With this business, there are a lot of variables, and it is like keeping all the balls in the air."

Tina, who will run the Keyhole, is scared and excited, she said, but she is looking forward to meeting new people.

They hired a chef, a friend of Chris's, Eric Daniel, who was the chef at Smitty's and at the Drawbridge. The menu is pretty well set, but open to changes as the time goes on. They will specialize in the German, Italian, and Greek heritage of the area in their selection of foods, and they will offer wraps and salads, burgers, and vegetarian selections such as black bean burgers. There will be a daily special, too.   

"We will also have at least four different desserts to choose from, besides the ice cream," said Chris. "I cook, but Tina and our daughter bake, and we will take advantage of that."

The Keyhole Eatery and Dessert Bar will open some time in July.

"If it was up to me I'd be cooking next week," said Chris. "I have been told that people will be shocked when they walk in at how different the place is. But it will still evolve. Even after we open, it will still evolve."

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor