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Behle Street Closes in Covington

Behle Street Cafe has closed for good.

The restaurant opened in 1994 on RiverCenter Boulevard, named for former owner Tommy Behle, who passed away in 2003.

A note on the door from current owner Shawn Thomas and longtime general manager Sheli Truss Karim blames a lack of development in the city and competition from Cincinnati.

"One of the toughest decisions I've had to make," Thomas wrote. "But with the loss of two major businesses in Covington, along with development of the Banks, (Over-the-Rhine), and no further development in Covington for many years, we just couldn't keep up. Although great for Cincinnati, not so good for Covington."

The two businesses to which Thomas refers are likely Omnicare and The Nielsen Company which bolted from RiverCenter Boulevard for attractive tax incentives from Cincinnati and the State of Ohio, taking with them hundreds of employees.

"I have so many personal relationships with loyal customers," Karim said in the note, adding that the message was written through tears. "It's a very difficult time for us and very hard to say goodbye to so many people who have been there for me an watched me grow.

Karim was general manager for nineteen years.

Though the jobs lost in the Nielsen & Omnicare moves have not been fully recouped, some more workers have been added to the towers with the move of Tier One Performance Solutions and DBA Direct, and Jeff Ruby's The Waterfront will reopen around the corner from Behle Street at Covington Landing. Europa Bistro which moved from Mainstrasse Village to RiverCenter recently opened a second location in Mt. Adams.

Photo: Behle Street/RCN

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