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15 More NKY Restaurants Awarded Grants from Relief Fund

Fifteen more local restaurants were awarded grants Thursday through the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund, operated by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky.

This is the second round of fifteen $1,000 grants awarded.

Restaurants are nominated by customers who purchase a gift card at an establishment in an amount of at least $50, if the purchase is then registered at the project's website.

This week's winners were announced during the Chamber's Northern Kentucky Spotlight podcast, hosted by Kathrine Nero.

This week's recipients are:

·Agave & Rye (Covington)

·The Baker’s Table (Newport)

·Bean Haus (Covington)

·Blinker’s Tavern (Covington)

·Chick-Fil-A Mall Road (Florence)

·Coppin’s Restaurant (Covington)

·Dewey’s Pizza (Crestview Hills)

·Darkness Brewing (Bellevue)

·Fort Mitchell Public House (Fort Mitchell)

·Graeter’s (Fort Mitchell)

·Herb & Thelma’s Tavern (Covington)

·Ludlow Tavern (Ludlow)

·Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar (Covington)

·Oriental Wok (Fort Mitchell)

·Tousey House Tavern (Burlington)

Restaurants can only win a grant once and must be locally-owned and operated.

So far, $31,000 worth of gift cards have been purchased in support of more than one hundred local bars and restaurants.

“What a gift to have been selected as one of the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund grant winners,” said Yavonne Sarbor, who owns Agave & Rye with her husband Wade. “We’re thrilled about this contribution. With it we plan to seed our own employee fund – giving back to the incredible Agave & Rye team that has worked tirelessly to support our community. Thank you to NKY Restaurant Relief Fund organizers for taking such good care of local businesses. It’s proof that we truly are better together!”

The program was recently extended, allowing extra time for gift card/gift certificate purchasers to be rewarded as well. Ultimate Air Shuttle has donated a pair of airline tickets that will be awarded to one gift card/gift certificate purchaser on Thursday, April 30, during the Northern Kentucky Spotlight podcast which will air at 4 p.m. that afternoon.

Receipts for the next winners’ pool must be uploaded to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website by midnight Wednesday, April 29, in order to be eligible for the airline tickets, as well as the grants.

The fund was originally slated to be a two-week program but has been extended for a third week, largely in part to Main Street Ventures which made a $10,000 donation. Additional donors to the fund include Woods Hardware/ACME Lock, Marilyn Scripps, Urban Sites, and Julie Kirkpatrick.

Main Street Ventures’ Dave Knox says the success of the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund proves how strong both the community and its other businesses are in terms of supporting one another.

“For twenty years, Main Street Ventures has supported the entrepreneurial community in the Cincinnati area. It’s not all about tech,” Knox said. “The restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are the beating heart of each neighborhood on both sides of the river. We’re here to support any small-business owner, now more than ever.”

NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper said that he is thankful for all the contributions and excited about the support they have produced for local restaurants and bars.

“While many people will focus on those that received the $1,000 grants, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out what this fund has done for all of our local restaurants and bars,” said Cooper. “This promotion provided not only much-needed income to dozens of restaurants and bars that exist throughout Northern Kentucky, but also raised awareness of how many terrific locally-owned establishments there are worthy of patronage and support.”

Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume agreed.

“Through a true regional collaboration, our community has united to assist one of our most affected – and most important – business sectors,” Crume said. “Our local restaurants and bars provide us with food, personal service and places to come together to unwind and celebrate special moments with family and friends. It is so inspiring to see our region come together now to support them.”

Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson sees the fund as a great starting point for possible similar support systems in the future.

“The NKY Restaurant Relief Fund was not something that had been planned for years, months or even weeks; this is dozens of organizations and the public quickly coming together to respond to a situation requiring immediate attention,” said Grayson. “I cannot wait to see how many more small businesses and people become involved in this uncommon effort for our common good in Northern Kentucky.”

To nominate a local restaurant or bar for the final round of funding, or for more information, visit the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website at Direct contributions to the fund can also be made by visiting Horizon Community Funds’ website,; questions can be directed to

“We would like to thank the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky for this financial boost - and the community for nominating us,” said Jack Olshan, general manager of Coppin’s Restaurant. “The NKY Restaurant Relief Fund will assist us in supporting our team during this unprecedented time.”

“It's incredibly encouraging to see just how far the borders of our community reach," said Fort Mitchell Public House owner Mike Hang. "We have received so much support and kind words from the residents of Fort Mitchell and beyond, and we're truly grateful for everyone's backing. Our thanks to the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, and Horizon Community Funds for creating the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund."

“Thank you so much for providing an opportunity for restaurants some much needed assistance,” said Aleta Bergsman, owner of Ludlow Tavern. “This grant will help me to continue to operate during this uncertain time. I am very grateful for the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund and very grateful for the support of my community in buying gift certificates to help support my business.”

-Staff report

Photo: Dining room at the Baker's Table (file)