By: Brian Mains
CINCINNATI — An Over-the-Rhine dining staple will get an update this fall thanks to a recently inked deal with the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp.
The Alabama Fish Bar will remain at 1601 Race St. as part of 3CDC’s Willkommen project. The restaurant will receive multiple upgrades, including new equipment, as part of its participation in the project.
The Willkommen project is a $50 million mixed-income, mixed-use program that consists of 16 rehabbed buildings and four new infill buildings scattered throughout four different sites in Over-the-Rhine.
“Things take time, and if you want something done right, you can’t rush into it,” said Anna Fillis, owner of Alabama Fish Bar, in a press release. “It’s been about three years in the making, but I’m happy for the change, and excited for the future.”
Alabama’s 1,460-square-foot space will undergo renovations to freshen up the restaurant’s interior that Fillis and her family have operated for 29 years. The upgrades will include new flooring, paint, updated storefront, new kitchen hood, walk-in cooler and grill.
“Alabama Fish Bar is an institution in this neighborhood, so we felt it was critical to keep them in their current space,” said Katie Westbrook, development manager for 3CDC said. “These improvements will not only benefit Alabama’s, but the whole community, and we hope the renovation contributes to keeping the restaurant here for many years to come.”
During those renovations, which are expected to take several weeks, the Alabama Fish Bar will close. Fillis said she plans to pay her nine employees a weekly salary during that time.
“I’ve always been taught and always told my employees: you treat people the same; how you want to be treated,” Fillis said. “I’ve always lived by that.”
For more information about the Willkommen Project, visit www.3cdc.org.