Award-Winning Cincinnati Chef Opens Moroccan-Inspired Wine Bar

Posted on May 31, 2024 by aatkinson

Safi Makes Debut in Transformed Salazar Space

CINCINNATI (May 31, 2024) – Just six months after announcing the closure of Salazar, his eponymous restaurant in Over-the-Rhine (OTR), Jose Salazar has set a date for the grand opening of his newest concept. Safi, a Moroccan-inspired wine bar, will take over the Republic Street space made iconic by its predecessor during its 10-year run. The new concept, the result of a recent trip Salazar and his wife took to Morocco, will open its doors tomorrow at 12 PM, revealing a floor-to-ceiling transformation.

Located at 1401 Republic Street just down the street from Washington Park, patrons are invited to swing by for a drink, a quick bite or full-service dining. From bar seating and proper tables to indoor lounge-style seating and outdoor couches, Safi is equipped to accommodate guests looking for swift service, as well as those looking to stay awhile.

Salazar worked with INDIO, a local interior design studio, to re-design the space, giving Safi a look and feel far different from the original Salazar restaurant. Dark and moody colors evoke a Marrakesh nightlife vibe, and pillows and cushions throughout give it an intentionally lounge-like feel. In transforming the space, the bar top was also completely redone, and the space received all new floors and lighting.

“As I’ve said before, it’s bittersweet to be opening Safi in the same space that housed Salazar for a decade,” Salazar said. “However, we are super excited at the prospect of another successful business. The neighborhood has been vocal in sharing our excitement and we can’t wait to host everyone in this brand-new space.”

The wine bar’s menu includes a variety of small plates, ranging from warm marinated olives and Moroccan spiced almonds to shaved duck salami, beef kefta, lamb tagine and more. Folks looking to indulge their sweet tooth are also in luck – the menu features a Moroccan almond pastry, Briwat, and dark chocolate-cinnamon truffles. Its expansive beverage menu has something for every taste, including a variety of draft, bottled and canned beers, wine, and cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic (NA) options like espresso, Moroccan mint tea service, and NA beer, wine and cocktails.

“Having worked with Jose for over a decade, the 3CDC team was fully confident that he would give new life to this space with an elevated, creative concept,” said Lindzie Gunnels, Director of Commercial Leasing with 3CDC. “It’s exciting that Safi was able to come together so quickly and add to the range of options available on the OTR culinary scene.”

Safi will be open Wednesday through Friday at 5PM, at noon on Saturday and 5 PM on Sunday. The wine bar will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

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