Local Chef Signs Lease to Bring French-Inspired Cuisine to OTR

Posted on May 16, 2023 by aatkinson

Design Team Creating a Space with a Neighborhood Feel at the Corner of Washington Park

CINCINNATI (May 16, 2023) – The corner restaurant space at one of Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC)’s earliest projects, Saengerhalle, will soon be home to a new French-inspired concept – Colette. Chef and Owner Danny Combs recently signed a lease for the 3,600-square-foot space located at 1400 Race Street in Over-the-Rhine (OTR).

Just steps from Washington Park, Music Hall and Memorial Hall, Combs chose the space after searching for almost a year.

“I vividly remember how much I loved both the interior and exterior of the building,” Combs said. “It has an old-world charm and warm feel, and when it became available, I knew I had to jump on the opportunity. It’s just such a great location – a perfect one for folks coming from or going to the theater.”

To make sure the space matches his vision, Combs has commissioned a number of local design and architecture professionals, including Ron Novak of Drawing Department and Michelle Pinales to oversee the interior design of the space. The team will be responsible for updating both the dining rooms and bar, as well as adding a new private dining room. Recognizing the demand for private dining, Combs and his team are pleased that they will be able to offer two private dining spaces to their guests. They will also have the ability to combine the individual rooms to accommodate larger parties. Cosmetic updates made inside the space will make the environment warm and inviting, maintaining a neighborhood feel that patrons will experience as soon as they step through the front door.

Combs, who has worked for Boca Restaurant Group for the past 12 years, developed his palate, voice of food and love for old-world cuisine at the esteemed Cincinnati restaurant group in a variety of roles – from starting with the company as a sous chef to leading the kitchens at both Boca and Sotto.

“I’ve been very fortunate to work and travel with some great people through the years. In that time, I’ve been able to develop my own palate and hope to share what I’ve learned along the way,” Combs said. “Now, I’m living out every chef’s dream – going out on my own to create my own voice while simultaneously building a culture of creativity & professionalism where people want to work, and guests want to eat. That’s what I’m most excited about – building a healthy culture for professionals who love this business, while giving our guests the best experience we can.”

Completed in 2011, Saengerhalle is located within the 1400 block of Race Street and consists of 32,750 square feet of commercial space. Colette will join several other tenants throughout the building’s three stories, including M&A Architects, Necco, and engineering firms Crawford, Murphy & Tilly and Bayer Becker.

“A French inspired concept like Colette is a great addition to the restaurant scene in this area of Over-the-Rhine,” said Lindzie Gunnels, Commercial Leasing Manager with 3CDC. “It’s proximity to Washington Park and several incredible arts institutions like Music Hall, Memorial Hall, and the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, will make it a convenient stop for those coming and going to shows and events.”

Colette is on track to open late this summer or in early fall.

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