Scouting Pendleton: The Secret’s Out About OTR’s Neighbor

While Over-the-Rhine has been getting so much attention over the past decade, the adjacent neighborhood of Pendleton has been quietly transforming into one of the city’s coolest pockets of art, architecture, and entertainment.

About 5 years ago, we were riding with a real estate developer friend who had invested heavily in OTR during times when it wasn’t quite the popular thing to do. He knew the neighborhood was poised for an explosion, and he was right.

(Cover photo via Pendleton Neighborhood)

During our car ride, we drove around OTR, and much of it was still vacant and dilapidated, but to him, the area was old news. He told us, “Yeah, the secret is out about OTR. Let me show you where I’m focused now.”

He drove us to Pendleton.

Somehow, most had overlooked the beautiful architecture, proximity to the city, and shady tree-lined streets. Well, our friend didn’t, and 5 years later, we see he was oh-so-right. The secret awesomeness of Pendleton is spreading.

via Wikipedia
via Wikipedia

Adjacent to OTR (technically, they’re 2 separate neighborhoods, but you’ll see them together as part of the OTR Historic District. Confusing, we know.), Pendleton is much like its neighbor with incredible architecture and history. Thanks to loyal fans and residents, now, like OTR, they’re becoming known for way more- especially art, food, and drink. Here are 3 of our favorites:

Pendleton Art Center

via Facebook/PAC
via Facebook/PAC

For starters, it’s in a sweet historic building. The center was built in 1909 for a shoe company and later became a warehouse for the Shillito Department Store. In 1991, The Verdin Company (oldest and largest bell & clock maker) opened the center as a way to promote local artists. Today, the Pendleton Art Center‘s 8 floors of original pine floors hold 200+ artists. You should visit on the Final Friday of each month from 6-10. That’s your chance to see the studios and buy artwork straight from the artists themselves. Cant’ make it on a Final Friday? Stop by the Saturday after for another chance to meet the artists, take some classes, and more.

Nation Kitchen + Bar

via Facebook/Nation
via Facebook/Nation

Nation is one of those places we heard people talking about for a long time before it even opened. When Nation did finally open, it didn’t disappoint. Nation is actually named for the hatchet-wielding temperance advocate, Carrie Nation, who chose to avoid Cincinnati in her bar-busting travels due to the sheer number of bars in town. With this nod to the past, Nation blends the rich history of the OTR/Pendleton area with its up-and-coming present.

via Facebook/Nation
via Facebook/Nation

While Nation serves a tasty lunch and dinner along with great drinks, it’s their brunch we want to rave a little about. We just have two words: breakfast tots. That’s right. How about some tater tots covered in cheddar cheese and sausage gravy, all topped with a fried egg?

via Facebook/Nation (Note, bottomless brunch is now $28)
via Facebook/Nation (Note, bottomless brunch is now $28)

Oh, and one more thing about their brunch… For $28 you can have a “bottomless brunch” which consists of one menu item and unlimited mimosas, bloody carries, or screwdrivers. Yep. Awesome. See you at Nation next weekend.

Urbana Cafe

via Urbana, photo by Dustin Powell Sparks
via Urbana, photo by Dustin Powell Sparks

Next to Nation you’ll find one of our other favorite spots, Urbana Cafe. Sporting, “an Italian flare with a modern touch,” Urbana Cafe is the place to go for a shot of caffeine and a snack. The balcony-style 2nd floor bar is the place to watch over the whole show as the espresso machine fires below.

via Urbana/Facebook
via Urbana/Facebook

You don’t necessarily have to go to Urbana Cafe, though. They may come to you. With their Piaggio L’Ape utility motorcycle, Urbana Cafe takes their espresso to the streets. Keep an eye out for them at Findlay Market and all sorts of festivals around the city.

via Facebook/Urbana
via Facebook/Urbana

If you’re looking for a neighborhood with a unique history, great proximity to downtown, and a collection of residents passionate about their city, Pendleton might be the place for you.


Looking to move closer to the Pendleton neighborhood? Check out these homes for sale nearby!

1426 Republic Street

2 bed, 2 bath – $274,900
Near great restaurants like Taft’s Ale House.
Near great activities like 16-Bit Bar+Arcade.
View the listing.

1410 Main Street

Condominium – 1 bed, 1 bath – $194,000
Near great restaurants like Christian Moerlein Brewery.
Near great activities like 16-Bit Bar+Arcade.
View the listing.