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New restaurant — first of five coming — now open: Fire at Rivercenter offers elegant fare, cafe ambience

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The first of five planned restaurants at RiverCenter is now open, FIRE AT RIVERCENTER, offering elegant American fare in a casual upscale dining environment, promises patrons extensive outdoor patio seating, a focus on elevated cuisine and a broad range of spirits.

“We believe a dining experience is made up of great food; outstanding drinks and high touch service all delivered in an environment that makes you want to linger,” said John Whalen, the Director of Food and Beverage for RiverCenter Entertainment, LLC, the restaurant’s ownership group.

Whalen says, “The menu at Fire will be among the most notable in the region. We have gone out of our way to source the freshest local and nationally renowned ingredients and are proud to prepare them in a way that shows off their best characteristics.”

Fire includes a comprehensive menu offering several appetizers and 14 different entrees.

The restaurant will also showcase an active bar with an innovative menu of craft cocktails, select wines and a mix of local and national beers.

But there is more to Fire than its menu. There is the atmosphere. Architects created a warm, contemporary feel to the restaurant that is located next to the Embassy Suites on RiverCenter Boulevard.

Many Northern Kentucky locals may remember this as the location of the former Behle Street Café. The venue has been completely renovated including bi-fold windows and doors that open to convert the entire area into an open air space, spilling out onto the expansive plaza, giving the restaurant a European café’ street ambience.

The location is central to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, the Marriott and Embassy Suites hotels, as well as the RiverCenter office development.

“This restaurant will be the first of five planned food and beverage venues that will be coming to the RiverCenter Plaza”, said Tom Banta, Managing Director of Corporex, owner of the RiverCenter complex.

“Fire is fantastic, and we are excited for this anchor restaurant to kick off the revitalization of the RiverCenter Entertainment area. Our vision is to create a place where good food and good friends come together.”

Fire at RiverCenter is modeled after a similar restaurant that the owners developed in downtown Denver. Fire at The Art Hotel has already won nine different award distinctions for its food and beverage offerings including awards from Zagat, the Denver Post, Forbes Travel Guide and The Travel Channel.

Jeanne Schroer, CEO of the Catalytic Fund, a group that promotes redevelopment in Covington, believes the time is right for the launch of new restaurants on the RiverCenter Plaza.

“Covington is the fastest growing entertainment center in the city right now. The Catalytic Fund has partnered in more than $100 million of development in Covington’s historic downtown and RiverCenter areas in the last 4 years and it is starting to pay off,” she said.

“There are now 700 additional people working in the RiverCenter Towers including the move in of CTI headquarters. There are more than 500 upscale and market rate apartments under construction. The Boone Loft block now offers living, small office and retail space. And Hotel Covington is a hot spot. Fire and the other RiverCenter restaurants add to what is a lively and progressive food and beverage scene.”

There is another reason Schroer is looking forward to Fire’s opening.

“I live in Covington. Behle Street was always a favorite, and the patio was a fantastic place to meet. To have the outdoor option back, with more restaurants, more seating with plaza dining is going to be wonderful,” she said.

Fire is open for lunch and dinner 7 days per week. Reservations can be made at by calling the restaurant at (859) 392-2850.

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