New sit down restaurant with wood-fired cuisine opening in Warren County

LEBANON —A Lebanon native will open the doors to his newest restaurant in the next week at the 511 N. Broadway development.

Catch-A-Fire Pizza is opening its third greater Cincinnati location on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and owners Jeff and Melissa Ledford said the new restaurant “is coming along fine.” An official grand opening is slated for Nov. 5.

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“It’s exciting to bring it full circle back to my hometown,” Jeff Ledford said. “We’re really excited to open.”

Jen Howell, marketing director, said the new restaurant is in a 7,000 square-foot space and will feature wood-fired cuisine such as artisan pizzas, vegetables, sandwiches and salads. She said another feature are the large indoor/outdoor garage doors to the large patio along North Broadway as well as a room for private gatherings. In addition, Catch-A-Fire Pizza is also located in the city’s extended Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA).

“We built this space to bring people together to enjoy craft food and beer,” Jeff Ledford said. “There’s nothing like this in Lebanon. We’ll have a little something for everyone.”

Melissa Ledford said the restaurant is designed for couples looking for a casual night out to large groups. When asked to describe the restaurant in one word, she said “experience.”

“It’s not just the food and beverages, it’s having a great experience in having staff interact with our guests and our team creating the atmosphere for what people are celebrating,” she said.

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He said the restaurant will be using its wood-fire cuisine approach of using local sustainable food to its craft beers, craft sodas and wines. In addition, the artisan pizzas can be made for people seeking vegan and gluten-free options. Jeff Ledford believes the Cincinnati Chili Pizza will be popular in Lebanon.

“Everything made here - the pizza dough, sauces, salad dressings and desserts - is fresh,” Jeff Ledford said.

Howell said everything used at the restaurant will be locally sourced and among the beers on tap will include Lebanon Brewing Company, Mad Tree, Esoteric, High Grain and Fretboard. She said the restaurant is collaborating with Fretboard to make a “Catch-a-Fire” beer.

The Ledfords have hired 50 people to work at the restaurant and still have some openings left. Last week, the final touches were being made and some pre-opening special events took place to thank their partners, city officials, the neighboring apartments, staff from the other locations, and the construction workers who built the restaurant.

Jeff Ledford said another feature later in November, will be the addition of three igloos on the patio to extend the indoor/outdoor experience. The heated igloos seat six people and will have the full menu as well as special igloo items similar to what is done at their Blue Ash location. Their Oakley location is inside the Mad Tree Brewery.

“It’s just a lot of fun. You’re in your own little world,” he said.

The Ledfords scoured the region for a new stand alone location before developer CMC Properties made a cold call out of the blue to them. Jeff Ledford said the site “checked all the boxes” for them and that city made them feel important.

Melissa Ledford said, “the city was very supportive and that sealed the deal.” She also added that the downtown streetscaping is beautiful.

“The grand opening of Catch-A-Fire in Lebanon is a significant milestone in the multi-year process of redeveloping the 511 N. Broadway property and expanding what Lebanon’s downtown has to offer for our residents, visitors, and business community,” said Scott Brunka, Lebanon city manager. “They were the first restaurant to commit to the project and redevelopment of this corridor, and the city greatly appreciates their vision and investment in our community.

Another restaurant in the same building is expected to open by year’s end. Mi Cozumel, which is owned by Liliana Jaime, serves more than 100 brands of tequila and over 50 brands of mezcal. That restaurant space will be about 6,300 square feet when it opens to the public.

“We are also distinguished for serving over 40 flavors of Margaritas, our authentic table-side guacamole, and our delicious flaming fajitas,” she said in a statement last month, pointing to fresh, quality ingredients.

The opening of Catch-a-Fire Pizza is the second new eatery in downtown Lebanon in the past several weeks. Last month, Lebanon Brewing Company opened in the city’s former fire house.

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