The co-owner of Casual Pint’s new Hamilton location says one of her goals is to help people like her: Those who can be intimidated by the world of craft beer.
Ann Marie Cilley said the only places she felt comfortable coming in and learning about such brews years ago were two Cincinnati-area locations of the Casual Pint.
“It was honestly one of the few craft beer places I could go in and find what I like and I had people who could help me find what I like,” she said. “I fell in love with the atmosphere.”
Cilley, a New York native who has been in Cincinnati for 27 years, said she always wanted a gathering place business with good food and beer, one that would make people feel welcomed.
The former Procter & Gamble principal scientist said she and her husband, Dan Hancock, leapt at the chance to open at 130 Riverfront Plaza in Hamilton.
Debuting in late August in mixed-use complex The Marcum near Tano Bistro and Revive Salon and just across from award-winning Marcum Park, with its RiversEdge amphitheater, was “a no-brainer,” one that was solidified by visiting Hamilton, Cilley said.
“We came down and checked out the concerts and saw the foot traffic going in and out at Municipal Brew Works,” she said.
The new business has generated a whirlwind of activity in the few weeks it has been open, with customers ordering from its nearly 35 draft beers on tap, the bulk of which include brews from around the region and the state. Also available are packaged craft beer, cider and wine.
The new Casual Pint Hamilton also features what Cilley calls “an aggressive menu,” one that’s customized to that location and features starters, burgers, brats, flatbreads, wraps, salads and sidewinders, which are crispy beer-battered potatoes with a variety of toppings.
The three most popular items so far are Pretzels & Beer Cheese, brats and sidewinders, she said.
“It’s really, really good bar food,” Cilley said. “We don’t fry anything, it’s all oven baked. The beer cheese is made fresh and kept warm. Cincinnati chili, we keep it in a warmer. We don’t microwave it.”
It helps, she said, that the owners of the Casual Pint franchise, which has 31 locations, are not only approachable, but able to work with her daily to ensure success.
“It’s a great family to work with,” Cilley said. “They care.”
Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/casualpinthamilton.
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