Liberty Center announces 4 new businesses, including restaurant and fitness studio

Restaurant, hair salon, fitness studio and children’s clothing boutique are newest tenants.

Despite a global slump in the retail world, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, Liberty Center has announced four new businesses have or will be opening.

General Manager John Taylor announced Monday that a new eatery, hair salon, a fitness studio and children’s clothing boutique are the newest tenants.

The new tenants include:

AKT Fitness: A 2,900-square-foot studio offering interval, circuit, dance and toning introductory classes for interested members. AKT Fitness officials say they guarantee “the best workout available in the most effective, efficient and fun way with its highly respected techniques.” The Liberty Center studio is the second location in the greater Cincinnati market, with a studio in Mason, and the third for the state of Ohio.

McK’s BBQ: Is a family-friendly restaurant offering barbecue chicken, pulled pork, ribs, tri-tip steak and smoked brisket. McK’s BBQ is located across from Kona Grill, it is the first location in Ohio.

Cassington Hair & Co.: Liberty Center’s first hair salon will offer a wide range of services, including Brazilian blowouts, eyelash extensions and HALOCOUTURE extensions. It is situated between Dillard’s and Hannoush Jewelers. The salon has more than 10 hair stations, private service rooms and a range of beauty and retail products for purchase.

Pen + Nash Co.: Will open its doors later this month next to Molly’s Cupcakes. This children’s clothing boutique will offer trendy, well-made clothing, accessories, books and toys for little ones. This will be the first brick-and-mortar location for the locally owned, small business.

“Liberty Center is committed to bringing a unique mix of retail and restaurants that not only enhance the current tenant mix, but that will enrich the community needs, tastes and interests,” Taylor said.

Earlier this year Liberty Center officials announced the opening of a new Cinnabon and Elevate Office Suites that offers professional workspaces with amenities. The 26,170-square-foot space will include flexible co-working spaces, private office suites and high-tech conference rooms.

Marketing Coordinator Sarah Bush said the Cinnabon opened at the end of March and the office suites are slated to debut later this year.

The Liberty Community Authority is charged with safeguarding taxpayer dollars that were used to support Liberty Center, and its chairman Phil Morrical said he is pleased with the progress.

“It’s great news ...” Morrical said. “We’re excited about any synergy that’s going on there that draws people in, especially food places that are different and not already in the area, it brings people in.”

The pandemic has wreaked havoc with every sector of the business world and the shut down last year by Gov. Mike DeWine was hurtful to Liberty Center among many other retailers. Even before that the LCA had its share of challenges, many stemming from a couple changes in management companies.

Some fees paid by merchants had gone uncollected for a period of time and those fees are meant to partially repay taxpayer-backed bonds.

The financial report for April showed year-to-date $190,631 has been collected from tenants in facilities charges, this represents an 8% increase over last year but a drop of 16% from 2019. Morrical said they continue working on refinancing options.

Contrary to what several people have asked him, “we’re not going to fall apart and close the doors.”

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