NKY streetscapes: Elm Street in Ludlow

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While I’ve been to lots of different neighborhoods now for streetscapes, Ludlow may be my favorite area yet.

While these businesses and the services they offer make this a great place to visit, the people I met sealed the deal. They had a love for Ludlow that was contagious.

Bircus Brewing: 322 Elm Street 

Not only does Bircus offer everything a typical brewery offers — the entertainment is different from any other brewery you’ve been to. In addition to live music, circus performers juggle, throw flames, and more. It’s mesmerizing to see how each act is paired with musicians that perform.

Each night is a new experience that makes it worthwhile to keep coming back.  

Bircus offers something for people of all ages, too. Check out their schedule to find shows geared for certain age groups. Although, you may not want to bring the kids to a stand-up comedy night.  

Outside of their entertainment, they also offer great beer and food selections. Their woodfire pizza is the perfect complement to their shockingly-good brews.

I often find brewery beers to be too hoppy with few standouts, but Bircus beer offered a pleasant surprise.

Each beer boasted a unique flavor and didn’t weigh me down like other local brews I’ve tried. I typically opt for Lud-Lite at Bircus, but decided to spice it up with a Miss Patterson. It was unexpected and enjoyable.

Ludlow Parlor: 327 Elm Street 

The best part of making cookies will always be eating the raw batter. Although I’m always willing to risk salmonella for a bite of cookie dough, it’s nice that here I can indulge in it risk-free.

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Ludlow Parlor is part of a local chain of ice cream parlors in the area that specializes in both ice cream and edible cookie dough.

Indecisive guests can opt for a scoop of both. I think their soft serve may be the best I’ve ever had. I very much recommend their soft serve with a scoop of the dough.

In the past, I’ve gone with the chocolate chip cookie dough or the cake batter dough, but on my last trip I had to try the coffee and ice cream combo instead. There are endless options, from affogatos to an iced coffee float.

I found the iced coffee float was a perfect mid-day summer treat.  

Jeff and John Winkle Studio: 329 Elm Street 

One of the things I love about this series is finding the unexpected places that draw me in.

I saw Jeff and John Winkle Studio when I was visiting Ludlow Parlor, and noticed some of the artwork in the window. The pieces — all depictions of Ludlow — caught my attention.

The longer I looked at the pieces, the more familiar they looked, and then it hit me: My sister and brother-in-law have one of the pieces hanging in their house.

I went in and met Jeff, who explained the process of their artwork. His brother, John, is a graphic designer and he usually starts the piece. Then, Jeff goes in to draw and paint on top of what his brother has already created.

The art studio shows the pride the brothers take in the area. Some of their work showcases the Cincinnati skyline, while others depict the Roebling bridge with additional elements.

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Their work is a hybrid of art mediums and there’s an abstract element to it. The studio is absolutely worth checking out, and if you need more incentive, they have a very friendly dog waiting inside for some pets.  

For appointments, contact [email protected].  

Leeta Ruth Boutique: 325 Elm Street 

Like Jeff and John’s studio, my visit here came by chance.

I could have walked down Elm Street all day, popping in and out of all of the shops there, but as someone who loves fashion I couldn’t pass up this boutique.

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of styles. I find boutiques usually have a niche or certain fashion. I’ve found it difficult to find my style if the shop is too focused on a certain trend or look.

But Leeta Ruth was different. There was fashion here for just about every person, regardless of style, age or body type. As someone on the petite side, I find sizing can be one of the biggest challenges for boutiques. So seeing sizes for everyone gave me a sense of relief.

Leeta Ruth is open Thursday through Sunday, with hours varying each day. You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook for the most up-to-date information.  

Ludlow Coffee: 630 Elm Street  

Ludlow Coffee is the cutest coffee shop in NKY and you cannot convince me otherwise.  

Ludlow Coffee is run by James, a man in denim overalls who greeted my friend and me as soon as we walked in. Everyone else knew him by name, and he knew them. Under these circumstances, one might feel like an outsider, but here, I felt comfortable. It was as if I was a part of this small community, thanks to the atmosphere James established.

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I visited on a perfect morning, so we opted to sit on the large outside patio.   

For a small coffee shop, they have an impressive menu, including nitro cold brew. I rarely see nitro cold brew anywhere other than from the big green mermaid, so I gave it a try.

Cold brewed coffee has a higher caffeine content and is poured from a tap. Not only does it look cooler, but it also is a smoother, less-acidic option.

Ludlow Coffee is quiet enough for a workspace, but you may be distracted by the views and the delicious coffee you’re drinking.  

The community feel here was strong and endearing. I could have stayed on Elm street all day just walking around, taking it in. This will be a street I will absolutely revisit to check out other places and the people that make them special.  

If you have a city, street or business you want me to check out, email me at [email protected]  

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