Streetscapes spills on boba and Model Ts

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This story originally appeared in the March 17 edition of the weekly LINK Reader. To see these stories first, subscribe here.

Much of Florence is filled with chain staples from fast food to casual eateries, but in between the chains hide some small businesses that are worth checking out. This Streetscapes heads to Florence, y’all, for burgers, beauty and bubble tea.  

Ford’s Garage

Walking into Ford’s Garage for the first time, guests will forget they came for burgers and beers, and not a history lesson. Ford’s Garage is packed with vintage Ford vehicles and memorabilia, and patrons can find themselves sitting next to 1913 blue Model T while snacking on their wings. In true garage fashion, they have large glass garage doors that open on warmer days, as well as a back patio. Let’s face it though, who wants to sit outside when all the décor and fun is inside? 

Very reminiscent of a Hard Rock café, there’s so much packed inside it feels like a museum rather than a restaurant. Even for those who aren’t car enthusiasts, it’s a nice change of pace from a traditional sports bar. Ford’s burgers are their specialty, and each comes with a pressed Ford’s Garage logo on the bun. The menu highlights local celebrities and their burger of choice, from Grammy winner Carly Pearce to local community leaders, in a nice nod to some hometown heroes. The American Standard is their classic cheeseburger, a great starter for guests who may be overwhelmed by the dozen-plus burger options, including a Bison burger. 

Vegetarians are not forgotten at Ford’s. All burgers can be substituted for a veggie patty, so all guests can enjoy the restaurant’s signature staple. Outside of their burger menu, they have 15 other entrée options, including an entire mac and cheese menu served in  skillets. 

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Don’t let the cars hanging over head stop you from visiting the bar. Ford’s offers 32 different draft beer choices, including local favorite, Braxton Garage beer, the perfect companion to a gourmet burger. 

Paint Bar NKY

NKY is filled with amazing places to get cute spring nails, but what sets Paint Bar apart from the rest is their hybrid boutique. 

At the front of the salon sits a small boutique that sells clothes, gifts and accessories. It’s modern and feminine in décor with gold and marble accents. Upon arrival, guests are offered complimentary coffee or mimosas to create a truly blissful experience. 

Customers can choose from an array of nail options, from a simple manicure that can be done on a lunch break, or a deluxe treatment to really indulge in self-care. The polishes they offer are healthier for nails, to ensure there’s no damage done. 

Paint Bar NKY hosts a variety of events, many focused on highlighting other woman-owned businesses. This is the perfect spot to visit with a friend and catch up after a long day of work, or to bring a bridal party for flawless wedding nails. 

Thai Tea House

Bubble tea has quickly become the newest drink trend, yet hardly anyone is offering it in the Northern Kentucky area. But for those looking for a bubble tea fix, Thai Tea House on Mall Road offers traditional Thai food and a variety of Thai drinks, including fruit sodas, yogurt drinks called lassi, milk tea, fruit teas and coffee. 

The drink choices here may seem familiar but many of these drinks are unique from their American cousins. Thai coffee and tea traditionally are made with sweetened condensed milk and served cold over ice. These will be much sweeter than what guests may typically order from a coffee chain, but they make for a perfect midday treat. Their drinks come with the option to add in boba, a chewy tapioca ball that comes in a variety of flavors to enhance the already-delicious drink. 

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Boba, or bubble tea, can also break up the flavor palate of the drinks with little bursts of flavor that tones down the sweetness. The brown sugar milk tea with classic boba, or their Thai iced coffee with brown sugar boba, are two options that are perfect for a novice Thai tea drinker. 

Have a city, street or business you want to see next? Email Maria Hehman at [email protected] and it could be featured on the next installment of LINK streetscapes.

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