A couple of weekends ago I was walking downtown, talking to my fiancée about how sad it was that Main Street and the bar district has taken a hit.

After all, when we first started Cincy Business, our office was in the heart of the district, just above Jefferson Hall. After 5 p.m. on a Friday it was fun to stroll across the street to Neon’s for happy hour, meet people involved with start-up enterprises that were part of Main Street Ventures, and swap stories.

Back to the present: After sulking a little bit, we were walking down Vine and I heard the distinct yell of the lead singer of one of my favorite bands of the past, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe. Some may know the voices of famous opera singers. So be it. Like many of my friends, I quickly recognize the lead vocals of the big “hair bands” of the ’80s. This can be a curse or a talent, depending on who you speak to.

Vince was giving a concert behind McFadden’s in the alley. What a surprise to see mobs of people listening to this old rock band. Looking around, you could see how things are steadily changing downtown, with little fanfare. Of course, you have seen the slow pace of the Fountain Square makeover, but those pieces are falling into place. Look at the things popping up all around in the construction’s wake. There’s lots of nightlife, such as the new Cadillac Ranch (which, if you haven’t seen the mechanical bull, you are missing out — trust me). There are also plenty of very nice and affordable restaurants such as McCormick and Schmick’s. (Read more in our Cincy Agenda, page 17.)

It looks like things are coming together dowtown. Kudos to all who have assisted the progress, especially the owners and managers of the establishments.

The effects of reinvention seem to be prevailing in our region — and in this issue of Cincy Business. What story in this vein is better than that of Jeff Ruby, the subject of our exclusive cover story? As our senior editor, Felix Winternitz, put it: “This guy is a quote machine.” For years, Jeff has been a master of creating buzz and capturing attention in the Tristate, as well as providing quality meals and unfaltering service to his guests. We invite you to read our feature on Jeff and tell us what you think.

Speaking of reinvention: No one in our office would have thought even a year ago that we would be launching dining awards like the Silver Spoons you see in this issue. This is a tribute to you, the reader, voicing what interests you and what you want to see covered. Thank you.
I also want to congratulate Felix and Greg Loomis, our editor, for winning statewide Press Club awards, First Place for Best Column and Second Place for Personality Profile, respectively. Their efforts, and those of other new teammates in our office, are moving us to exciting heights.

Back to reinvention: The water-cooler question I hear the most is “When will The Banks come to fruition?” Jeff Ruby says this will happen “when there’s a Hofbrauhaus in Jerusalem.” Jeff, watch out. You of all people know that in this global economy, a successful restaurant franchise might open a new location almost anywhere.