One of my favorite downtown lunch spots is Javier's. I don't go there nearly often enough, but I'm never disappointed when I do.
Javier (yes, there's an actual Javier) recently installed a bar in the restaurant. I stopped in for lunch yesterday (after a tough morning, I needed some comfort food, and there's nothing more comforting than Javier's chicken enchilada with mole sauce). I asked when the bar would open. The answer? In the next couple weeks.
When the bar opens, look for lots of new stuff at Cincinnati's best Mexican restaurant (located at Walnut and Eighth, for those who don't know). Expanded hours: the bar will be open until 2:00. Dinner service will last until 10:00. And with the extra hours will come an expanded menu. And finally, Javier's planning to have Latin music on Friday and Saturday nights.
So for those of you who "hate" the chains, make sure to pop into Javier's to support a truly locally-owned business. And even if you like chains, visit Javier's to find out how good Mexican food can taste even if it isn't prepared by someone named Don Pablo.
You can check out the Enquirer's 2004 review of Javier's here. Back then, the restaurant was in a small storefront on Court Street. Now, it's in a space previously occupied by Busken's, and is much larger and more airy.
NB: When I got the scoop on Javier's plans for the future, I was just having a casual conversation (he was actually washing the windows at the time). I never thought about blogging the info until much, much later, so any errors are mine or my fault: Javier had no idea he was speaking for public dissemination.