9 N. St. Clair St. | Toledo 43604
Tue-Thur: 11a.m.-2p.m. 5p.m.-10p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11a.m.-2p.m. 5p.m.-11p.m.
**Sun-Mon: open for games and concerts; call ahead
Things are heating up in the Warehouse District with the addition of Hensville. I was so pumped after visiting the renovated space near the ballpark that I already have plans in the making to return for an evening of fun with friends. It’s been beyond exciting to see downtown Toledo go through a revitalization slowly but surely. ‘All good things come to those who wait’ as they say.
NINE has much to offer at Hensville
After hearing the Hensville hype, we ventured downtown on a sunny Saturday afternoon to check things out for ourselves. The restaurant NINE is just one portion of the Hensville development. Located in the 1865 historic building that once housed the Folger Butcher Shop, boasts reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and hand crafted tables. The atmosphere is inviting and you’ll feel comfortable no matter your attire.
Deciding where to dine at NINE presented a challenge for us; as the options were several and all seemed like a home run. On the first floor NINE offers a large dining room and also bar room with ample seating. The patio out front is spacious and even offers sofas at one end if you just wanted a drink and conversation. The large heaters offer comfort even when the temps turn chilly.
An elevator to the second floor takes you to Top of NINE and The Rooftop on NINE. My children and I began at Top of NINE where they offer a large open air seating area and lounge furniture as well. However, they serve a limited menu and my children lacked excitement over the options. I took a peek at The Rooftop on NINE. You can purchase special game day tickets that allow you to enjoy the game from the rooftop. The view was spectacular and I think it is a must to try this season.
Casual vibe with upscale edibles
At NINE, they offer a “traditional Americana” made from scratch menu. They use as many ingredients as possible from local vendors such as bread, cheese, beer, and coffee just to name a few.
Like many restaurants, NINE offers a separate lunch and dinner menu. The lunch options keep it simple with appetizers, salads, and sandwiches with prices in the $10-$12 range. Dinner, however, takes it up a notch and in addition to the lunch menu, offers many delectable entrees and prices range from $18 to the $45 Kansas City Ribeye. Trout, brisket, tuna, pasta and duck are just a few of the entrée options at dinner.
Our lunches were fabulous. Though a BBQ sandwich, chicken sandwich, and BLT may not sound unusual, their twist on American favorites was tastefully done; no pun intended. The grilled chicken sandwich was served with baby arugula, chimichurri sauce, queso fresco, pickled onion, and avocado mayo and was served on a fresh baked roll. I also opted for the fresh red cabbage slaw on the side. I didn’t share a single bite.
My youngest chose from the kids’ menu for those 10 and under. He had a choice of pasta with red sauce and meatballs, roasted chicken breast, grilled cheese on sourdough, or a burger. All kid meals come with a choice of vegetable or crispy potatoes for $6. Drinks are separate but milk and fresh squeezed lemonade or orange juice is options in addition to soda.
My son’s BBQ Biscuit served with bacon and a white bbq sauce was packed with flavor and the sweet potato biscuit added a subtle element of sweet to the salty. The BLT my daughter devoured had some of the thickest slices of bacon I had ever seen. It was served with chive mayo, arugula, tomato and a scallion bun. We enjoyed traditional fare with a bit of a twist and a little imagination. There was very little sharing going on and there were no doggie bags going home that afternoon.
The Short Course
To avoid wait: Game nights may be very busy; make reservations
Noise level: Moderate
Bathroom amenities: Changing stations in both restrooms, HOWEVER, you need to take an elevator to get there
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes, and juice
Kids’ menu? Yes, complete with activity sheet and crayons to keep the little ones busy
Food allergy concerns? Peanut oil is not used but let server know of allergies prior to ordering
Karen Zickes is mom of three active children and
freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH.
She can be reached in c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.