Tela Bar + Kitchen, a neighborhood gastropub, was born when L.R. Hunley and his friend Doug Nawrocki decided to open up their own restaurant after meeting each other as workers at a TGIFridays.
“I have been in this industry my entire life,” say Hunley.
Hunley has experience in a variety of different restaurants, even selling wine at one point. But he always wanted to open his own restaurant. After moving from his hometown of Cleveland to Cincinnati in 1989, he found the perfect partner and location.
The duo came up with the name of their restaurant in honor of a song by one of their favorite bands, Phish. The menu features an updated take on classic comfort food items, like the shrimp and grits with housemade chorizo and pork belly bacon or the classic poutine, which features fries smothered in pulled pork, cheese curds and gravy all underneath a fried egg. But what makes the menu special is the cooking process.
“Everything is made in-house,” says Hunley. “The process takes a while but everything has so much flavor.”
The chicken wings, for example, are not your average fried chicken wings. As Hunley explains, the free-range chicken wings are confit, which is a chef term to say that it was cooked in its own fat and then fried to order. Customers have a wide range of sauces from which to choose, from Cowboy Hot and Togarashi Lime dry rub to Burnt BBQ and Don’t Fear the Reaper. All sauces are made in house by the chefs.
Tela offers both a lunch and dinner menu, serving up salads, burgers and bowls for lighter options. Tela also prides itself on specialty and handcrafted cocktails like the Bonnie and Clyde and Tela Old Fashioned.
Tela Bar + Kitchen, 1212 Springfield Pike, Wyoming. M-Th 11 a.m.-11 p.m. F-Sa 11 a.m.-midnight. Reservations are now accepted. 513-821-8352, telabarandkitchen.com.
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