New Year’s Luck

Photo by G. Yek: Kathleen Norris (L) and Grace Yek on New Year’s Day

Thanks to Kathleen Norris’s invitation to her New Year’s Day gathering, I started off the New Year with “good luck” food. I’m not particularly superstitious, but like everybody else, I’m all for a little added insurance. Take it from me, her black-eyed peas and greens were lip-smacking tasty. She even made a vegetarian version out of an abundance of hospitality.

Photo by G. Yek: Black-eyed Peas and Greens

If you’re a Cincinnati local, you may already know who Kathleen is, but if you don’t, you probably should.

Kathleen is the Principal and Managing Director of Urban Fast Forward, a real estate brokerage firm that specializes in urban development and revitalizion. She had a direct hand in transforming Over-the-Rhine from an unremarkable and arguably dicey neighborhood into what it is today–a vibrant center of food and retail.

Let’s just say she had the foresight to bring in Daniel Wright and his wife, Lana (newcomers at the time), to start Senate back in 2010. That, in turn, sparked a constellation of exciting, independent, mostly chef-owned restaurants that have snapped many national food arbiters to attention.

This woman understands business, restaurants, and, above all, has clear vision and strategy. Cincinnati is fortunate to have this powerhouse of a leader.