Recent Grand Finale Awards
Cincy Magazine "Silver Spoon Award"
The City's 4 "Most Romantic" Restaurants
Best Place to Celebrate a Special Occasion
Cincinnati's 5 Best Steakhouses
Cincinnati Magazine's "Hall of Fame"
Cincinnati Magazine's "Reader's Choice"
Best Chocolate Desserts
Best Outdoor Dining
Four Wonderful Decades
Over one hundred years ago this corner was purchased by John J. Kelley, for $750, to start up J.J. Kelley’s Saloon! (The photos in our foyer show us how it looked back then.) After Emma Kelley inherited the corner in 1928, the Kelley sisters ran Kelley’s Corner Market until 1970. Many Glendalians still remember stopping in for penny-candy after school. After the last of the Kelley’s passed on, the Grand Finale building stood empty & ‘’haunted’’ until the spring of 1975.
That April 15th, Larry & Cindy Youse (at the time a business manager & an advertising art director) decided to start their own little restaurant. After only one hour of searching, they ‘’stumbled‘’ onto this old dilapidated Victorian building in the charming Village of Historic Glendale.
With very little research, no restaurant back-ground, and a heartfelt love of fine food, the Youses suddenly found themselves in the business of creating their first restaurant!
The Summer of ‘75 was spent hunting antiques, drawing up menus, testing recipes, repairing the premises and dreaming up ‘’The Grand Finale‘’. It was a family affair ... the couple’s devoted parents from Indianapolis came to help out in any way they could – new ideas, wallpapering, sewing uniforms, planting, refinishing & repairing antiques! The tin ceiling was original. The back bar was obtained by the Youses from the Florentine Inn in Germantown, Ohio. The grand chandelier in the Tea Room came from a West Virginia mansion.
Finally, on August 6, 1975, after a long hot summer of setbacks and surprises, the Grand Finale opened its doors to an eagerly awaiting public. In 20 minutes every table was full. The first Grand Finale menu was simple Country French. The tiny kitchen offered a limited selection of Crepes & Quiches and of course, the Grandest Finales - the sumptuous homemade Desserts!
But, in those first very busy weeks it became quite clear that an enthusiastic clientele wanted more. The Grand Finale has been continually expanding the menu & enhancing its ambience ever since! The Award Winning Sunday Brunch Buffet was established in the first year. The Attic bar opened in April of 1976 & the Courtyard first bloomed that June. Honors for ‘’Best Outdoor Dining’’, ‘’Best Chicken’’, ‘’Best Desserts’’, ‘’Best Sunday Brunch’’ and a Mobil ★★★ rating soon followed. To meet the demand, the ‘’Midnight Bakers‘’ had to begin baking all those luscious desserts & breads from midnight until dawn. The total original Grand Finale staff of 15 employees has grown to over 100!
So now, thanks to the many friends & patrons of Grand Finale (and thanks to a fine group of loyal, caring, and hardworking managers & employees like Jerry, Fred, Dave, JP, Dion, Jan & Rick to name a few) – Grand Finale celebrates its continued success!
Thank you, Cincinnati & Glendale, for four wonderful decades! Many Happy Returns!
We accept MC, V, AE, DIS or Cash only. No personal checks. Menus subject to change without notice.
Special Thanks to the Grand Finale “10+ Team”:
Virginia-39, Dick-39, Rick-38, Joe-37, Fred-37, Dave-36, Jan-36, Vicki-36, JP-30, Dion-30, DC-28, Scott-25, Mike-23, Eric-20, Jennifer-20, Jenny-17, Margie-16, Ben-14, Drew-14, Mary B.-12, A. Foster-10