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B&A Street Kitchen Has Really Great Food & An Even Greater Backstory

The first time I walked into B&A Street Kitchen I was tired and grumpy. I don’t recall why. Just one of those days, I guess. The first time I walked out of B&A Street Kitchen I was high on life. And no, it wasn’t from the deliciously smooth n’ refreshing Nitro coffee I had. Sure, that helped. But the truth of the matter is, I was high on life because the vibe n’ energy owners Jim & Norma Kerns exude is infectious.


The Kerns moved to Over-the-Rhine from Pierce Township in 2012. They made the move to the urban core because they wanted a change. Five years later, I’m not even sure Norma & Jim could've imagined the evolution their story would take.

(Quick side note: They met in the Air Force, stationed together in Weisbaden, Germany, in 1981. They got married in 1984. They moved to Cincinnati in 1988. Does that have a whole lot to do with their current situation? No, not really. But I thought it was a cool fact.)


So Norma & Jim moved to Pleasant Street in OTR in 2012 over Memorial Day weekend. A few months later, they bought the 1500 Race Street property, home to what we now know as B&A Street Kitchen.

Initially, these two, with day jobs in finance/accounting (Jim) and web development (Norma), were going to turn it into a vacation rental + apartments. Investment was their thought. But somehow, over time, they got the itch to start a restaurant, even though they have zero restaurant experience. (Wait, what… that hasn’t happened to you, too?)

And so, a Southern/Tex-Mex, fast-casual style eatery concept was born. It officially opened on April 8, 2017.


B&A stands for Barbara and Aurora, the Kerns' mothers' names. (Yes, adorable. “That’s such a Norma & Jim move,” I say, as if we've known each other for years. In Norma & Jim time, though, hanging out twice does kinda account for years.)

The restaurant stands out in a few ways, including:

• a super hospitable staff
• a wide & varied menu
• a solid selection of craft sodas (16 in total)
• a takeout window that offers a quick, to-go option
• a simple, yet inviting design
• an amazing thing called Nitro coffee

Life tip: If you want to actually accomplish your to-do list for the day, drink that Nitro coffee. Liquid gold, I tell ya. It’s pure liquid gold.
Also of note: They source their coffee from Carabello, our java friends from Newport.

Now, in case you can’t tell — which really just means you skimmed/didn’t even read this article — I’m a big fan of B&A Street Kitchen. The food is good, no doubt. And that’s what should get you in the door at least once. The reason you’re going to keep coming back? Well, it’s pretty simple. Norma & Jim + their staff. Everyone wants to go to a place where it feels like they’re wanted. B&A Street Kitchen is that place.

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B&A Street Kitchen is located at 1500 Race Street (45202) in Over-the-Rhine.

Indoor seating:
Monday through Sunday from 7am to 230pm

Takeout window:
Mon & Tues from 7am to 230pm
Sun, Wed, & Thu from 7am to 8pm
Fri & Sat from 7am to 10pm

Final note: The restaurant does not serve alcohol, but be sure to try one of their craft sodas or some delicious coffee provided by Carabello out of Newport.