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Sandwich: Vegan Thanksgiving "leftovers" with roasted sweet potatoes, cranberry-orange chutney, and fried onions on Shadeau multigrain bread / Salad: Mixed greens with pears, blue cheese & walnuts served with red wine honey vinaigrette -- Image: Leah Zipperstein / Cincinnati Refined

I Think I Just Found My New Favorite Lunch Spot

When you spend your days advising others to follow a path that's paved with passion, you might begin to ask yourself those same questions.

Am I doing something that makes me happy?
Am I doing something that I want to keep doing year after year?

Even if the answers to those questions are yes, there's one final question waiting to be asked...

Is there something else I could be doing that would make me happier?
If so, how do I make that happen?


Leah Joos and Jen Lile spent years working at the University of Cincinnati, advising honors students. Their jobs focused on helping young minds find their sparks and keep them lit. And while they enjoyed the work, there was something missing. ... Their own spark.

So they did what many other folks don't have the courage to do. They opened a cafe.

With zero formal restaurant training, these two co-workers-turned-friends-turned-business-partners, set out to create an adorable lunch spot. Uh... goal achieved.

After going through Springboard (a nine-week accelerator program run by ArtWorks), they set up shop on Woodburn Ave in Walnut Hills. In Feburary 2013, Kitchen 452 was born.

The space isn't big and the operating hours aren't long (11am to 2:30pm), but it's a dream come to life. They wanted a place with fresh, flavorful food. They wanted a little lunch cafe with an open kitchen that would allow them to get to know their neighbors. Again... goal achieved.

All the parts they liked about advising (engaging with others, getting to know someone's story, being a sounding board for ideas) are still there -- now, they just do it over food. And speaking of the food, it's divine. It's divine because it's simple. Leah and Jen don't overplay their hand. They know what sounds good, looks good, and thus, tastes good.

Like, how about some vegan "Thanksgiving" leftovers? Roasted sweet potatoes, cranberry-orange chutney, and fried onions on Shadeau multigrain bread. Yes please! The menu, which is comprised of soups, salads, and sandwiches, changes seasonally.

And for all you fallophiles pondering the only question that seems to exist from late September to early December... Yes, there is a spicy pumpkin soup on the menu. Rest assured, you can get your fix.

Oh, and they do catering as well. So when it comes to Kitchen 452... Again, rest assured: you can get your fix.

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Kitchen 452 is located at 2714 Woodburn Ave. The operating hours are 11am to 2:30pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Want more info? Hit up the website.

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