Josh Heuser’s dreams have always been lofty, but his most recent idea? He took it to church – literally.
For quite a while now, Heuser and his partner Michael Forgus of Funky Catering have wanted to convert an old church into a large new event space and bar. They recently found the perfect location in OTR, and development is now underway for the bar and event space that will soon be called “The Transept.”
“I’ve looked at this project and property for several years and feel that the building represents the vision,” explains Heuser. “The layout and the design, it’s like it was made for this.”
The former-church-turned-event-space is more than 100 years old and Heuser says that it’s not about creating a space that competes with the other restaurants in the neighborhood, but rather, he is making it something that pulls a little bit of everything together into one package. “I wanted to create a space that’s not competing with restaurants and bars on Main and Vine streets,” he emphasizes. “It truly complements.”
Heuser says he and his partner want to bring a service-based space to the city through this concept. “We want to bring a premier event space to Over-the-Rhine that sits on Washington Park,” Heuser explains. “Plus, we want to bring restaurant service to the catering and event space industry.”
The Transept is slated to open in mid-2015 and they’re already booking weddings. “In addition to weddings we’re also booking corporate events and can handle reservations from five to 10 people for private dining to an event that can handle standing room of 700,” explains Heuser.
Heuser is all about human connections, which is evident with his other business endeavor, Agar, a Lifestyle and Concept Marketing Agency that brings relevance and brand awareness to niche audiences. As a focus, Agar works with consumer and entertainment brands to create viral campaigns that promote new products, events and venue launches. “Our expertise is seeking non-traditional ways to break through the clutter and reach our target audience in a meaningful way,” Heuser says.
|The future site of The Transept|
In 2013, Heuser joined his friend, Kash Shaikh, founder of “#besomebody,” for a global adventure of shared experiences. They traveled with Cincinnati-based artists for ventures around the world to spread the inspiring message of #besomebody in 16 cities — New York City, London, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Dubai just to name a few — in 34 days. “We were spreading the message of inspiration to others around the world,” he explains.