Arts center restaurant to close

The Ferrari brothers and the Contemporary Arts Center said the center’s restaurant Fausto will close by the end of the year.

The last day of service will be Dec. 22.

The Ferraris — Tony and Austin — made a splash when they returned to Cincinnati after years on the West Coast. They took over the family barber shop and eventually opened Mom ’n ‘em Coffee in Camp Washington in May 2019, which was quickly followed by Fausto in June that year.

The Ferraris

Their dedication to high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, combined with a culinary sense of adventure made them a foodie favorite.

“It’s a tough business,” said co-founder Tony Ferrari. “The reality is we never really bounced back after Covid, and now with the mix of staffing shortages and cost increases — it’s tough. We’re proud of what Fausto achieved, and we’re grateful for the support we received from the CAC and their circle. This kind of thing is nobody’s fault, it’s just part of doing business, especially in food and beverage.”

The brothers say that Fausto’s renowned elevated fare will still be available for event catering while they run their dual coffee shop locations in Camp Washington and Madisonville and other business ventures.

“We’re sad to see them go,” said Marcus Margerum, chief deputy director and interim executive director. “But this space has a long history of providing a platform for new ventures and supporting them until they start another chapter. We’re glad the Ferrari Bros will remain a Cincinnati brand and plan to keep them in our family. At the same time, we’re optimistic about discovering what’s next for this space.”

Fausto was the third establishment to occupy the CAC lobby, and it leaves behind a first-floor retail space within a world-renowned architectural landmark. The Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art is the first museum designed by architect Zaha Hadid and the first U.S. museum designed by a woman. The current iteration of the retail space was made possible after a 2016 lobby renovation that sought to create a more welcoming community hub.

Fausto will offer one final dinner party on Dec. 22, to say thank you and farewell to their downtown patrons.

Since its founding in 1939, the CAC has been a champion of emerging ideas in contemporary art, hosting one of the first Midwest exhibitions of Picasso’s Guernica in 1939; mounting an early exhibition of Pop Art in 1963; representing the United States at the São Paulo Biennial in 1975; and presenting — and successfully defending — the 1990 Mapplethorpe retrospective that became a lightning rod in the era’s culture wars and propelled the CAC into the national spotlight.

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