Pleasant Ridge :: Overview
First Impression: Don't let the Ward-And-June-Cleaver-like name throw you. Pleasant Ridge is a funky and diverse little community on the Northeast outskirts of Cincinnati. It's large enough to have great local amenities like hangouts, restaurants and collectible shops, but small enough that everybody knows everybody.
Second Look: You'd have to guess that the name Pleasant Ridge would come from an obscure pioneer story. Somewhere back around 1800, Samuel Pierson was looking for a peaceful spot to help a friend bury family members. As he stood at the top of a rise in the old Indian trail that would become Montgomery Road, overlooking the Mill Creek Valley, he remarked, "This is a pleasant ridge." From those absolutely boring beginnings was born a community that's as warm and homey as it is multicultural.
The town was originally called Crossroads. In 1818, the area's first Presbyterian church, which had earlier been reconstructed log-by-log from its location in the nearby Duck Creek Valley, took the name Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church. Crossroads adopted the church's name around 1850. By this time the town was already diverse with the Wood family (the original owners from Scotland), German immigrants and a handful of freed African American slaves.
For today's commuter, Pleasant Ridge has been a stable real estate investment with an abundance of reasonably-priced houses, both tiny to huge, built from the 1850s through the 1920s. Successful business folk seeking a Bohemian suburban living flock here, as do first-time home buyers hunting an investment. With quick access to I-71 at the southern border, Pleasant Ridge is only 10 minutes from both Downtown as well as Blue Ash and the northern business corridor. But the proximity to fast-lane living doesn't infringe on the atmosphere here; you can grab a hot morning perk at a non-chain café as well as a cold brew on Pop Quiz Night at the local watering hole.
Pleasant Ridge is known as one of Cincinnati's more desirable spots to raise a family, and also one of the racially integrated. Though it is better known as a place to find a nice, affordable house than a place to head after-hours, Pleasant Ridge still has several independent points of interest to explore, such as a great record shop, the city's only Ethiopian restaurant and a vegetarian deli.