Hathaway’s Coffee Shop

Review by: Michael Stern

Located on the first level of the magnificently deco Carew Tower, where pleasant music wafts through the lobby to encourage shoppers into the high-end retailers, Hathaway’s is the sort of come-one, come-all coffee shop that once proliferated in cities’ downtown shopping districts. Seating is at one of three U-shaped counters or at steel-banded dinette tables against the wall.

In addition to plate lunch, sandwiches and well-respected hamburgers, there’s a nice soda fountain menu of sundaes and banana splits, plus traditional malts and shakes. These include a banana whisk, a pink cloud (made with strawberries), and a crème sickle (orange juice and milk). Yogurt shakes evoke an era when yogurt was an alternative to normal food. The menu touts them as “Healthful Pick Me Uppers,” for when one needs that sweet supercharge in the middle of the shopping day.

Breakfast is especially good, including French toast bright with cinnamon flavor and freighted with melting butter. Make it local by adding the Cincinnati favorite, goetta, in lieu of bacon or sausage. Goetta is a pork-and-pin-oats loaf that is sliced thin and fried crisp. It takes a while to sizzle on the griddle, so goetta is not the thing to order if you’re in a hurry; but if you are a fan of pigmeat, it is a must. Despite the middle-class setting, Hathaway’s goetta is aristocratic.

The broad lunch menu includes a panoply of burgers and such daily specials as meatloaf Thursday and a free slice of pie with your meal on Tuesday.  There are soups and salads, open-face roast beef or turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes, and smoked ham dinner. You can get a BLT or, better yet, a GLT, in which crisp-fried goetta replaces bacon.

At breakfast or lunch, watchful waitresses make sure that coffee cups never fall below half-full.

Directions & Hours

8am - 3pm
  • Monday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sunday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

What To Eat


French Toast


Hathaway’s Coffee Shop Recipes


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