Maybe it’s a little off kilter to be writing about a sporting goods store, but when Cincinnati has an institution like Koch’s at its disposal, I’ve decided it’s warranted. My general affinity for sports combined with my love for Cincinnati, shopping locally, and retail, I have to say that Koch Sports covers all the, er, bases. No pun intended.
Location: Koch Sporting Goods is nestled downtown on W. 4th Street between Race and Elm. The store itself is vast (much larger than I expected), but the parking situation isn’t what I’d call ideal, which is probably the most negative aspect of the all-around experience of shopping at Koch’s. But as soon as you find a place to park, the experience that follows is pretty great.
The Place: The store is relatively substantial and filled to the brim with about all of the Cincinnati sports paraphernalia you could want. (And non-Cincinnati sports garb, too, but we will ignore that for the sake of this being a Tour de Cincinnati post.) Koch’s boasts a plethora of Reds and Bengals apparel, accessories, and novelty items, as well as items for all ages and sizes. Additionally, Koch’s features more than just Reds and Bengals duds, and sells a multitude of local collegiate and semi-pro teams, as well as teams in other regions. But again, we won’t go there. Admittedly, there is so much stuff that, if you want to peruse the entire inventory, you need to allow yourself an hour or so to do so. This isn’t your average, quick shopping trip, folks, it’s also an experience.
Et Cetera: I’d been to Koch Sporting Goods as a kid, but unfortunately it had been years since I’d been. It wasn’t until I had the bright idea (read: hat tip from @OMGReds) to custom make a Reds soccer jersey for my Reds- and soccer-obsessed boyfriend for his birthday. After obtaining a blank-slate-of-a-jersey elsewhere, I made my way downtown to Koch’s to obtain the necessary patches to be sewn onto said jersey. While I was a little disappointed with the relatively small arsenal of patches they had, I was also impressed that they even had any Reds patches to begin with! One of the more memorable parts of this shopping trip was how friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful the worker I was talking with as I made my purchases was. For those who know me, know that it’s not uncommon that I have the tendency to get on a conversational tangent with a complete stranger that has nothing to do with anything, really. This particular worker and I shared a talk about sports and our local sports teams, as I vowed to make my way back to Koch Sporting Goods sooner than later. And I meant it.
Overall grade: A- [out of a possible A+]