Hamilton attorneys Richard Hyde and John M. Holcomb are in the restoration business in a prime piece of real estate across the street from the Butler County Government Services Center.
The law partners purchased the building that housed the Ohio Lunch Restaurant for decades. The restaurant, first established in 1927 was owned for many years by Elias Anagnostou, but in the past five years has been opened then closed off an on.
In May, Hyde and Holcomb saw it as a perfect location for lawyers and purchased the building for $237,500 and contents for $5,000. They donated the restaurant equipment to various nonprofit groups.
On Monday, construction workers were in the gutted building, working the designs by Hamilton architect Mike Dingeldein to restore the building to some of its original beauty.
“We are going to try to do it justice,” Hyde said.
The restaurant had a dropped ceiling and a lunch counter across the front entrance. When the dropped ceiling was torn way, ornate pressed tin tile atop 16-foot ceilings were revealed.
“They were blasted with dry ice,” Hyde said, noting the old paint fell way. The tiles have been painted a rich bronze/gold.
Hyde, an attorney for 27 years, and Holcomb, an attorney for 25 years, are former prosecutors who practice nearly all types of law. Holcomb’s father, John F. Holcomb, served as county prosecutor for 27 years.
Holcomb said his father moved into the firm’s current location in the Key Bank Building across from the Historic County Courthouse in 1964, and it was time for a change.
The 1919 building designed by renowned Hamilton architect Frederick Mueller is a perfect fit. Hyde noted when the county courts were in the historic courthouse, they were right in the middle of the action. Now, across from the government services center, they will be again.
“It is a great Frederick Mueller building, and we thought if we were going to buy a building, it mine as well be one with some historical significance … it has good bones as they say,” Holcomb said.
The renovation project is slated for completion in early 2017.