Hamilton restaurant featured in movie closes — but it's only temporary

A downtown Hamilton mainstay with plenty of history is closed, but thankfully for the regulars of Kostas Restaurant, it appears to only be temporary.

The restaurant on Court Street that serves breakfast and lunch closed Tuesday, according to a sign on the door that states “Look for our Return.”

Word of the closing spread fast in Hamilton, especially among those working in the nearby Government Services Center.

(Owner Young Kim) “has told us she will be closed for three weeks,” local attorney and regular Kostas customer Chris Pagan, who said he is a friend of Kim’s, told the Journal-News.

Kim has family out of town, so she is likely spending time with them, he said.

The restaurant opened in 1950, according to the bright yellow sign outside. Young has owned the business for about 25 years.

“Kostas is an institution in downtown Hamilton. I call it comfort food. Mrs. Kim, Wilma, Lisa and Wes all work very hard, but I know when I go in that they’ll have a smile. Owning and running a “mom and pop” restaurant is difficult but Kostas is like ‘Cheers’ without the beer, to many of us. I sure hope they’ll be back soon,” said Rick LoBuono, director of court operations for Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth and a customer of the restaurant.

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In 2015, Hollywood came to Kostas Restaurant when it was transformed into the Liberty Bell Diner for filming of the movie “Carol” staring Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith said he has heard of no plans to close the restaurant or that it is for sale.

“Kostas has been an institution in downtown Hamilton for decades. Their fast, courteous service has made them a “must-stop” for downtown employees,” Smith said.

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