7 new restaurants, bars and other big projects coming soon to Hamilton

Several new Hamilton restaurants, bars and businesses have been recently announced.

Here’s a look at some of our latest stories about what’s coming up:

New microbrewery planned for Hamilton at former electric substation near downtown

This building, which used to be a Hamilton electric substation, could become home to a farmer's collective or some other business. The city of Hamilton owns it now. MIKE RUTLDEDGE/STAFF
This building, which used to be a Hamilton electric substation, could become home to a farmer's collective or some other business. The city of Hamilton owns it now. MIKE RUTLDEDGE/STAFF

A new microbrewery that will be called Amp House Brewing plans to move into a former Hamilton electric substation on Maple Avenue. Its owners hope to further energize Hamilton’s entertainment scene beginning in early 2022, to coincide with the opening of Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill.

“This is so perfect,” Greg Snow, of Fairfield, one of three co-owners, said about the building at 514 Maple Ave. “It looks like Batman could live there. And inside, it’s so cool. It’s got super-thick concrete walls.”

The interior, saluting the building’s past, will have electric themes. Its name, Amp, is short for ampere, a unit of electrical current.

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New bourbon bar coming to Hamilton with Prohibition theme: 5 things to know

This building, at 221 S. B St. in Hamilton, is being converted into Nic & Norm's Sidecar Bar, a Prohibition-style restaurant and bar, featuring bourbon and bacon-featured meals. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
This building, at 221 S. B St. in Hamilton, is being converted into Nic & Norm's Sidecar Bar, a Prohibition-style restaurant and bar, featuring bourbon and bacon-featured meals. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Nicci Meece, whose father once owned an Irish/German pub at 2nd and Chestnut streets a few decades ago, is creating a bar herself at 221 S. B Street to be called Nic & Norm’s Sidecar Bar, and will have a Prohibition theme.

Meece, who moved to Butler County at age 15 and graduated from Talawanda High School in 1992, is a building rehabber who had been looking for a good site for the restaurant for a couple of years.

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Developer wants to restore historic Hamilton mill with apartments, retail space

The Shuler & Benninghofen Woolen Mills building at corner of Williams Avenue and Pleasant Avenue is one of several buildings of interest as students at Miami University try to develop a Pleasant Avenue Revitalization Strategy for Lindenwald to revitalize the Hamilton neighborhood. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The Shuler & Benninghofen Woolen Mills building at corner of Williams Avenue and Pleasant Avenue is one of several buildings of interest as students at Miami University try to develop a Pleasant Avenue Revitalization Strategy for Lindenwald to revitalize the Hamilton neighborhood. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Developer Bloomfield/Schon wants to restore the historic Shuler & Benninghofen Woolen Mill in Hamilton’s Lindenwald neighborhoods, to outfit it with apartments and retail space.

Under details City Manager Joshua Smith provided Hamilton City Council on Wednesday, the project would include a $20 million investment from the developer in the 127-year-old facility. The project would include 100 “1+ bedroom apartments,” at least 10,000 square feet of commercial space and 50 indoor parking spaces.

The developer wants the city to buy the property for $650,000 and hold it while Bloomfield/Schon seeks national and state historic tax credits and a new type of incentive called Transformational Mixed Use Development Credits. If the developer lands those credits, the city would sell the property to the developer for $1. Smith in a report to council said the project would improve what now is a four-acre eyesore in a key Lindenwald area.

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He started making cakes at 12. Now he’ll have his own business in Hamilton

Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED
Luke Heizer, right, plans to open Luke's Custom Cakes on High Street in the former True West Coffee location (True West's Main Street shop remains open). PROVIDED

A decade after he sold his first custom-designed cakes at age 12, Luke Heizer is taking his business to a storefront on Hamilton’s High Street.

Heizer, who grew up in Trenton and is a 2017 Edgewood High School graduate, began his cake-designing with cakes depicting Ironman and Dora the Explorer.

Heizer’s father, Alan, is helping build out the interior of the former True West Coffee shop on High Street. The other True West, on Main Street, remains open. Heizer’s mother, Tammie, does most of the cake-baking, and he does the decorating of cupcakes and cakes that can be very elaborate.

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New Hamilton building owners plan beach-themed tiki bar, entertainment center on Great Miami River

Hamilton Landing.
Hamilton Landing.

New owners of the former Knights of Columbus building on the west bank of the Great Miami River are planning an indoor/outdoor multi-purpose entertainment complex that will embrace the waterway.

The combined facility, called Hamilton Landing, will open in three phases on about 2½ acres of riverfront at 930 Pyramid Hill Blvd.

First will be a large “beach-themed tiki bar” along the riverbank that can seat about 200, which the owners hope will open in the early summer, depending on when liquor licenses are approved. Events may happen even earlier.

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What to expect from the Agave & Rye restaurant coming to Hamilton

Here is what the proposed Agave & Rye restaurant and bar is to look like, at the former Ritzi Body Shop location on Main Street in Hamilton. PROVIDED
Here is what the proposed Agave & Rye restaurant and bar is to look like, at the former Ritzi Body Shop location on Main Street in Hamilton. PROVIDED

Even before Agave & Rye opened its first Ohio location at Liberty Center, owners of the chain of trendy tequila/bourbon bars inside Mexican-inspired restaurants sought a location in Hamilton.

But at the time, company CEO Yavonne Sarber said they couldn’t find a location. The Journal-News last week first reported that Agave & Rye was chosen by a city panel to locate in the former Ritzi Body Shop near the corner of Main and E streets.

A development company called Local Development will hold the development agreement with the city, with a pledge to spend $2.5 million developing the property. Agave & Rye, while not the developer, is designing the space and has a 10-year agreement with Local Development.

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Billy Yanks bourbon bar closer to opening in Hamilton: What to know

The Billy Yanks bourbon bar on Main Street is nearing completion, with hopes of a late-July opening. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The Billy Yanks bourbon bar on Main Street is nearing completion, with hopes of a late-July opening. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Creation of the Billy Yanks bourbon bar in Hamilton is progressing, with hopes of opening next month.

General Manager Jason Campbell told the Journal-News he hopes to open in late July.

That would be more good news for Hamilton’s Main Street business corridor, which like many areas nationwide is emerging from the economic doldrums of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it can add a further spark to the increasingly energized area with potential to attract new visitors to the city, believes Dan Bates, president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

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