State of the City: Hamilton leaders announce new businesses, developments

Hamilton’s leaders didn’t hold back their excitement during a midterm State of the City address on Thursday night when they announced Third Eye Brewing’s plans to open a production facility in the city.

It will be at the former Pepsi bottling plant at 850 Erie Blvd. and is a second location for the company, which has its original location on Chester Road in Sharonville. The new facility will move the brewery’s production from 2,000 to 10,000 barrels annually.

Third Eye will have lower-level space for large-scale barrel aging and it will feature a covered outdoor patio and full kitchen. It will also have space for private events.

Mayor Pat Moeller spoke at the State of the City event that was conducted under the McDulin Garage due to rain, touting various programs that are seeing success. He also mentioned the newest park in the city, located in the Gordon Smith neighborhood, will be named for Steve Timmer, who has retired from the Hamilton Parks Conservancy. Timmer was recently given a key to the city as a token of appreciation for his work.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

City Manager Joshua Smith, wearing a West Side All-Stars shirt, talked about the progress of the city with compliments to the founders of Municipal Brew Works, which he credited as a great corporate citizen who helped pave the way for the renaissance of the city. He also talked about the new Spooky Nook at Champion Mill sports complex on B Street, which will host a debut gala later this month.

Smith asked the people in attendance who represent Spooky Nook to stand and be recognized. The first floor of the Warehouse Hotel at Spooky Nook opens next week, he said.

Smith said new businesses in Hamilton are fighting many issues, such as supply chain issues, inflation and labor needs but are persevering. He asked for a round of applause for those businesses.

The city manager also announced the vision for multiple hotels, residential space, office space and a grocer as an anchor on the riverfront at the Cohen Recycling site across the bridge from Spooky Nook.

“The city has been actively engaged with the development company on that site,” he said.

It will be a $300 million to $350 million investment in the next several years and more details will be released later, he said.

In February, the City of Hamilton and Cohen Recycling worked out a land swap to allow for the development.

Smith credited the city government’s employees for helping to move this and so many other projects forward.

“It’s very unusual in city government to have people that attend every event, nights, weekends, nonstop,” he said. A round of applause was given for them.


Redevelopment is also planned for the former U.S. Bank building at 219 High St. in Hamilton. The bank will move its offices to the former Elder-Beerman building at 150 High St. next to United Heartland’s offices. The redevelopment will include retail, offices and restaurant space.

Ambiance Nail Salon will be joining the city as well, Smith announced. It will be just past Walgreens at Ohio 4 and High Street.

The Third + Dayton complex in downtown Hamilton, formerly Ohio Casualty, is also growing this year and will have 200 apartments and “at least 10 commercial spaces” available, Smith said. It currently has 70-80 units. Third + Dayton will have spent $20 million the last 6 years.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The Schuler Benninghoffen building at 2350 Pleasant Ave. is also desired as a potential mixed-use space to revive the Lindenwald business district. Smith said . He called it is an example of a large empty building that was being vandalized and even set on fire that needs revitalized. It will soon transfer into city hands to be redeveloped.

The former Beckett Paper site in the city will move forward with its tax credit application and the plan calls for preserving many of the large buildings on the 7 acre site. There will also be new construction with town houses to the property. The residential units will be unique, Smith said of the plan.

Also mentioned at the event Thursday is the expansion of Pinball Garage. Owner Brad Baker is already developing a larger space at the rear of the business that will have more space for patrons, more games, televisions and new restrooms.

“That is our strength, is that we work together so well,” Smith said of Baker, who is also talking with Third + Dayton about developing a business with them in addition to what he is doing at his original location nearby.

Smith gave shout-outs to several other small business owners and said Wildfire Hygge Goods, which now has a second location at 127 S. Second St., is a testament to supportive business owners who have had such success they expanded in the same city as their other business.

A new bar called Pour House is nearly ready to open at The Marcum, across the street from Courtyard by Marriott. He said it will likely open to the public next week.


Agave & Rye has turned in its full set of plans for construction at the corner of Main and E streets — the former Ritzi Body Shop. The business will be developing the rear building on the property. Its sister business, Papi Jocho’s, which bills itself as “street dogs and cantina,” will open across the street in the Rossville Flats, Smith said.

Rossville Flats will also get the previously announced Frost Factory and a newly announced wine bar. A block away, the 513 Bar is still in development stages, Smith said.

The city manager gave a mention to the recently opened High Main Laser Works, a laser cutting and engraving shop on Main Street that is making a lot of its products with the Hamilton logo and images.

Immortal Vibes bar, with a guitar theme, and Thyme Savor, which sells take-and-go meals, are two more businesses Smith said will be locating on Main Street.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Smith also announced a restaurant called Ambedough, which will sell bagels, breakfast items, sandwiches and cocktails. It will be in the former Preferred Puppies store in the 100 block of Main Street and will be open late-night.

Ambedough’s owners were in attendance at the State of the City address.


Also opening in Hamilton is Nicc & Norm’s Sidecar Bar, located near Arches Saloon on South B Street. Smith said the business is getting close but still has some paperwork issues to get through. It is a speakeasy-style place with a menu with cured and smoked meats, craft cocktails, wine and more.

Panda Express, a fast-casual restaurant, will go in the former Steak-N-Shake location at 1485 Main St. and Smith said demolition on the building at the site begins soon.

Going into the former Domino’s Pizza building on Main Street near Milillo’s is a second Biggby Coffee location. And Jersey Mike’s sub shop will go into the Hamilton Meadows Shopping Center near Kroger, he said.


As he finished the State of the City address, the city manager mentioned thyssenkrupp Bilstein is the second-largest employer with nearly 900 employees and it has helped the green initiatives of the city by recently going 100% carbon-free.

Smith mentioned that Saica, a cardboard box manufacturing company, also contributes with its net-zero waste objective.

He said Hamilton will have a total of six electric vehicle charging stations that should be ready by the end of this month, and there are plans to add more in the future.

Conversations are being had to continue pushing in the direction of going even more green, Smith said.

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