Kostas Restaurant in Hamilton will soon become the set of a Hollywood scene for the movie “Carol,” set in 1950’s New York City starring Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett.
Photo: Nick Daggy
Photo: Nick Daggy

Hollywood comes to downtown Hamilton

“I am just so excited … I really can’t believe it’s a Hollywood movie,” Kim said Wednesday while standing inside the restaurant that still sports orange vinyl booths and counters.

“Carol,” which stars Blanchett, has been filming in the Greater Cincinnati area for several weeks, including a one-day shoot in at the Shaker Inn motel in Lebanon on Monday. Crews are scheduled to film at Kostas next week, possibly Monday, Kim said.

The movie is based on a short story set in the 1950s in New York City. Kostas, which was established in 1950 according to a sign out front, will appear as a 1950s-style diner in the film.

Kim said she received a call in November inquiring about her restaurant as a possible location for a scene in the movie.

“In January, 10 people came. They looked all around and said they would call,” she said.

Kim said she didn’t hear anything else until February when 30 people with lots of cameras showed up taking pictures from every angle. Among the features that attracted the film makers were Kostas’ chrome coat trees at the end of the booths, its pie case and original light fixture above the grill.

“They said they will make it look like Christmas time in 1952 in New York City,” said Kim, who has owned the eatery that serves breakfast and lunch for 21 years.

Kim said she kept the deal quiet until it was completed, even after she read about the movie shooting in Lebanon and Cincinnati.

“I didn’t say anything to anyone,” she said with a smile.

Kim said she will have to close Kostas for two days and will be compensated for the loss of business.

“I hope it will bring more people to Hamilton,” Kim said. “Be good for business.”

She has been told Blanchett will be part of shoot.

“They said she would walk through those doors and through here,” Kim said, pointing to the kitchen doors of the restaurant.

Hamilton Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson said he learned about the shoot a couple of weeks ago.

“It is kind of neat,” he said. “This city is full of character in many way. It is great for it to be highlighted.”

Gunderson said down the road, Kostas may become a spot for people to visit just because it has been featured in the movie, like other locations across the country.

“A lot of people in Hamilton know it as just Kostas,” he said, adding a lot of others will likely know the restaurant by name in the future.

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