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

News that a developer wants to spend $20 million restoring the 127-year-old Shuler & Benninghofen Woolen Mill with apartments and retail is the latest development move announced in Hamilton.

One of the recent Journal-News reports about Hamilton development that saw the most enthusiasm covered a coming Hamilton restaurant and bourbon bar.

Here are five things to know about that project:

The basics

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.

What was it before?

She bought the B Street property from Matt Pater, who has restored the Arches Saloon at 233 S. B St., and had planned to create another establishment where Meece’s restaurant will be. But instead, he and other partners are creating another restaurant/bar/reception hall not far to the south along the Great Miami River in the former Knights of Columbus hall at 930 Pyramid Hill Blvd. It will be called Hamilton Landing.

Why Prohibition?

She chose the Prohibition era for a theme because it was “a time when Hamilton was booming,” she said. There also was some criminal excitement during that period, when some called the city “Little Chicago.”

People are donating photographs from the time period.

What will it be like on the inside?

The restaurant, which will seat 90, will have exposed brick and an industrial feel, including some industrial lights from the former Champion Paper mill. Within a few years, she hopes to add a cigar smoke-house in the back where people can enjoy cigars and bourbon.

What will it open?

They hope for an opening in the first quarter of 2022.

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