Boutique hotel in the works in former Middletown JCPenney site

A new boutique hotel is coming to downtown Middletown.

Kevin Kimener said he is targeting a May opening of Indigo Pass, which will occupy about 3,500 square feet on the fourth floor of the 38,000-square-foot building at 1131 Central Ave. Indigo Pass will have six rooms, five of them with a king-size bed and one with a queen-size bed.

All rooms will have an additional sitting room with a fold-out full bed.

Each room will be about 225-square-feet in size, steeped in rich, dark indigo hues and “well-appointed” with historic touches of exposed beams and brick walls, he said.

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Kimener is the husband of Ami Vitori, a member of Middletown City Council since December. The couple co-founded Torchlight Pass, a multi-tenant “dining, wellness and more” building in downtown Middletown that once housed JCPenney and TV Middletown.

Torchlight’s tenants include fine dining comfort food restaurant Gracie’s, which is owned and operated by Vitori, as well as other businesses, such as Haven Yoga, MC Hair Salon and The Studio @ The Pass, a production studio.

Vitori’s story of returning to Middletown and building her business starting in 2016 was featured as part of the Starbucks “Upstanders” video in late 2017 and noted by “People” magazine in early 2018.

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Kimener said adding Indigo Pass to the mix wasn’t part of the original plan, but became an idea as he and Vitori saw the need for overnight stays downtown.

“The goal has always been to create an experience at the Pass that is modern and urban,” he said. “This type of a hotel is seen in bigger cities and with the restaurant, yoga studio and hair salon downstairs it’s a great combined offering.”

Anything Granite & the barn cat

Two new business are coming to a 600-square-foot storefront at 935 Main St. in Hamilton.

Cat Malone will open a new location of cabinet refinishing business the barn cat, and nephew Kevin Kugler will open a new location of cabinet and countertop store Anything Granite.

The businesses are scheduled to make their debut March 16.

Malone has been selling her mosaic art and offering mosaic classes since 2012, but she turned her focus to cabinetry refinishing in the last year. Anything Granite has been in business since 2017 in Cincinnati’s rapidly growing Hyde Park neighborhood.

The showroom will employ one full-time position at the location and 10 behind-the-scenes granite installers/fabricators.

Malone said she and Kugler chose to locate in the city because “Hamilton’s the place to be.”

“It’s apparent by the mass amount of development that is taking place in the city, including the artistic development downtown, the upcoming Spooky Nook development, the opening of the Marcum Hotel & Conference Center, and the fact that there are grants that are available to first-time home buyers that many good things are coming to Hamilton,” she said.

Hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

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