Owner of Red’s Hamburger Shop decides not to open popular diner

Venue in New Miami was supposed to open this month; future now uncertain.

Those waiting to eat at Red’s Hamburger Shop in New Miami will have to wait even longer.

The popular Butler County diner was supposed to reopen under new ownership this month, but the potential owners told the Journal-News that won’t happen.

“It’s very unfortunate,” said Walley Estes, 50, a 1991 Fairfield High School graduate.

Estes said during health inspections he was told the restaurant, for the first time in its 60 years, needed a mop sink that cost $2,400. That expense, and others, he said, made opening impossible.

“That put a dent in the pocket,” he said. “We couldn’t keep bleeding. So it won’t work out.”

He hopes someone buys the business because “it’s ready to rock-n-roll.”

In August, Estes said his lifetime passion for cooking, the restaurant’s faithful following and its location near a major sporting complex expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to the area would help make Red’s Hamburger Shop successful again.

Estes and his two silent business partners purchased the longtime Butler County restaurant on U.S. 127 and planned to open this month.

Estes said he wanted to eventually own three locations, one called Red’s and two called Walley Burgers, and one food truck.

Red’s Hamburger Shop traces its roots back to the early 1960s. It was briefly Mel’s Diner last decade before reopening in 2020 under its old moniker. Craig and Yolanda Beurelein closed the restaurant earlier this year.

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