Opening day: The 513 brings a slice of L.A. to Hamilton’s Main Street

Chamber leader: Bar and restaurant ‘going to be a magnet for Main Street.’

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A trio of Hamilton natives brought a slice of home to Los Angeles several years ago when they opened The 513.

Now, Jay Davis and his cousins, brothers Vince and Jake Jolivette, are bringing a slice of L.A. home as they open The 513 Hamilton today.

“We always wanted to open a bar here,” said Davis, who will manage the day-to-day operations of the bar at 244 Main Street. “The one in L.A. just kind of happened because we were out there ... a secondary option to opening one here in Hamilton.”

What was once a dream has become reality, and that is not just exciting for Davis, but “awesome.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“I love being back home,” said Davis, who was in Los Angeles for 12 years. “I was ready to get back here, and this was the best reason to bring me back.”

Vince Jolivette, a movie producer in L.A. who intends to film another movie in Hamilton in the near future, said this new business venture is “just surreal.”

“Growing up in the town, it just seemed so desolate back in the day,” he said. “The opportunity the city has given us, to invest in the town and have this great place there, it just means the world. I’m just excited.”

And Hamilton needs sports bars, said Jolivette. The 513 is the first of two sports bar openings in Hamilton this year as Shooters Sports Grill is expected to open in June.

Jolivette said The 513 won’t just be a Reds and Bengals hangout in Hamilton, but it’ll be a home to all sports.

“Part of the problem in Hamilton is there wasn’t a lot of places, like good sports bars; good TVs, there’s not a lot of them,” he said. “We definitely to lean into that, but just like we’ve done in Los Angeles, we want to have a music venue as well.”

Davis and the Jolivettes opened The 513 in the North Hollywood Arts District in Los Angeles in 2021, and became the home away from home for Cincinnati Bengal fans in February 2022 when the Bengals played in Super Bowl LVI. The L.A. bar was home to anything and everything in the 513 area code, but more importantly, Davis said, The 513 meant “home.”

“I was out in LA for 12 years and I was never a huge fan of it out there,” he said. “When we were thinking about what to name it, The 513 was just represented home to me and Vince and Jake.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The 513 is at the corner of North D and Main streets, next to The Farmers’ Collective and less than a block from True West, Rossville Flats and the future Agave & Rye now under construction. Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dan Bates said The 513 will be “just one more reason to get out of your car and walk down Main Street.”

“It’s a fantastic location. They’ve made an amazing restoration of that space,” he said. “It’s going to be a magnet for Main Street, and I think it’s going to help all the other businesses.”

Davis and the Jolivettes worked with the Hamilton CIC and the city at options to open a location, and the buildings they now own had others interested.

It took a while for the location to open as they had to wait in line for engineering and architecture firms to draw up plans as there were a lot of projects around Hamilton. Then it took time to renovate the 200-year-old buildings that have various lives, including a former restaurant and what’s believed to be its initial use for horse trading.

“The buildings I have here are unbelievable,” Davis said. “We’ve restored and retained every single piece that we could.”

The slate and concrete floors were retained and polished, and the 200-year-old brick walls were essentially left untouched. They did remove about half of the second floor to create a mezzanine, but the old floor joists, which Davis called “200-year-old thick, awesome wood,” were repurposed to create the bar tops, liquor shelves and handrails.

The 513 will be open from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. To complement the in-house grill menu ― like wings and fries ― every day they’ll feature Montgomery Inn pulled pork and chicken, and the restaurant’s brisket they’ll chop in-house.

“The fact that we can also be a part of Montgomery Inn and be a representative of that restaurant in this section of Ohio is just a great opportunity for us and the city,” said Jolivette. “I feel like that food is so good and they’ve been so excited and accommodating about this partnership, just to have Montgomery Inn food right at Hamilton’s fingertips, I just think people are going to love it.”

Opening a bar and grill is in the family’s blood, said Jolivette. His father and uncles, and before them, his grandparents, run Jolly’s Drive-In.

“They say, ‘Don’t get into business with your family,’ but they’ve been able to do it and it’s been very successful,” he said. “It really gave us a lot of motivation to do things ourselves, and what better way to stay in touch and contact with your family than to have a business together.”

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