This business wants to be part of ‘the theater district of Middletown’

A new pub featuring food, drinks and live entertainment is scheduled to open in Middletown this fall in a building with a lengthy past.

The Swire Inn at 64 S. Main St. plans to be “friendly priced” and open for lunch and dinner during the week and brunch on weekends, serving “pub food,” including sandwiches, pot roast, several different types of seafood, including items like salmon and fish ‘n’ chips.

The business is owned by John Langhorne, of Middletown, who moved to the city in 1970 when he was 18 years old, moved his engineering business to South Carolina in 2006 and then sold the business and moved back to Middletown to be closer to his sons and grandchildren.

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Langhorne said that he — along with the Sorg Opera House and Rolling Mill Brewing Company and other nearby businesses — is hoping to transform that corner of the neighborhood into “the theater district of Middletown.”

The business will seat 40 inside and 36 outside with a second floor into which it can grow.

The Swire Inn will be located inside a structure built in 1861 and remodeled at least twice since has previously served as a funeral home, local Republican Party headquarters, boarding house, restaurant, the Butler County Mental Health Board and a real estate office.

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The new business was named after Langhorne’s great-grandfather, John Swire Langhorne, who was the proverbial Black Sheep of his English family and was sent away to America.

“We’ll probably just called it ‘The Swire,’” Langhorne said. “It’s a little bit easier to say than ‘The Swire Inn.’”

Langhorne, who has been involved on the Middletown’s Planning Commission, Charter Review Committee and Middletown Airport Commission, said he wanted to do something in his retirement and turned to the restaurant industry, which he said he departed “a long, long time ago.”

“I thought there was a need for something … and I really believe in the city administration,” he said. “Middletown’s coming back. (There are) great business owners downtown … and it’s just a start. I’m really excited.”

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