Several blocks away, two Hamilton businesses have reopened at 408 Main St.
We Love It Too relocated from one side of the business to the other and had its grand re-opening last week. Erin and Bob Robinson said they were able to curate the space “and it really became our own and is a representation of who we are.”
The store, as Erin Robinson said, is a “one-stop-shop” for event and hosting needs.
“It’s really a lifestyle store,” she said. “It’s everything you’re going to need to really have a great time, host a dinner party, host a graduation party.”
From specialty cutting and charcuterie boards to foods, silverware to plates to everything, “even what you might wear that night. We have you covered.”
They spent most of the winter months moving from the eastern side of the building to the western side, which was a good time because “anybody who owns a gift shop, or any type of store, will tell you the months of January through April and May can really be slow.”
But as Spooky Nook Sports begins to host more events and restaurants see longer wait times for a table, she believes many of those people will “come in and just really see who we are.”
“We just want to be ready, to show them what a great time they can have while they’re visiting. We love Hamilton; we’re so proud of Hamilton,” she said.
LahVDah owner Venita Allen has returned to her old spot at 408 Main St. She had relocated to a larger spot at Bridgewater Falls, but really never wanted to leave Main Street.
“Hamilton is strong, a community. We support each other; we’re there for each other,” she said. “That’s what I believe about Hamilton. That’s what I want. That’s what I see. That’s what I give.”
Allen had spent 17 years at the Findlay Market before opening her Main Street location for the first time. Main Street is not unlike Findlay Market, she said, but it’s better.
“It’s family,” she said of the business community in the city. “I see it growing. I feel like Hamilton is not a ghost town anymore. Hamilton has surpassed Findlay Market, in my opinion. And it’s only going to get bigger.”
Further down the road at 1499 Main St., Bubbakoo’s Burritos will open at 11 a.m. Monday, said co-owner Anil Patel, who was looking for a location somewhere in the Mason or Hamilton areas.
“In the last few years, Hamilton’s been growing up,” he said. “We decided to go in Hamilton, especially with downtown (development) and Spooky Nook.”
Bubbakoo’s Burritos is a Mexican-style restaurant that features burritos, soft tacos, and nachos, as well as chiwawas, a deep-fried rice ball smothered in nacho cheese and topped with selected ingredients.
Anyone looking for a job at Bubbakoo’s may apply at Bubbakoos.com.
This area of the West side, from the 1300 to the 1500 block of Main Street, has seen several new chain restaurants open, including Chipotle, Raising Cane’s and Panda Express.
“People have a lot of choices,” he said.
The Agave & Rye project in the 300 block of Main Street has seen its first development since owners announced the Hamilton location in 2021. Demolition of the rear building at the former Ritzi Auto Body shop, 335/339 Main St., began last month, and crews had been working to clear the debris from the site.
City officials anticipate the restaurant to open before the end of 2023, but the public relations firm used by Agave & Rye said the day after the demolition that there were “no updates at this time.”
Agave & Rye is a tequila and taco restaurant that opened its first location in 2018 in Covington, Ky. It has expanded into fifteen locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, and Tennessee. Agave & Rye opened its first Ohio location at Liberty Center in Liberty Twp. in 2019.
Part of the Agave & Rye project will encroach on the Legacy Martial Arts Academy property next door, which co-owner Ryan Roach said will move to 835 NW Washington Blvd., which is next door to West Side Animal Clinic and El Mariachi.
Roach, who owns the martial arts school with his wife, Amanda, said once they complete the steel structure, contractors will pour the concrete slab. After the slab is poured, crews can work on the plumbing for the facility.
Most of the steel structure has been erected, but there have been delays due to weather.
“We have been growing like crazy and have good stuff in the works,” said Roach. “We just hired some more people to get ready for the move and expansion.”
The new space will provide the school with 10,000 square feet for instructors to be able to teach various forms of martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, NoGi Grappling, and Muay Thai Kickboxing, as well as mixed martial arts and self-defense.
They have around 300 students currently.
Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill on B Street in Hamilton has attracted small businesses due to its regional and national draw for sports tournaments and large events. It is a mega-complex that has a hotel, conference rooms, an arcade, places to eat and drink, and more.
The anticipated Forklift & Palate restaurant inside it is delayed due to a lawsuit against Spooky Nook. On Feb. 10, PCS &Build filed an $11.9 million lawsuit against the facility. But Spooky Nook officials have said the restaurant will open.
“The general contractor PCS & Build vacated the projects earlier this year without completing its work,” said spokesperson Mackenzie Bender. “Despite the delay caused by this interruption and others, we still intend to proceed with opening our restaurant and other components later this year.”
Forklift & Palate, which is owned by Spooky Nook, is described as “a spacious restaurant” that will serve “high-quality American bistro cuisine.”
It will be one of a few establishments inside Spooky Nook, which has seen Municipal Brew Works already open inside the conference center. Other Hamilton businesses, like Petals & Wicks, Sara’s House, and Flub’s have announced they’ll have locations inside the facility.