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Historical photo show 100 years ago header

100 Years Ago

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Spot Restaurant - 1907

This eatery was opened in 1907 at 207 South Ohio Street when Spot Miller parked a chuck wagon on the corner of Court and Ohio Avenue across from the Shelby County Courthouse. Regulations prohibited food establishments on wheels, so he removed the cart and created a permanent structure for the restaurant.

Six years later, Mr. Miller sold the restaurant to Joseph Cook and Homer Spence for $5,000. It then became known as Cook’s Spot. Homer’s sister served as one of the restaurant’s first cooks.

During the years of their partnership, Homer’s sister served as the restaurant’s cook. Joseph and Ray Anderson became a partner in 1917 and together they started a chain of ‘Spot to Eat’ restaurants in Athens, Urbana, Lima, and Bellefontaine, Ohio. Only the Sidney Spot continues to operate. A special in the twenties lists "28 burgers for a $1.00!"

It still says Cook’s Spot on the sides of the current building which was built in 1941 after a New Year’s Eve fire destroyed the business. A mid-century modern neon sign over the door is intact. This facility is a fine example of the streamlined Art Moderne style with its smooth, unornamented wall surface faced with gleaming white porcelain tile.

In 1950, Robert Hepler, a Lima native, purchased the Spot. Under his ownership, the catering business was created. Like the Spot in Piqua, a now-defunct former sister restaurant, the Sidney Spot is famous for its pies. All pies, including the ever-popular old-fashion cream, are made on the premises from scratch. One employee works full-time making the crusts. Robert and Barbara Eilert purchased the facility in 1980, continuing both the restaurant and catering business. The Eilerts are semi-retired and, in the winter, stay in Arizona, leaving the running of the business to their son and daughter. Visit their website at

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'Downtown' segment written in October, 1998 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge 


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