Some old buildings that discovered new life

This week's cover feature celebrates Lost Weekend Records, a record store hidden in plain sight in an old Clintonville home. This had us thinking about eateries that have repurposed buildings, giving new life to old structures.


The hip Harrison West cafe makes its home in an old garage and ice house that dates back nearly 100 years. Now eager brunchers gather for pancake balls and pork sandwiches where automobiles were once serviced.

The Refectory Restaurant & Bistro

The Refectory draws its name from the old church building that forms part of its structure. The original walnut-sided building dates back to 1853; in 1918 it was moved and connected to a nearby schoolhouse. It wasn't until the early '70s, after the existing congregation moved elsewhere, that it took on new life as a restaurant. It finally became The Refectory in 1981.

Seventh Son Brewing

Seventh Son took shape in a former Italian Village auto garage, the bays transformed into the brewery and the bar. The brewery is also on track to open a sister location on South High Street in an old antique store, appropriately named Antiques on High.

Smoked on High Barbeque Co.

This relative newcomer to the Columbus dining scene makes its home in, well, an old home. Owner and pit master Max McGarity used Kickstarter to fund his Texas-style barbecue restaurant, and the build-out included renovating a Victorian home to incorporate the kitchen, dining room and front patio.

Amy's Donuts

This West Side doughnut spot, known for colorful confections topped with crushed candy, fruit and cookies, inhabits an old Taco Bell. The building was given a bright-pink-and-white makeover before becoming a doughnut haven.

Pins Mechanical Company

Pins' Downtown digs were previously a National Tire & Battery.

Cambridge Tea House

Cambridge Tea House gives new life to a former gas station and auto mechanic's shop known as Marble Cliff Station. The cozy dining room sits where cars used to pull under an overhang to fuel up.


In 2013, Mozart's made the move from the southern end of Clintonville to a Beechwold property dating back to 1934. Originally the Beechwold Tavern, the Mission-style building has housed a variety of restaurants and social clubs over the decades. Starting in the '70s, it was home to a film production company, a recording studio, a rug store and a Cord Camera before finally becoming Mozart's five years ago.

The Warehouse Cafe

A hidden gem if there ever was one, the Warehouse Cafe sits on the ground floor of an old warehouse and shoe factory. Disused pulleys hang from the ceiling, and the brick walls are lined with photos detailing the building's history.

Valter's at the Maennerchor

Constructed in 1907 and known as the Dutch House, the building had previously served as a private residence and as a doctor's office. In 2016, local restaurateur Valter Veliu opened a German pub on the ground floor.