LOVELAND, Ohio -- Dierdre Dyson has painted many scenes of her beloved hometown.
Though she’s painted downtown Loveland again and again, the longtime resident says she never gets tired of it. She’s painted the different seasons and new businesses that have changed the look over the years.
But perhaps her most important work encapsulates historic downtown just before a massive fire gutted the upper floors of three buildings on West Loveland Avenue in May.
“Everyone wanted to do something,” she said. “I thought, ‘What can I do to help?’ I have this painting … ”
Dierdre had prints made, sold them and gave 20 percent back to the Loveland Fire Fund to help repair the facade.
The support means the world to Gaetano Williams, owner of Tano Bistro and Catering.
Tano Bistro and Catering was among the buildings affected. A dress boutique and a realtor's office were also damaged.
But Williams’ eatery is on the mend.
The second story is being rebuilt, Williams said. Once complete, it will seat about 80 people. A rooftop bar is also in the works.
“Out here in the suburbs, I think it’s really unique. It’s going to be fun,” Williams said.
Despite the improvements, Williams admits it’s been difficult not working in his restaurant.
“We’re still active in the community to serve what we can for the community,” he said. “As far as a regular restaurant, it’s been in my blood for 41 years. It’s tough. It’s tough not going into the holidays knowing you’re going to be so busy.”
Williams said he feels the fire was really a blessing in disguise. He credits the city and community for helping the restaurant back on its feet.
“There’s such a great overpowering support from our community. I can’t wait to get back open and start loving on them again,” he said.