CINCINNATI — A popular Cincinnati restaurant will remain closed for a bit longer after the building failed to pass inspections necessary to reopen.
The Montgomery Inn Boathouse has been closed since Oct. 27, when a fire damaged the building. Owners said they planned to reopen on Nov. 9, but weren't able after inspections found the building not to code. The code issues are not tied to the damage from the fire, but are more closely connected to the age of the building overall.
The fire caused minimal damage to the restaurant and no one was injured, but damage to part of the kitchen's ventilating system has posed challenges.
"Opened up here in 1989," said Dean Gregory, restaurant operator and partner at the Boathouse. "Our goal for the first year, we exceeded those four times over what we'd be doing down here."
He said the closure sets a new record for length of time the restaurant has been closed — just beating out the closure during the flood of 1997.
"My son ran up on the roof," Gregory said. "The fire started and we have huge exhaust fans or hoods that sucks everything out. We can't operate without that. The motor of the fan started on fire."
Repairs to the Boathouse were estimated to cost between $25,000 and $30,000 to fully fix.
Gregory said he is hopeful that the Montgomery Inn will be able to reopen and prepare celebrations for its 70th anniversary.
"70th anniversary is actually today," said Gregory on Nov. 1. "Here's the worst part. I was going to buy dinner for everyone that came in tonight to help us celebrate our 70th birthday. Now we'll have to wait til the 80th. Hopefully I'll be around by then."
Staff said the original location in Montgomery is open and excited to welcome customers.