Licking County News

Downtown Johnstown

Old Horseshoe opens in old brick building after years of renovations


Over the span of 100 years, a two-story brick building in the heart of historic Johnstown has served as a pharmacy, an ice cream shop and a greeting-cards store.

Following years of renovation, the location at 65 S. Main St. will serve a new purpose as its owners welcomed residents to the grand opening of the Old Horseshoe Restaurant &Tavern on Friday, Oct. 25.

It's the work of David and Susan Straub -- he's an engineer, and she's an architect -- who knew it was the ideal setting.

"They discovered this historic site and just fell in love with it," said Valerie Alloy, marketing consultant. "It's been on the drawing table for five years. Susan really has an eye for bringing buildings back to life, and she knew it was full of possibility. Every time I look at something, I think this building is a piece of art."

The rebirth features wood trim and a second-floor brick terrace that could host weddings and large gatherings.

A pictorial wall provides homage to Johnstown.

Executive chef Mike Black has prepared a menu that will feature locally grown meats, poultry and produce. The team also includes sous chef Drew Dimitrovski and general manager Nicole Askew. Black and Dimitrovski previously worked together at Due Amici in downtown Columbus.

"We want to be ... a place for families to celebrate," Alloy said. "We're definitely priced to everyone's budget, with lunch ranging from $7 to $12 and dinner from $9 to $30. We also have a children's menu. We're trying to get all of our ingredients from within a 100-mile radius."

As the Old Horseshoe opens, Johnstown's streetscape project also is nearly finished in an effort to replace aging infrastructure downtown. The work has included tree removal, sidewalk repair and brick replacement.

The next phase of the project is to move utility lines to the rear of buildings, Village Manager Jim Lenner said.

"The timing is perfect," he said. "I don't want to say it's coincidental, but it worked out nicely. I don't think the area has anything similar to this, and I think it will be a destination for Johnstown. If you haven't seen the building, it's beautifully crafted."

The Straubs intend for the Old Horseshoe to strengthen community partnerships, Alloy said. During the renovation, an old horseshoe was discovered.

A message on the restaurant website reads, "The legend of the Old Horseshoe continues to be a symbol of luck, and the rediscovery of this Old Horseshoe reconnects times past to days present."