In less than a year, German Village will have lost two significant pieces of its recent restaurant history.
Last week, the parent company of Max & Erma's announced the closing of the original store, 739 S. Third St. The restaurant's 45-year run ends Sunday, Aug. 6.
Easy Street Cafe shut its doors Feb. 25 after nearly 25 years at 197 Thurman Ave.
Andy Schiffman, a 19-year resident of German Village who has been a Max & Erma's regular for 25 years, said he's losing one of his favorite places.
"I'm bummed about it," said the local real-estate agent, who lives just down the street.
Schiffman said he eats dinner at the restaurant once or twice a week.
"One of the great traditions I have is I work a long day and look forward to going to Max & Erma's," he said. "I take my newspaper. It's like Cheers."
Glacier Restaurant Group, which owns Max & Erma's and a number of other restaurant concepts, sold the building for an undisclosed price.
James Blystone, vice president of real estate and communications for Glacier, based in Whitefish, Montana, said the new owner is 739 Third Street LLC but would not divulge any other details.
Schiffman said he hopes another high-quality restaurant operator will take over the spot. He said he would like to see any kind of Asian restaurant; a smaller version of a Cap City Fine Diner or another Cameron Mitchell restaurant; or a "good little Mexican place."
Easy Street Cafe was replaced by the South Village Grille, opened by local restaurateur George Tanchevski.
Bill Dargusch, a local developer whose company also owns the iconic Katzinger's Delicatessen at 475 S. Third St., said he was "a little taken aback" that Glacier decided to unload the original Max & Erma's, but he understands there are issues. It's fairly small, at 102 seats, and the restrooms are in the basement -- but it's prime real estate and worth some reinvestment, he said.
"It was my guess they might have gotten an offer for the real estate, and it was too good," he said of Glacier.
State and local officials are in the midst of improving the Interstate 70/71 interchange through downtown and reconfiguring the road system to ease congestion. Part of that includes upgrades to Livingston Avenue and continued expansion of Nationwide Children's Hospital.
"I think Third's future is good," Dargusch said. "I think it's going to be as strong as ever."