Central Ohio’s oldest restaurant, the Worthington Inn, closed Jan. 1 for an indefinite period as part of the owner’s plan to renovate much of the restaurant into offices and retail space.

According to the restaurant’s website, the renovation will include a smaller ground-level restaurant. No reopening date has been set.

“The first, second and third floors of the building will be renovated with working fireplaces, abundant natural light, wood plank flooring and generous ceiling heights,” according to the post by Carrie Showe Rohyans, whose family owns the building. “Located in the heart of historic downtown Old Worthington, the property enjoys prime High Street frontage and convenient access to bustling neighboring businesses as well as route 315, I-71 and the I-270 (outerbelt).”

The landmark, at 649 High St. was built as a private residence in the 1830s. By the 1850s, it was operating as an inn. A Victorian facade facing High Street was added in the early 1900s. In 1937, after a major renovation, the property reopened in the style it has largely maintained as the New England Inn.

The spot in historic Old Worthington has been a local favorite for banquets, receptions and other events for decades. The current restaurant has been in operation for 35 years.

The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has undergone several major renovations and additions over the years. In 2007, a portion of the building was renovated from guest rooms into 11 condominiums.

mrose@dispatch.com

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