By Michael Jones
TWAB Guest Blogger
COSHOCTON, Ohio – Nestled inside a century-old building across the street from this quaint farming town’s county courthouse is one of the best-kept secrets in Ohio. The food is fabulous, but it is the unique decorations that adorn the restaurant walls that keep your eyes wandering and easily jumpstart conversations.
On a business trip to tour the largest American flag production factory in the United States, three members of the Observer-Reporter stopped for a bite at the Courtsquare Café and commented more on the restaurants appearance than the food. And that’s not at all a poor indictment on the food. I gobbled down the Rueben with a side of long potato chips, while a co-worker ordered a ham-and-cheese sandwich wedged inside a soft pretzel. Each dish was arranged on top of a decorative London newspaper page covering the plate.
The Courtsquare opened in 2004 after the owner spent nearly $1 million to renovate this beautiful building on East Main Street, which sat vacant for 70 years. How a prime location like this remained unused for so long is surprising, especially with its close proximity to the Coshocton County Courthouse. Business wasn’t booming around noon, but a steady stream of businessmen came in while we waited for our food.
Over one booth hangs a 94-year-old invoice from the local glassmaker that announces a discount on an order of amber-colored bottles. Across the room are various railroad memorabilia that proudly display the area’s rail heritage.
But the most interesting item is an ornate bar that houses the cash register. Our waitress told us the bar was custom-made in England and cost more than she would like to admit. The restaurant also serves beers at cheap prices from the handcrafted bar. If only we weren’t still on company time and didn’t have to drive 120 miles home, maybe we could have poured a couple drafts.