The Little River Cafe, near the Little Miami River, has closed. Pictured is Frank Sherwood and his family outside their home in about 1876. It later became the Freeport Inn and then the Little River Cafe. CONTRIBUTED

Historic riverside Warren County restaurant closes again

The business closed on Sunday, Dec. 23, after a “big going-away party,” general manager Mike Jacobs said.

Jacobs also works at Doc’s Place in Lebanon, the other location he managed.

RELATED: Bar-restaurant reopens in Lebanon

Ownership of the Little River Cafe and real estate could change in coming months, Jacobs said. He declined to elaborate.

The Little River Cafe was a popular restaurant before closing about 20 years ago.

Originally a private home, it became the Freeport Inn and then the Little River Cafe.

The building at 5527 Oregonia Road also served as a train stop and post office for Oregonia, a small river town.

In 1995, chef Greg Aldredge and his wife, Pam Dunham, reopened the restaurant with Tim Bagford, an antique dealer, and David Landon, a Dayton lawyer.

The building was badly damaged by a fire in 2009 and reopened by owner Mark Burriss.

MORE: December restaurant news

Jacobs was part of a group, with brother-in-law Todd Holmes, that in November 2015 reopened the Little River Cafe, a short distance from the multi-use trail along the river between Springfield and Loveland.

Jacobs said the winter months were always the hardest.

“My guess is it’ll be reopened in early spring,” Jacobs said.

Fiducia LRC, a corporation located in Centerville and headed by Holmes, registered trademarks for the cafe, as well as catering and general store businesses along the river in Oregonia, in 2015.

RELATED: Bar-restaurant in Lebanon could reopen

In July 2015, Fiducia applied for permits to sell wine, beer and liquor for on-premises consumption at the Doc’s location in Lebanon.

The liquor permits for both places were current on Friday, according to Ohio Division of Liquor Control database.

Doc’s Place operated for more than a decade in Lebanon, just west of Broadway in the city’s historic downtown district.

It closed in 2015, then later in the same year, it reopened.

On Friday, Jacobs said Doc’s would remain open despite Little River Cafe’s closing.

“Business as usual here at Doc’s,” he said.

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