Second Oldest Inn in Ohio. Originally The Florentine Hotel, we are now a Hidden Gem American Steakhouse Restaurant with a unique historic atmosphere.
Historic records indicate The Florentine Hotel was opened in 1814-1816 by Philip Gunckel, the founder of Germantown, to welcome travelers as they passed through Germantown. Over the years, guests would arrive in a variety of methods such as stage coach, horseback, covered wagons, and eventually the traction line. The original hotel has 3 sections, all built before 1860. The first floor fireplace in the banquet room is the original fireplace used to keep travelers comfortable during their stay. Food was cooked over a basement fireplace and elevated via dumbwaiter to the first floor where travelers dined.
In 1862 William Leighty changed the name to the Leighty House and named the room to the right of the main entrance The Leighty Ballroom. The Florentine has hosted many famous Americans including Henry Clay, former Secretary of State to John Quincy Adams, and Clement Vallandingham, a notorious Southern sympathizer. Both addressed enthusiastic crowds from the ornate iron balcony. John Finley, who bought the hotel in 1911, was known as the "souvenir" owner who restored the name to The Florentine Hotel.
One of the hotel's impressive features is the beautiful center staircase crafted of oak, cherry and walnut woods. The ornate wrought iron rail balcony on the front of the frame structure was a common decoration for many houses in the area. This gracefully designed accessory, fashioned with shapes of acorns and oak leaves, was fabricated at the ironworks in the old Oregon District of Dayton. Although gone today, a livery where travelers could board their horses was located where the Village Clock tower now stands. The most recent addition is the picturesque bar that reportedly has origins in Europe, and once served in an ice cream parlor in New Orleans before finding its home in Germantown.
By 1940 the hotel was primarily a local bar with a few live-in tenants. The Florentine Hotel closed its doors in 1974 and stayed closed until 1976 when it was purchased by two local couples who restored the interior and exterior prior to re-opening as a full service restaurant in August 1979.
The building has had many custodians, but none can truly claim ownership as most residents have their own unique connection. The current Florentine Family hopes you feel at home and have a wonderful stay with us whether you’re passing through or a beloved regular.