Hot Springs’ famous Ohio Club plans to reopen its second-floor space as a luxury downtown rental. Closed to the public since a 2001 fire prompted its owners to convert the second floor into a private apartment, the Ohio Club’s current proprietor Mike Pettey is excited to expose a new generation to the restaurant’s contribution to the Hot Springs story.
“There’s so much history that happened up there,” says Pettey. “Three presidents have visited the Ohio Club’s second floor,” those presidents being Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and Bill Clinton, “and even Al Capone gambled up there,” Pettey says.
Pettey is optimistic about the interest in renting the Ohio Club’s second floor. “People come from all over the United States just to come to the Ohio Club. I’ve already got a list of people lined up to rent the space,” says Pettey. “It’s just nice to see it with a new face. It just deserves it.”
In addition to refurbishing the second floor’s paint, cabinets and flooring, Pettey is also planning a major restoration to Ohio Club’s front facade. He plans on finishing the second-floor project open the space to visitors by March.