On our adventure day to Hopewell National Historical Park, we stopped for lunch at Carl’s Townhouse. The Eastern National Salesperson at Hopewell Visitors Center recommended it as the place to eat lunch in Chillicothe.
Carl’s Townhouse is downtown in a small white building with blue trim. We found a place on a side street to park and walked past some of the beautiful, historic, downtown buildings (Chillicothe was the first Ohio capital). Carl’s Townhouse has a small parking lot, which was full. When we first went into Carl’s it was also full – no seats at a table and no places at the counter. After waiting a few minutes, a table cleared out and we sat down.
Carl’s Townhouse specializes in fried food. They have small burgers (like Steak and Shake) and sell them in baskets with two burgers and fries in one basket. Mom and Dad ordered a basket to share and Tom and I did the same. We also ordered some fried macaroni and cheese (recommended by the Eastern National guy) and some fried corn nuggets.
The food was served fast and hot. Everything was good but the food was undistinguished. The fries, mac and cheese, and corn nuggets all looked like they had started out frozen. The burgers were unremarkable and a little greasy.
The most interesting thing about Carl’s Townhouse was the history of the place. The building was at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. It was bought by Roman Gerber, a Chillicothe resident, and moved to Chillicothe. The first restaurant in the building was called NCL (Nice, Clean Lunch). Carl Reinhard bought the restaurant in 1951 and ran it as Carl’s Townhouse until 1981 when he retired.
After several changes in owners, the restaurant was slated for demolition. Joe Molnar bought the building in 2000 for $1 and moved it to its present location on West Second Street. Mark and Tracy Trainer bought it in 2015 and continue to run it in the tradition begun by NCL so many years ago. The building has been expanded but it still has that 1940’s diner feel.
If you are in Chillicothe, Carl’s Townhouse is a good place to get lunch. It won’t be great food, but it is good food quickly served, inexpensive and very popular with the people who live in Chillicothe.