History on West Main Street in Hillsboro is coming full circle for Highland County residents Angel and Jim Mootz after they recently purchased vacant land in the city’s uptown historic district.
The purchase was made from the Hillsboro Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to turn what has been a longtime dream into reality.
Angel Mootz’s family restaurant history began on West Main Street in Hillsboro in the early 1980s when her late father, Clyde Reffitt, and mother, Nellie Reffitt, purchased Magee’s restaurant. Clyde’s brother, Orville, and Orville’s wife, Vickie, managed the diner and later purchased the business.
That gave the perfect opportunity for Clyde, Nellie and their daughter, Melody, to open another diner, one that was exactly what they imagined. Main Street Diner made its debut in 1987. It had much success in the five years it was open, but closed upon the unexpected passing of Clyde Reffitt.
“I have fond memories of working my first part-time job at age 13 with my family,” Angel Mootz said. “My dad having his specific bar stool at the counter where he always sat — I will never forget those years. It honestly wasn’t the same without dad being there with us and my mother and sister ended up selling the diner in 1991.”
“I always knew that I wanted my own restaurant, and for years I’ve collected unique menu items and interior and exterior design ideas,” Angel Mootz continued. “I have also been drawn to the uptown Hillsboro area and felt in my heart that was where I wanted to be, and also feel our vision would be an amazing asset to the uptown area. We’ve finally found that perfect location and the time has come.
“I know that my father would approve and be proud of what Jim and I are doing.”
The proposed restaurant will be called The Patriot Public House and will be located in the 100 block of West Main Street. An alley runs to the right of the site that was formerly owned by the J. Steven Fettro family and partially collapsed in June of 2019.
After the partial collapse, locations at 115, 117 and 119 W. Main St. were all demolished. The lots have been vacant since and were eventually acquired by the Hillsboro CIC.
The Hillsboro CIC is a non-profit economic development corporation that encourages and promotes economic development in the city of Hillsboro. It has worked closely with the Mootz family to ensure a seamless process for their vision.
“We want to welcome the Mootz family back to Hillsboro and look forward to watching the progress of their restaurant,” said Lauren Walker, Hillsboro economic development coordinator.
Information for this story was provided by Lauren Walker.