JUST IN: the historic 202-year-old Florentine restaurant sells — finally

The historic Florentine — Ohio’s second-oldest inn that dates to 1816 — has new, and local, ownership after spending more than a year on the market.

The 7,000-square-foot restaurant and former hotel space at 21 W. Market St. in Germantown sold yesterday, Jan. 3, for $300,000, according to Montgomery County online property records.

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The new owners are Clay Alsip and his wife Beth Vanden Berg, who live in the Germantown area. The new owners told this news outlet they will be ready to discuss their plans for The Florentine soon, perhaps in the next few days.

“This is a very exciting adventure,” Vanden Berg said.

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The Florentine, which hosted a bicentennial celebration in 2016, had been on the market for more than a year. Here’s how its real estate listing described the property:

“This full service inn has multiple dining areas, full-service kitchen with equipment updates, private party areas and plenty of off-street parking. “The Florentine has been the center of Germantown’s commerce for many decades. It is the historic anchor for downtown. Stand on the railed balcony where politicians like Henry Clay spoke to the masses.”

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Local chef Chris Cavender — who worked at the Florentine twice, the first stint from 2001-03, and who now oversees 1572 Roadhouse Bar-B-Q near Waynesville — called the Florentine "a hidden-destination gem" in November.

In their 2007 book "A Taste of Ohio History: A Guide to Historic Eateries and Their Recipes," authors Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott note that the Florentine "has withstood the passage of time."

“That ornate iron balcony, fabricated at the ironworks in the Oregon District of nearby Dayton, still stands today. In fact, the entire structure looks almost identical to its earlier days. The barn-red clapboard exterior trimmed in taupe looks like something you’d find on the set of an old Western. I kept expecting Marshal Dillon and Miss Kitty to come walking out the door.”

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