The Spot restaurant closure to be short
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Apr 28, 2013 | 2721 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE SPOT RESTAURANT, a Cleveland icon originally opened in 1937, has closed its doors, but the owner believes a transition to new ownership is quickly approaching. The Spot could come under new ownership this week. Nicholas Lillios will continue to own the historic old property, but will sell the restaurant business. Banner photo, GREG KAYLOR
THE SPOT RESTAURANT, a Cleveland icon originally opened in 1937, has closed its doors, but the owner believes a transition to new ownership is quickly approaching. The Spot could come under new ownership this week. Nicholas Lillios will continue to own the historic old property, but will sell the restaurant business. Banner photo, GREG KAYLOR
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A popular downtown Cleveland restaurant will reopen soon under new ownership after the previous owner saw the need to rededicate his efforts to what he describes as his passion.

Nicholas Lillios said the new owners of The Spot will be announced soon.

Lillios explained several years ago after purchasing the eatery, “I consider myself a developer. The architecture and style of old buildings downtown fascinate me.”

A growing family and continuous reclamation projects downtown resulted in Lillios stepping away from the restaurant business.

“We will continue to own the property,” Lillios explained.

The Spot originally opened in 1937.

Generations of diners stepped into the small business to enjoy hamburgers, cheeseburgers, the famous “Spot” chili and “Frosties,” Orangeade, shakes and other delights.

Lyman Pendergrass, Tommy Trotter, Chester Pirkle, Q.L. Hixson, Q.L. Hixson Jr., Luke Hixson and others were names of employees throughout the decades. Luke Hixson was the manager of The Spot from 1938-55.

Pirkle and Pendergrass were the last two employees at the original Spot when it closed in 1985.

Pirkle had begun working at The Spot when he was a high school student and Luke Hixson was the manager. The original name of The Spot was “Orange Teaco.”

When The Spot closed in 1985, the original grill was placed in storage along with other items.

In June 2005, local businessman Allan Jones reopened The Spot.

The grill was refurbished and placed in the original part of the building that had only 10 bar stools and a counter for patrons. The original dining area, counter space and main kitchen were crammed into a 10-foot wide space that was approximately 30-feet deep, excluding a back storage area.

Jones expanded the building and included tableside dining as well as the traditional counter-style seating, and added space in other dining and entertainment areas of the historic building.

Lillios and his wife, Stephanie, purchased the business and building in 2007.

Stephanie was familiar with the restaurant business and owned a small pizzeria in Columbia, Mo.

“When we bought The Spot, we didn’t have two children,” Lillios said.

Lillios is currently working on reclaiming the old C.C. Card Auto Co. building located on Inman Street. The project includes exclusive loft apartment living in the downtown area.