The following text is used with permission
from A TASTE OF OHIO HISTORY: A GUIDE TO HISTORIC EATERIES AND THEIR
RECIPES by Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott, published by John F.
Blair, Publisher, www.blairpub.com.
Flora Hess opened her first restaurant on
Beechmont Hill in 1925. At that time, she and her staff raised,
slaughtered, and prepared all the meats served there. In 1943, she
bought the old Clough Pike School from Mount Washington American Legion
Post 484 and moved her tavern to this location. "Miss Flo," as she
was called, was a devout Catholic who enjoyed people. Each year,
she entertained the graduating class from nearby St. Gregory's. In
1983, when Flora Hess was forced to retire due to failing health, she
was the oldest active businesswoman in Hamilton and Clermont Counties,
as well as the oldest woman in Ohio holding a state liquor license.
The tavern passed to her great-nephew Charles Sutter. A long
succession of pubs and taverns has since occupied the site.
Gary Sammons decided to take the old school building in a new
direction when he opened Clough Crossings in 1997. The two-story
brick structure is attractively painted in cream and white, while the
interior of the restaurant is suited for casual or fine dining.
The walls are simply decorated with framed black-and-white photos of
earlier events and scenes from around Anderson Township, named for the
area's surveyor, John Clough Anderson. Two old school desks
intertwined with flowers decorate the center of the room.
At one end of the room is a remarkable
bookcase that served as the backbar in this location when Miss Flo was
operating her tavern. The piece, hand-carved in Germany, was one
of a matched pair owned by Charles Wolff. Before libraries were
provided by the township, most wealthy residents endeavored to create
their own. Mr. Wolff owned one of the most extensive collections
of books in the area. At the time his palatial residence was built
in 1858, he also owned the old Stephen Davis-Stephen Corbly Home.
On the land surrounding that home, he constructed a special building to
house his rare books, which included an impressive variety of rare
Bibles. The bookcase at Clough Crossings and its mate were used to
display a portion of Mr. Wolff's fine collection.
We were seated at the opposite end
of the room from this lovely piece of furniture, and so could easily
admire its craftsmanship. There was also much to look at on
the menu, including many tidbits of history, among them an 1958
program from "Cluff" Principal School.
Click the picture on the right to enlarge