A Bit of History Repeating

Ryan’s Tavern, located in downtown Hamilton near the state Route 129 and High Street intersection, has a general manager born into a family of restaurateurs with a passion for local art and the desire to serve the local downtown community.

“Its all about community. I aim to serve the downtown and their customers,” says Tully Milders, general manger of Ryan’s Tavern.

A lifelong resident of the area, Milders’ great grandparents first started their restaurant, the Milders Inn, as a result of losing other entertainment venues during the 1913 flood. One hundred years later, Milders continues in the family tradition. He even uses his grandmother’s fried chicken recipe each Monday night at Ryan’s Tavern, where he can be seen cooking chicken in his grandmother’s cast iron skillet.

Like a true Irish pub master, Milders will share stories about the history of the building as well as of his family in the restaurant business. The Milders Inn was made famous due to their amazing cooking, entertaining music and the Cincinnati Reds players who would ride the trolley after games to eat dinner alongside local and national gangster legends.

Milders arrives each morning at the quintessential Irish Pub filled with atmospheric tall booths and a beautiful wooden bar to take in deliveries, and prepare for the day’s service. He says that the community’s favorite dishes include Irish and American foods like fish and chips, Reuben and hot brown sandwiches, potato soup and Ryan’s Bailey’s Irish Cream cake.

A large part of Milders’ job is facilitating the events, as the tavern has a second floor banquet area and two smaller private rooms. They are typically used for business meetings as well as family gatherings. The success of the event space is easily recognized in the fact that weekends are booked through 2014 for events such as weddings, anniversary parties and business engagements. Milders sees this success as directly tied into serving the community and providing them with something that was needed in downtown Hamilton.

Events are big business for Milders, and he enjoys interacting with customers to provide them with a wonderful experience. “During the winter event, Ice Fest, there was not really a place for breakfast for the volunteers, so I made sure that we provided them with a nice breakfast spread,” he says. “I want to serve the folks that work and live downtown and offer them a place they can count on for good food and quality service.”

Other events for the tavern include St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July and Halloween. These are all times where Milders can interact with the community and tell the stories of his family and the tavern. Milders also began a haunted dinner tour of the Tavern that hosts real ghost hunters from the area. Each Sunday evening tour hosts 80 guests and spots fill up quickly for the October fun.

Milders has recently combined his interest in art and the restaurant by bringing his chalk art to work. In times that are slow, he can be seen digging into his chalk box and adding to the amazing scenes of local downtown Hamilton. Many patrons will stop in weekly to see the progress he makes on the chalkboards. When they do, they walk away with a great meal and a richer understanding of local history and how the Milders family is connected to it.