KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – A Miami Valley staple is closing its doors, but not before former patrons can take a piece of history with them.
The Neil’s Heritage House is up for auction Thursday, but Wednesday 2 NEWS previewed what’s for sale.
The restaurant was up and running before Kettering was officially formed in the early 1950s.
Half a century later, you can’t drive through the city without knowing its name, Neil’s Heritage House.
But now the restaurant is just hours away from the auctioning block.
“I actually had to leave for a little bit just because it’s hard,” said a teary-eyed Serena Walther, the current owner and granddaughter of the restaurant’s founder.
Walther’s grandfather first open the restaurant’s doors sometime in 1946. Nearly 70 years later it’ become a staple in the Miami Valley and beyond.
But nearly $260,000 in back taxes to Montgomery County Treasurer’s Office has led to a closure.
Penny Worlery Auctioneers will now sell off what many consider to be priceless items.
“When you do grassroots you get bidders and spectators that come to say goodbye get a little provenance or history,” the auction company’s president and owner, Penney Worley said. “Maybe they want to buy a menu because they dined here– had anniversaries here, birthdays, weddings, celebrations so these type of places are for reminiscing and people can come and take a look.”
Worley says bidding is fairly easy, comparable to eBay or a live auction. The entire auction will be online and will go on until the final bid is placed. Everything is sold to the highest bidder.
But Walther says the memories those can’t be sold.
Asked what she’d miss most about her grandfather’s restaurant, she was unsure of what to list first.
“Just, I don’t know,” she replied. “Just being here and walk into– and see knowing that it’s part of our lives for so long and now it’s going to be— not.”
Yet Walther is confident despite the closure that her grandfather, “I think that he’d be proud that it went this far and it ran its course.”
While most of the restaurant’s items are for sale, certain memorabilia will remain. The owner says the iconic Neil’s Heritage House sign will be donated to a local museum to preserve the piece of history.
Bidding starts Thursday at 4 p.m. And pick-up for the item is Friday between 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
If you’re interested in bidding, visit Penny Worley Auctioneers.