Mills Restaurants

A lot of two Rookwood pottery Faience Bacchus friezes from Mills Restaurant

p4A ItemID E8997022
A lot of two Rookwood pottery Faience corbels having acanthus leaf decoration, from Mills Restaurant

p4A ItemID E8997021
A Rookwood pottery wall mural from the Mills Restaurant, American, faience tiled Dutch scene frieze

p4A ItemID E8988448
A lot of four Rookwood pottery Faience tile panels from Mills Restaurant, Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1921, four Rookwood faience tiled panels, two windmill scenes, a Dutch boy and a Dutch girl

p4A ItemID E8988446

Mills Restaurants, Ohio

J. O. Mills, a native of Marysville, Ohio, found very little good, home cooked food while on the road in his early career as a traveling salesman. To meet that need, and utilizing his background in hotel and restaurant accounting. Mills opened a small restaurant in I 915 in Columbus, Ohio, and put into practice his primary concept ‘good food at a moderate price’. The popularity of this restaurant led him to open a small restaurant in the same year on Government Square in Cincinnati. It too, met with great success, so much so that Mills moved to a much larger location at 31-39 E. Fourth Street, (between the Dixie Terminal and the Hotel Sinton), which opened on Thursday, August 18, 1921.

The entire design scheme and decorations were suggested by Mills, using Rookwood Faience tile for the complete interior of the main dining room, including ceilings, ventilator grills, columns and floors. His original and exclusive designs carried out a Dutch motif including the “Mills Windmill”, the trademark of the company. A conservative estimate indicates that more than 400,000 pieces of tile were used throughout the restaurant. Mills relied heavily on local suppliers, contractors, and vendors, including Charles L. Shannon and Sons of Cincinnati, who executed the tile work. Lots 452-459 (p4A items

represent the variety of Rookwood Faience used in the restaurant, which was demolished in 1989.

Mills Restaurants advertisement, 1921

Information courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions, 2009

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