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About Us

Building History

     From the late 1800s until the mid 1920s, the name "Empire" was a downtown staple. In the local directories, the name switched between "Empire House" and "Empire Hotel", located at 134-138 S. Washington Street. 

      Owned by Charles Geyer, Jr. for the majority of its running, the hotel boasted 52 rooms, while the dining room had a capacity for 150. 

      The Empire Block was built by Rezin Shawhan in the 1860s. Housing photographers and physicians, dry goods stores and dressmakers, the block saw an abundance of businesses over the years.

     Tiffin’s newest historic district restaurant, The Empire, at 138 S Washington St., showcases made-from-scratch food, classically inspired cocktails, select wines, and beers. All within natural exposed brick, original hard wood floors and tin ceilings, over-sized iron beams, and soaring windows that open onto the downtown district, creating an urban space in the middle of our small town.

      It all started with a piano!  When a couple decided to sell a beautiful lake front home, they also decided to sell everything in it.  A Baldwin grand piano was available and well... now where to put it?  Combining a love of food, restaurants, and a need to find a home for a recent piano purchase, a restaurant idea blossomed into what you see today.

     The Empire offers a classically American dining experience using as many locally raised/farmed, organic, and hormone free products as are in season and meet our quality standards.

Culinary classics join our own favorites, locally made cheeses and sausages, house made pate, chutneys, jams, jellies, condiments, guacamole, dressings and sauces, creating a well  balanced mix of the old, the new, and the interesting, for a truly fine dining experience.

Empire House, about 1895.

From Art Work of Seneca and Sandusky Counties.