WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Six years ago, the family that owns Warren’s Mocha House restaurant bought one of the city’s historic bank buildings and — as fate would have it — have turned the ornate lobby into a banquet hall.
The Union Savings and Trust Building rises tall at E. Market Street and S. Park Avenue in downtown Warren like it has since 1927.
Bill Axiotis and Nick Liakaris, who also own the Mocha House, are the building’s new owners.
“The columns, the marble, all the brass,” Axiotis said.
Where people once waited to see a teller, there are now tables and chairs.
“We didn’t expect to do that, but catering is one thing that we do do,” Liakaris said.
The first banquet at the bank was last year during Warren’s homecoming.
“It was successful. People raved about the building, so we figured, let’s make a go of it,” Axiotis said.
“People saw how beautiful it was and started inquiring, ‘How can we do an event there?'” Liakaris said.
Since then, the bank lobby has hosted 15 to 20 events, including weddings where the marriage vows are exchanged at the landing halfway up the grand staircase.
Originally, there were four marble kiosks spaced throughout the middle. They were moved to create more room.
There’s detail everywhere — along the ceiling, the columns and the chandeliers.
Though time has dulled the brass around the teller windows, 15 or so of them remain in place.
“They can’t believe this is in downtown Warren,” Liakaris said.
“It brings back a lot of memories…nostalgia,” Axiotis said.
They’re just local guys who say they want to do something nice for downtown Warren.