Selah Restaurant: Dining in a Bank Vault

STAFF, USA MAINLAND, DINING, QUIRKY PLACES — By on February 16, 2013 at 18:51

Story by Milli Thornton. Photos Copyright © Brian Williams.

Selah Restaurant is located in an old bank building at 130 S Bridge Street, downtown Struthers, Ohio. It’s a hometown restaurant with big city flair! Designed rooms, original photography, brass teller cages, a walk-in vault, full bakery onsite, and an open-air feel make you forget you’re in the bustle of a restaurant as you break bread with friends.
Selahrestaurant.com

I HAD BEEN wanting to go to Selah ever since we drove by it in Struthers over a year ago. It looked stylish and tempting from the outside, and it featured the word ESPRESSO on a sign. (One of my magic words.) I was down to my last chance to go there before we move back to New Mexico this coming week, so I jumped on it for a farewell dinner with friends.

When my friend Joanne (born and raised in Struthers) heard my choice, she told me how she used to make deposits into her checking account many years ago back when that building was a bank. And that the owners have kept all the original bank decor (even the teller windows), with the bank vault as a special dining room.

Needless to say, after I heard that we made our reservations for the bank vault. And we were lucky to have it all to ourselves. It felt exotic to be eating dinner in a place that once upon a time was the inner sanctum. We were surrounded by hundreds of safety deposit boxes of various sizes, including big ones that were probably only used by wealthy locals.

Brian took these photos with his cell phone, but hopefully they convey a little of the eclectic atmosphere.

Selah Restaurant bank vault door in the kitchen

The huge and heavy bank vault door in its open position is part of the kitchen


Selah Restaurant bank vault doors

The bank vault’s barred inner doors from inside the vault


Selah Restaurant security bars decor

The barred beam and bird-cage candle holders (left) echo the
theme of security bars on the bank vault door (right)


Selah Restaurant bank teller windows

The original marble facades are still in place. And, look closely . . . you can
see two of the teller windows that my friend used to stand at
to make her checking account deposits years ago

The food was delicious too. I had Beef Tips in Bourbon Sauce, Brian had a big ol’ steak with garlic mashed potatoes, Joanne had salmon and Ron ordered the shrimp linguine. For dessert Joanne and I ate Italian cream cake. Yum.

I’m so glad I got to experience Selah in person. The owners have gone to great lengths to incorporate creativity into every aspect of their restaurant.

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RELATED TOPICS

Selah Restaurant, Struthers, Ohio

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Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course and Unleash Your Writing!, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and the Fear of Writing Blog and coaches writers individually at Writer’s Muse.

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    13 Comments

  • Ann
    Twitter: AnnHolly
    says:

    Okay – that is WAY cool! I would have LOVED eating there and seeing such a unique restaurant! What a fun place to go…and a fun post!

    • Millivers Travels
      Twitter: millivrstravels
      says:

      Annie, I just knew you’d enjoy the uniqueness of this restaurant. I think you would have approved of the food, as well. 🙂

  • JM Merchant
    Twitter: JMMerchant86
    says:

    What a neat idea! So glad you had a fun and novel last meal out in Ohio. And wicked first post back 🙂
    x

    • Millivers Travels
      Twitter: millivrstravels
      says:

      Jo, I’m glad to be back, and of course Milliver always hunts out the unusual, so this was perfect as a blog-reviver story. xo

  • Betsyv says:

    It’s great they recycled this building!.. Great idea! Too many old buildings get torn down for the ugly new ones…
    Tell Brian the pictures are great! It really shows the “Banking” theme, turned restaurant. Good to see the site active again too!
    Thanks for the article Milli, and I wish you a successful move.

    • Millivers Travels
      Twitter: millivrstravels
      says:

      Betsy, it was hard to do justice to this place with a cell phone camera, so I’m glad you liked Brian’s photos.

      I agree about the preservation of the building. It’s just awesome all the way ’round. Makes the restaurant more interesting AND it preserves some local history.

  • Ed Nord says:

    Well, sis, that was a great find. Tudy and I have gotten to the point of life that dining out is our main source of entertainment. We would have loved that experience. Hopefully you will “find” some more equally entertaining venues in your new location. That guest house is too enticing. I might beat you there. Ed

    • Millivers Travels
      Twitter: millivrstravels
      says:

      Ed, I love a restaurant that has both atmosphere and good food, so Selah was perfect. Even better was that my friend, a local, could lead me around and tell me her memories of that place when it was a bank. Very cool.

      Yep, there’s tons of good eatin’ in New Mexico. I’ve already got some joints picked out to take you to when you visit me. Everything from cuisine to cafes, and all very yummy.

  • Estrella Azul
    Twitter: EstrellaAzul
    says:

    Wow, that looks great! I really appreciate creativity in a restaurant’s design, and this seems to top it all right now 🙂

  • Teresa Davis
    Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
    says:

    Milli,

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time and it sounds like a grand place. I so much love visiting places a little “different”. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂 teresadavisblog.com

  • Kayla says:

    Nice, I love these kind of novelty locations, I just went to the “speakeasy” in san fran!

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