Hamilton’s on Main closes in Newark; moving to Smyrna

Pam GeorgeCulture, Headlines

Hamilton's on Main

This dining room greeted customers entering Hamilton’s on Main in Newark, which closed Sunday. It will reopen in Smyrna.

Two years after relocating to Newark to open Hamilton’s on Main, owners Anthony and Jeremiah Brooks have left Main Street.

The restaurant’s last day was Sunday, Jume 16.

The couple put blood, sweat and tears into renovating the First Bank of Newark, built in 1850, which had fallen into disrepair after two pubs’ beer-soaked tenures.

When the partners were done, the three-story building was an elegant home for Chef Jeremiah’s cuisine.

But in the end, the cost of doing business exceeded the revenue.

“The overhead on Main Street is crippling,” Anthony acknowledged. “Between rent, taxes and utilities, it’s killing us. It’s a great product in the wrong place.”

The couple are industry veterans.

Jeremiah trained under Culinary Institute of American graduates and James Beard-wining chefs in Washington, D.C.

Anthony’s family owned a New Hampshire restaurant and worked for Rare Hospitality International, which owned LongHorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille before Darden Restaurants purchased the company.

In 2019, the Brooks opened Hamilton’s Tavern 1840 in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in a Greek Revival building. (The restaurant was named for their Bernese Mountain dog.) They later moved to a larger structure in town.

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic affected revenue, and during that time, they visited a friend in Newark. When their lease in Harpers Ferry was up, they opted to move to Delaware.


Hamilton’s on Main owners Hamilton’s on Main owners Anthony and Jeremiah Brooks says expenses mounted on Main Street.

Hamilton’s first move

The First Bank of Newark appealed to the lovers of historic architecture, but it needed extensive renovation. The partners didn’t realize that the HVAC system had been unattended while the structure was vacant, and they faced numerous costly delays.

In spring 2022, the 135-seat Hamilton’s on Main opened and stood out amongst the chains and longtime eateries.

RELATED STORY: Hamilton’s brings elegant fair to Newark’s Main Street

A banquet space upstairs became popular but was limited to under 50 people. The Brooks most recently received press for holding themed popups on the second floor.

Leaving the beautiful restaurant is undoubtedly bittersweet. But it’s not all bad news.

They’ve already started renovating the former home of Maverick Texas BBQ and Our Thyme & Table in Smyrna, a red brick building on Commerce Street that’s been a millinery and department store.

Hamilton’s Haven will have 134 seats and a 14-seat chef’s table for Jeremiah’s monthly “Duck Creek Social,” which features multicourse dinners with wine pairings.

The space also features a 1,600-square-foot patio and banquet space for up to 150.

They plan to open in mid-August.

The Brooks seem to be flying south, and that’s intentional. A second restaurant on the Culinary Coast might be in their future, Anthony says.


Share this Post