BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The word is out, Mariah's restaurant is relocating to the Hitcent's Park Plaza downtown and social media has exploded. One common topic, what will happen to the historical building?
Neighbors of Mariah's have strong opinions about the future of the historical structure. As most buildings downtown, the history of Mariah's helps preserve an essence of Bowling Green that the community wants to keep alive.
"I would hate to see that beautiful historic building turn into offices. We've got lots of offices that in our downtown area which are fabulous, because they support the retail businesses. We're happy about that but, I would like to see another restaurant or even retail space," Susan Hoechner, Owner of Barbara Stewart Interiors.
The former owner of Mariah's says he doesn't think the building will remain a restaurant because of it's size. Historic preservationists aim to reuse historic buildings, such as the Mariah Moore House. What exactly would be a realistic use for this structure?
“For example, the older part of the structure could be cornered off and used as an office structure, the bar still maintain it's own identity and a smaller restaurant in the back," Jonathan Jeffrey, Landmark Association Board of Directors.
Holding onto the Mariah Moore House seems ideal, but dollar signs are the deal breaker.
"It offers a lot, depending on the kind of business you're going to put in here. However, you have to think in terms of what the cost of maintenance is going to be and what the utility costs are going to be because the windows in this building are going to drain a lot of energy,” Dr. Ozzy Avery, Mariah's customer.
The owner of the building, American Equity, has not spoken publicly about set plans for the building, but the community has high hopes.
"Allowing the public to come into this building is important, so the people still get the idea of the old building. We don't need to tear it down to build a new building in order to place a function in it," Jonathan Jeffrey, Landmark Association Board of Directors.
As of now, the historic building will become vacant in April.