Former Mayor Beamish often said that the Public Square is the living room of the community. Well, if Troy had a kitchen, perhaps it’s K’s Restaurant, located on East Main Street here in Troy. It’s one of those institutions that anyone who has spent any time in our community knows and loves.
And when you enter the small restaurant, your eyes are automatically transfixed on the counter. A full wrap-around white counter, surrounded by red stools and anchored by a grill right in the middle; it probably looks the same now as it has for the last few decades. The inside of the counter is the place buzzing with activity where orders are taken and food is served. On the outside are the patrons, talking about the issues of the day in between bites of a hamburger or a swig of a cold soda. If you aren’t interested in the conversation, you can at least find a couple copies of the local newspaper that you are more than welcome to read.
All types of people come to K’s. Regulars can be found there everyday and visitors from out of town are always making special visits there. It doesn’t matter your age or station in life, everyone can feel at home at K's. My father, Tom, was what you would call a regular. Rarely a day went by (except Sunday) when he didn’t go there for at least a cup of coffee and good company; he was particularly fond of the tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. K’s is still one of the few places left where everyone can comfortably mingle and enjoy being in the company of neighbors and friends. Everyone goes there and everyone is welcome. It’s been that way forever, or at least since 1935, when the restaurant first started.
I remember as a young kid, my father would take me nearly every Saturday morning to K’s. With my younger brother in tow, my dad would get us pancakes which were as big as the plate and he would talk to us about the plans for the day. The best part of those conversations was how my father would always get nostalgic for the days when he was growing up.
My father grew up just blocks away on East Water Street; the Great Miami River was literally his backyard. He lived in two houses with his parents and his twelve brothers and sisters. The parents and the youngsters lived in one house, the older children lived in the other. My grandfather, who long passed before I was born, worked for the Post Office here in Troy and on Friday he would buy bags of K’s hamburgers to take home to the family.
And of course, when at K’s, my father would inevitably find someone he knew either from his working days at the telephone company or from just growing up here in Troy. Through my young eyes, K’s was a place where time stood still. And while you can go there today and still see the booths that transport you to a time that was decades ago, it’s the people there that help make the past come alive.
I have a deep respect for the history of this town. And that respect was gained through more than just reading a book. This deep and abiding respect came from being taught to be thankful for those men and women that helped build this community when I was a youngster. I was taught to listen to their stories, go to the places they went, and walk the streets and sidewalks that they walked.
When you live in a town that has been around for over 200 years and still has places like K’s that have been around for decades, you quickly realize that being the Mayor of a community like Troy is not just another job, it’s a special and unique responsibility that demands a respect for our history, our residents and our heritage.
It’s that value of respect for our community and our collective past that I am bringing to this campaign for Mayor of our community. Would you join me in this journey? You can learn more about me, my values and my dreams for our community at www.williamlutz.org.