Tom Kolassa, an Olivet College graduate and Phi Alpha Pi alumni, according to the Olivet College website, and his business partner Gary Hart came to Olivet in 2010 to build a restaurant. An article from The Daily Reporter stated that College officials, Kolassa, and Hart broke ground on Thursday, May 27, 2010 to build what is now known as the Lamplighter OC,
a restaurant based off of Kolassa’s and Hart’s first restaurant they built in
The College is now in the process of buying the Lamplighter OC, according to President Steven Corey. Corey said that the main reason for the college buying the Lamplighter OC was for the real estate value and the prominent location. Corey said that the college is not going to be the one running the Lamp lighter OC, rather, the college hopes
to find a partner to run the business side of the property. He stated that
the first hope of the college is to keep the Lamplighter OC as a bar and grill,
but in the end everything will be up to the operator once they find a partnership.
The Board of Trustees is even talking about turning the Lamplighter OC into a micro-brewery to hopefully bring in more people in from farther away. When asked if the Lamplighter OC is officially Olivet College’s property, Corey said that a few more environmental checks have to be finished before the sale can be final. He hopes that everything will be finalized before the end of this month.
The Lamplighter has been open to the community at large for eight years, has hosted numerous fundraisers and community events, and is also an event destination for Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) events. It features a full menu in addition to a bar, and at times, besides lunch and dinner, has also offered breakfast, especially after the CoachLight restaurant closed.