I am not entirely sure what you mean by "something mentioned earlier used to be nice here". This sentence means that this place used to be nice but it is now dilapidated or polluted or something like that. Not sure how you would skip the 'to' though. "This place used be nice??"
I think JBHayven is wondering if the 'it' in English and 'to' in Czech are referred to something previously mentioned. I'm not sure about the Czech but I believe in the English 'it' here is a dummy subject not referring to anything specific, and it seems 'to' in Czech can have the same function.
I don’t know what the adverb form of "hezký" is, so assuming it’s "hezko", I’d say "Tady bývalo hezko" or sth like that. (I was referring to the Czech sentence, sorry for not making it clear enough).
By the first phrasing I meant that "it" would be a thing we can name. For example, there is a holiday held in four different places and in this one it used to be nice.
the adverb is "hezky" and we accept several answers based on it (e.g. Bývalo tu hezky.). there is nothing wrong with the version using the adjective.
the meaning of "it" as something mentioned before, like a piece of furniture relocated to somewhere less nice or replaced with something less nice, is not present in the czech sentence. the regular past tense would be better, a different verb than "být" would be better (vypadat), and we really need to reorder the words. going with a concrete noun: Pohovka tu vypadala hezky. or Hezká tu byla pohovka. or Hezká ta pohovka byla tady. or Tady byla ta pohovka hezká. closest we get to where we started would be Tady to bylo hezké., which sort of allows your interpretation, but it is far from the first thing that comes to mind.