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IHOP gears up to open 4th Dayton-area restaurant in Vandalia

The Dayton area’s fourth IHOP restaurant is gearing up to open in the coming weeks.

The region’s newest IHOP — at 3324 Benchwood Road in Vandalia, near the Miller Lane/York Commons development — is scheduled to open in mid-March, Jamila Gilbert, spokeswoman for local IHOP franchisee PDG/Prestige Development Group, told this news outlet via email this week.

RELATED: IHOP restaurants returning to Dayton area (October 2014)

There had been some back-and-forth between Vandalia city officials and the local IHOP developer over proper signage at the restaurant, but those issues have been resolved, and a final walk-through inspection by city building officials could come as early as today, Friday Jan. 26, a spokesman for the city of Vandalia said Thursday.

RELATED: IHOP moves ahead with Dayton-area expansion plans (January 2016)

When it comes, the Vandalia restaurant opening will mean IHOP will have doubled its Miami Valley footprint in just six months. An IHOP opened Sept. 5 at 7611 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights, joining restaurants in Beavercreek and Springfield that marked the the first two locations of IHOP’s re-entry into the Dayton-area market.

RELATED: New Dayton-area IHOP now open, another location on the way

IHOP opened the first of a projected seven IHOP locations in the region in October 2015 on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, and the second one in October 2016 on Bechtle Avenue in Springfield.

RELATED: IHOP opening two more Dayton-area locations (December 2016)

The region had multiple IHOP locations in the 1970s and 1980s, including one near Ohio 725 and Ohio 741 near the Dayton Mall and one on Shiloh Springs Road near the former Salem Mall, but those restaurants closed nearly three decades ago.

FREE BBQ FOR A YEAR: New local Dickey’s BBQ Pit launches specials today

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit , which opened at 752 Gardner Road in Springboro three weeks ago, will launch a month of introductory special offers today with a giveaway of “free barbecue for a year” to three customers.

The restaurant across Ohio 741 from the Settler’s Walk retail center is the first Dickey’s in the Dayton area, and it is operated by Dickey’s franchise owners Kevin and Randy Daniel, who oversee two other Cincinnati-area locations.

RELATED: The nation’s largest BBQ chain opens 1st Dayton-area restaurant (Nov. 12, 2017)

The new Springboro restaurant will offer $2 Pulled Pork Sandwiches on Saturday, December 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Then, the new Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will offer the following specials and giveaways over the next four weeks:

Thirsty Thursdays: Customers will receive a free Big Yellow Cup with free refills all day.

Philanthropy Fridays: Customers who donate to Dickey’s charitable foundation, Barbecue, Boots & Badges, will receive a gift card as a thank you for their donation. All uniformed first responders also receive 50 percent off their meal.

RELATED: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit to open Springboro location (August 2016)

Smokin’ Saturday: Customers may register to win free barbecue for a year.

Kids Eat Free Sundays: Kids eat free with an adult purchase of $10 or more.

“Dickey’s Barbecue Pit always has been a family-run, family-oriented business and that is something we pride ourselves on,” Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., said in a release. “Having experienced franchisees, such as the Daniel brothers, eager to open new locations is a testament not only to the success of our business, but the brand as a whole.”

RELATED: Food truck specializing in BBQ to move to the next level: a restaurant

Founded in 1941, Dickey’s bills itself as “the nation’s largest barbecue chain,” operating more than 550 locations in 45 states. The Dallas-based chain operates locations in Mason, South Lebanon and Amelia in southwest Ohio, and three in central Ohio north of Columbus.

RELATED: Local BBQ restaurant to add 2 new locations

It offers traditional Texas-style barbecue meats that are smoked in-house at each restaurant. In 2016, Dickey’s won first place on a “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list assembled by Fast Casual, a publication and web site that cover the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry.

The Springboro restaurant’s regular hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information about the Springboro location, check out its Facebook page or call (937) 550-4826.

FOOD NEWS: Local BBQ restaurant to add 2 new locations

A local barbecue restaurant will add two locations, one of them a return engagement in Kettering.

OinkADoodleMoo Barbecue will open a restaurant at 912 E. Dorothy Lane at Ackerman Boulevard, in space that previously housed the original Dayton Beer Company taproom until it shut down two months ago. And after operating out of a mobile trailer since 2010 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OinkADoodleMoo has signed a lease contract to operate out of a facility near the food court in Area A.

RELATED: Dayton Beer Company closes its original taproom in Kettering

Steven Meyer, owner of OinkADoodleMoo, told this news outlet this morning that the new Kettering location will seat 35 to 40 inside and is projected to open in early 2018. The new WPAFB location will seat 15 to 20, although customers will also be able to take their food to the nearby food court. That location is expected to open in February, Meyer said.

NEW TODAY: ‘Clean-eating’ restaurant now hiring, gearing up to open in Centerville

OinkADoodleMoo previously operated a restaurant at 3910 Far Hills Ave. in Kettering which developed a loyal following, but shut down in August 2015 after failing to re-negotiate its lease, Meyer said.

Meyer went on to open a new location in Miamisburg, but always had an eye toward returning to Kettering. He said he was attracted to the strong traffic flow and visibility of the former brewery space on East Dorothy Lane. Renovations are already underway in the space, the OinkADoodleMoo owner said.

NEW TODAY: How did DAYTON’S river skyline end up on the label of a MASSACHUSETTS beer?

OinkADoodleMoo was founded in 2009 with the opening of an Englewood restaurant that later relocated to the Randolph Plaza. In addition to the Miamisburg and Randolph Plaza/Clayton restaurants, OinkADoodleMoo operates a location in the KeyBank Tower lobby in downtown Dayton.

Meyer has a wealth of restaurant experience. He was one of the first franchisees of Penn Station East Coast Subs, has served as managing partner of Longhorn Steakhouse, and as area developer and operating partner for Cici’s Pizza.

ICYMI: Owner of Gilly’s looking to sell downtown Dayton club

“Barbecue is definitely a niche, and we are proud that we are locally owned and operated, and focused on growing in the region where we are from,” Meyer said in a release. His children work at the restaurant and graduated from Miamisburg High School.

UPDATE: Bob Evans breaks silence about fate of local restaurants

More than 10 days after abruptly shutting down its Moraine location, Bob Evans Restaurants said that “tough decisions” such as the closure of that West Dorothy Lane restaurant are necessary to guarantee a bright future for the popular chain.

But a spokeswoman for Bob Evans restaurants reassured customers in the Miami Valley that their local restaurants are safe for now. “No other changes are planned in greater Dayton at this time,” the spokeswoman said.

EARLIER COVERAGE: Local Bob Evans restaurant shuts down abruptly

“The beloved Bob Evans brand continues to thrive, and we will keep a strong presence in the Dayton market,” the chain’s spokeswoman said. “To assure Bob Evans Restaurants can maintain the stability of our business and build toward a vibrant future, we must make some tough decisions.”

RELATED: 5 things to know about Bob Evans after local restaurant closing

“The closure of our Moraine location is one of those changes. By closing underperforming locations, we can focus on our core brand and on aligning our marketing and operational efforts.”

The Moraine location closed Oct. 1. The spokeswoman noted that there are three other Bob Evans restaurant locations within nine miles of the closed restaurant, including one in Kettering on East Dorothy Lane, which is about four miles away.

RELATED: Bob Evans restaurant in Centerville sold (June 2017)

Twenty-nine of the store’s 31 hourly employees accepted a transfer to other local Bob Evans locations, as did all three of the Moraine store’s managers, the company spokeswoman said.

“We are grateful to our local restaurant employees and managers for their service and to our loyal guests who have visited the Moraine restaurant for many years,” the Bob Evans spokeswoman said. “We have a firm priority on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

RELATED: New Bob Evans owner vows no immediate restaurant closings (January 2017)

The entire Bob Evans Restaurants chain is under new corporate ownership as of six months ago.

After announcing the acquisition of Bob Evans Restaurants by Golden Gate Capital in January, the $565 million transaction was finalized in May. Golden Gate Capital officials said at the time they would retain the Bob Evans leadership team to guide the transition as they took part of the company private.

RELATED: Bob Evans Farms has been sold for $1.5 billion (September 2017)

And just 2 months ago, officials announced that Bob Evans Farms, Inc. — the food company that remained after the sale of the restaurants — would be sold to Post Holdings, Inc. for $1.5 billion.

Founded in 1948 in Ohio, Bob Evans Farms Inc. produces and distributes refrigerated potato, pasta and vegetable-based side dishes, pork sausage, and a variety of refrigerated and frozen convenience food items under the Bob Evans, Owens, Country Creek and Pineland Farms brands.

Here’s how to score FREE TACOS on National Taco Day

You’ve heard of “Taco Tuesday,” but the REAL taco action next week occurs a day later, on Wednesday, Oct. 4 — National Taco Day.

The national taco holiday of sorts brings with it some rather tasty discounts and special deals. Here are a handful of ways to get free or discounted tacos on National Taco Day:

RELATED: This delicious hidden taco place in the Dayton area will change your life

• At Hot Head Burritos, the locally based fast-casual Mexican chain, customers can get a free taco when they buy two tacos. The promotion is being offered company-wide for the entire day. Hot Head Burritos was founded in Kettering in 2007 and has grown to over 70 locations in eight states, including several in southwest and west-central Ohio.

• Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurants isn’t just limiting its special offers to tacos. The Austin, Texas-based chain will offer a crispy beef taco to any order for $1 and also is offering $1 off Mexican beers. Customers can buy any Chuy’s t-shirt with a taco on it for $10.

RELATED: 4 things to know about the new Fuzzy’s Taco Shop coming to The Greene

Chuy’s customers can dress like a taco on Oct. 4 and earn a free entrée, redeemable the same day, and can visit Chuy’s social media pages for a secret Taco Day catchphrase. If they repeat the phrase to their server on Oct. 4, they can score a free crispy beef taco with their order.

There are three Chuy’s restaurants in the region: at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek; at the Austin Landing development in Miami Twp.; and on Civic Center Blvd. in West Chester.

RELATED: New food truck now serving up delicious tacos in Yellow Springs

• And Taco Bell says it will offer a National Taco Day Gift Set that consists of four different Taco Bell tacos for $5 — a Crunchy Taco, a Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco, a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, and a Fiery Doritos Locos Taco. As always, the promotional offer is good at participating locations only. And we have plenty of Taco Bell locations in southwest and west-central Ohio.

Dunkin’ Donuts to offer BOGO deal for National Coffee Day

Dunkin’ Donuts has announced a rather attractive buy-one-get-one offer for National Coffee Day on Friday, Sept. 29.

We checked with both of the franchise owners of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shops in the Dayton, Springfield and Cincinnati area, and both confirmed they’re participating in the promotion.

>> 8 must-try doughnuts in Dayton

Here are the details:

On Friday, Sept. 29, any guest who purchases a medium or larger cup of Dunkin’ Donuts signature hot coffee will receive an additional medium hot coffee for free.

>> RELATED: Dunkin’ Donuts to offer cold brew coffee at Dayton locations

“Connecting over coffee with friends, family and colleagues is often a key part of an on-the-go day,” Tom Manchester, vice president of field marketing for Dunkin’ Donuts, said in a release. The promotion will make it easy and affordable for customers “to bring the joy of coffee to their favorite people, or to perhaps keep themselves extra energized to make the most of the day,” Manchester said.

>> RELATED: Ribbon-cutting today for Dayton area’s newest doughnut shop (November 2016)

Dunkin’ Donuts is also offering an array of coffees featuring fall flavors. In addition to its pumpkin-flavored hot and iced coffees and lattes, Dunkin’ Donuts this year introduced Maple Pecan-flavored coffees and lattes.

There are Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Kettering, Centerville, Sugarcreek Twp., Miami Twp., Riverside and Springfield. All but one of the existing shops (Miami Twp.) have opened in the last four years.

>> RELATED: Dunkin’ Donuts to open 13 new Dayton-area locations (February 2013)

The Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and breakfast chain has been expanding. The greater Dayton area’s sixth Dunkin’ Donuts shop opened last October at 1310 Woodman Drive in Riverside.

Prior to Gilligan’s franchise deal, Dunkin’ Donuts’ once-robust presence in the Dayton area had shrunk to one location on Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) near the Dayton Mall, which operates under separate franchise ownership.

>> 5 reasons to visit — or re-visit — the Butler County Donut Trail

Originally a doughnut and coffee chain, Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded its offerings in recent years to include frozen and iced beverages as well as bagels, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, bakery sandwiches and wraps.

World's biggest Chick-fil-A with 5 floors, rooftop deck to open in 2018

Popular chicken chain Chick-fil-A will open its largest location, a five-story restaurant with a rooftop terrace, in early 2018, Chick-fil-A announced Monday.  

>> Read more trending news 

But hungry Southerners hoping to eat at the massive restaurant, a 12,000 square-foot space, will have to travel to lower Manhattan’s Financial District.  

It will be the third Chick-fil-A location in New York City.

In a press release, Nathaniel Cates, design manager for restaurant development at Chick-fil-A, said the new location will have floor to ceiling windows and will allow lots of natural light. Visitors dining on the rooftop deck will have views of the Freedom Tower. A “monumental” staircase will connect the five stories.

The restaurant, located less than half a mile from Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial, will seat 140 guests across three levels. Two levels will house kitchen space. A semi-private multi-purpose space will feature white boards and cork boards for group trainings or meetings, according to the release.

“We are always thinking about how to make the dining experience feel as comfortable as possible for our customers,” Cates said

There is no opening date for the restaurant yet.

See illustrative designs of the restaurant below.

Ohio is #4 in the country for Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Passes

Never let it be said that Ohioans don’t love their pasta. Never EVER let it be said.

Ohio was the No. 4 state in America in the number of Pasta Passes sold when the special promotion went live last Thursday, Sept. 14, a spokeswoman for Olive Garden said.

>> ALSO TODAY: Lobster queso and 4 more dishes we can’t wait to try at this Centerville restaurant

It took less than one second for Olive Garden fans to claim all 22,000 Never Ending Pasta Passes and 50 first-of-its-kind Pasta Passports to Italy when they went on sale Sept. 14. Ohio ranks 7th in population, suggesting pasta lovers in the Buckeye state signed up for the unlimited pasta in disproportionately large numbers.

In other words, Ohioans REPRESENTED.

>> RELATED: Affordable Olive Garden deal offers trip to Italy, all-you-can-eat pasta

The sale of Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass has become an annual phenomenon of sorts, and it brings its buyers eight weeks of access to unlimited pasta, sauces, toppings, soup or salad and breadsticks from Sept. 25 through Nov. 19. The passes are sold for $100.

>> ALSO TODAY: Region’s newest brewery to host grand opening this Saturday

This year, a second pass affords customers all the benefits of the Never Ending Pasta Pass plus the opportunity to go to Italy for $200. The eight-day European vacation includes airfare, hotel, meals, ground transportation and daily activities for two during April 2018.

“Every year, through our Pasta Pass sale, we get to connect with and delight thousands of our most passionate Olive Garden fans,” Jennifer Arguello, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden, said in a release. “We couldn’t think of a better way to create even more memories and a deeper connection to our brand than through a special edition Pasta Pass that includes an all-inclusive trip for two to the country that inspires us.”

BRUNCH BILL: Backers of earlier Sunday alcohol sales launch campaign

A coalition of downtown Dayton businesses and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce are putting together a campaign to urge voters in one downtown precinct to allow bars and restaurants in that precinct to start serving alcohol at 10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m. on Sundays.

9 of the best brunch spots in Dayton

The issue — which supporters have dubbed the “brunch bill,” and which will appear as Local Issue 11 on the ballot — will be decided by voters in Precinct 1-B in downtown Dayton. There are about 1,100 registered voters in precinct 1-B, which includes the business strip of the Oregon District on East Fifth Street as well as the area around the Cannery and part of the Water Street development. It does not include the residential neighborhood just south of the Oregon District strip on East Fifth Street, which is part of another precinct.

“The pendulum for downtown Dayton is on the upswing right now, and we want to keep that momentum going,” said Chris Kershner, vice president of public policy and economic development for the Dayton chamber.

9 more Dayton-area brunch spots for your next weekend out

Kershner said several downtown Dayton restaurants approached chamber officials about seeking the change, and the chamber spearheaded the petition drive to place the issue on the fall ballot. A “yes” vote will allow the one-hour-earlier start time only at those alcohol-permit holders in precinct 1-B, and would have no impact on other restaurants and bars outside of the precinct.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Dayton restaurants seek change in Sunday alcohol start time

Kershner said supporters are concerned about the ballot language as written by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, because it doesn’t make clear that a “yes” vote would simply move the start time for Sunday alcohol sales from the current 11 a.m. state-mandated start time to 10 a.m. Some voters may read the language and think the measure would allow Sunday alcohol sales for the first time, Kershner said.

The best Bloody Marys in Dayton

Here’s how Issue 11 will appear on the ballot of voters in precinct 1-B:

“Shall the sale of intoxicating liquor, of the same type as may be legally sold in this precinct on other days of the week, be permitted in this Dayton 1-B Precinct for consumption on premises where sold between the hours of 10 a.m. and midnight on Sunday?”

The “vote yes” campaign will focus on education rather than advocacy, Kershner said, to make sure voters know a “yes” vote simply allows for the one-hour-earlier start time on Sundays.

Steve Tieber, owner of the Dublin Pub at East Fifth Street and Wayne Avenue, said Sunday sales are important to his restaurant and to many other alcohol-permit holders in downtown Dayton.

“Sunday is our third-busiest day,” behind only Friday and Saturday, Tieber said of the Dublin Pub. And most of the pub’s Sunday sales are related to its brunch service.

The 12 best restaurants in Dayton

Restaurant owners told chamber officials it is frustrating to be forced to refuse customer orders of brunch cocktails such as Bloody Marys and mimosas during what for some is the first hour of their brunch service. The change will give restaurants more flexibility, boost sales and ultimately create and preserve jobs, Tieber said.

The precinct has about 1,100 voters. Kershner and Tieber are helping to put together a grass-roots campaign led by retailers and other “brunch bill” coalition members, which number about 20 and include the Downtown Dayton Partnership and the chamber.

“We’ll do mailings, yard signs, banners — anything to get the word out,” Kershner said.

Affordable Olive Garden deal offers trip to Italy, all-you-can-eat pasta

Olive Garden announced Tuesday that it is offering a new all-you-can-eat promotion, the Pasta Passport to Italy, in celebration of the return of its Never Ending Pasta Pass. With the Never Ending Pasta Pass, customers can purchase a $100 pass that allows them to consume an unlimited amount of pasta during each visit between Sept. 25 and Nov. 19.

>> Read more trending newsThe promotion allows customers to pick from seven pastas and six sauces and includes unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks.

A second pass affords customers all the benefits of the Never Ending Pasta Pass plus the opportunity to go to Italy for $200. The eight-day European vacation includes airfare, hotel, meals, ground transportation and daily activities for two during April 2018.

“Recipients of a Pasta Passport to Italy will ... start by exploring the sprawling cobble-stoned streets and terracotta rooftops of Sienna, then will travel throughout Italy, including Florence and Assisi, cities known for their ancient architecture and fresh, seasonal cooking,” according to an Olive Garden news release. “From there, guests will enjoy cultural excursions to the ancient Coliseum in Rome, a visit to the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City and a chance for the ultimate photo opportunity at the leaning Tower of Pisa. Guests will also taste Tuscan wine, sample Italian Gelato and learn to prepare regional cuisine.”

Olive Garden is selling 22,000 Never Ending Pasta Passes and 50 Pasta Passports to Italy.

The passes go on sale Thursday at 2 p.m. EST at PastaPass.com. They will be available for purchase for 30 minutes only, or until all passes and passports sell out. 

“Every year, through our Pasta Pass sale, we get to connect with and delight thousands of our most passionate Olive Garden fans,” said Jennifer Arguello, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden. “We couldn't think of a better way to create even more memories and a deeper connection to our brand than through a special edition Pasta Pass that includes an all-inclusive trip for two to the country that inspires us.

Learn more here.

According to Eater, 21,000 pasta passes were sold out in less than one second during Olive Garden’s promotion last year.

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