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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.

Chipotle to start offering queso dip at all restaurants

Chipotle Mexican Grill will start offering queso dip at all restaurants next week.

>> Read more trending news

The fast-casual restaurant chain announced it was going to “fulfill the wishes of queso lovers from coast to coast” by adding queso to its menu at all stores on Sept. 12.

The company has been testing queso in 350 restaurants in Southern California and the Colorado area.

Customers can order queso on their entrée or on the side in two sizes with chips. Prices vary slightly by city, but range from $1.25 to add it to an entrée to $5.25 for a large side order, the company said in a statement.

» RELATED: Chipotle food scare highlights issue that impacts thousands annually

“Although queso was the No. 1-requested menu item, we never added it to our menu before now because we wouldn’t use the industrial additives used in most quesos,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle. “Additives make typical queso very consistent and predictable, but are not at all in keeping with our food culture. Our queso may vary slightly depending on the characteristics of the aged cheddar cheese used in each batch, but using only real ingredients is what makes our food so delicious.”

Chipotle, which opened its first restaurant in Denver in 1993, now operates more than 2,300 restaurants.

Read more here.

How to score free Chick-fil-A breakfast this month 

Chick-fil-A often gives away free food, but with the latest promotion, you don’t have to dress like a cow to win. 

>> Read more trending news 

Through September 30, Chick-fil-A is dishing out one free breakfast entree to each person who downloads the fast food chain’s mobile app and either creates a new account or updates their existing app. 

>> Related:Chick-fil-A tests large family style meals

Customers who do so can choose between three options: A hash brown scramble, egg white Grill Sandwich or a chicken biscuit sandwich. 

“You’ll find it in your ‘available treats’ section on the main page of the app if you scroll down a little,” a Chick-fil-A spokesperson said. “In order to see this breakfast offer, you may need to scroll horizontally through your available treats if you have other treats available.”

According to Thrillist, “Once you claim the deal in the app, you have until the end of September to hit up your local Chick-fil-A restaurant during breakfast hours (until 10:30 a.m.) and redeem it for the free food.”

Easy, peasy. Enjoy!

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

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