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Frisch’s to bring back Coca-Cola at all restaurants

It’s back.

Frisch’s is bringing back Coca-Cola drink products to its restaurants. Frisch’s CEO Jason Vaughn announced on Monday morning that the chain will switch back to Coke products.

Frisch’s switched to Pepsi in 2013, and fans criticized the move after the restaurant’s 50-year partnership with Coke. Coca-Cola is expected to come back to restaurants in September 2018, Vaughn said.

Fans reacted to the news on social media:

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Local KFC closes dining room for extensive renovation

The lobby and dining room inside KFC restaurant at 2109 E. Dorothy Lane in Kettering are closed for an extensive remodeling project.

The restaurant’s drive-through, however, will remain open during construction, a spokesman for the restaurant told this news outlet.

>> HOT CHICKEN: Competition intensifies with new-restaurant openings

“We should be done around June 27,” the spokesman said.

 Local craft beer festival returns after 5-year hiatus

A Dayton-based craft beer festival is poised to return June 23 after a five-year hiatus to spotlight specialty beers provided by more than a dozen local and regional craft breweries.

>> Can you believe Big Butter Jesus melted 8 years ago?

The Cask AleFest, which celebrates a more traditional method of storing and dispensing draught beer, will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 23 on East Second Street between Jefferson and St. Clair Streets in front of Mudlick Tap House in downtown Dayton.

>> Top 10 things to do this weekend includes festivals, food truck rallies and fun

Joe Waizmann, founder and co-organizer of the event, said the festival’s lengthy hiatus was caused primarily by his stint as a co-founder and co-owner of Warped Wing Brewing Co., from which he departed in late 2017. This  year’s event will mark the seventh AleFest devoted to cask ales.

>> STARTS TODAY: Special-release bourbon coming to a select few local liquor stores starting Friday

“Since my earliest visits to the U.K. more than 20 years ago, I’ve been a huge fan of cask or real ale, and this passion is the basis of my desire to educate and share with others,” Waizmann said. “It’s quite gratifying.”

 >> NEW TODAY: Applebee’s launches legal battle against its own franchise owner for control of Dayton-area restaurants

Tickets are $40  and will be limited  to 300; they are available at Mudlick Tap House or online at www.AleFest.com

Waizmann said 17 cask ales will be featured:  

  • 50 West Brewing Company Punch You in the EyePA DIPA with Orange Peel 
  • Braxton Brewing Company BlackBerry Smoothie Haven Hefeweizen with Blackberries, Blueberries, Banana, & Apple  
  • Crooked Handle Brewing Company The Farm Saison with Lemon and Basil 

>> Downtown Dayton restaurant De’Lish to shut its doors for good, but intends to go out with a flourish

  • Dayton Beer Company The Java Man Cometh Stout with Mint & Cocoa Nibs  
  • Fat Heads Brewery Unnamed Dry Hopped Strong Ale  
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company Eliot Ness Vienna Lager with Cinnamon & Apple  
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company Burning River Pale Ale with Lavender  
  • Hairless Hare Brewery Blackberry Honey Kickback Kölsch 
  • MadTree Brewing  Brown with Bourbon-and-Peach-Soaked Oak Chips 
  • Maumee Bay Brewing Company Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout with Tiramisu 
  • North High Brewing Cherry Life Golden Sparkling Ale 

>> NEW TODAY: Dads eat FREE at Primanti Bros. on Father’s Day

  • Nowhere in Particular Promiscuous Ale Project Strawberry Banana Berliner Weiss 
  • Platform Beer Company Orange Blossom Kettle Sour with Bourbon Soaked Oak Chips and Tart Sour Cherries  
  • Toxic Brew Company Abby's Cure Tripel with Hibiscus & Press Cold Brewed Coffee 
  • Warped Wing Brewing Company Gamma Bomb IPA with Passionfruit 
  • Warped Wing Brewing Company Golden Glow with Lime Peel and Tequila-Soaked Wooden Spiral  
  • Yellow Springs Brewery Boat Show IPA with Raspberries, a special tri-package feature with Boat Show IPA in cask, draught and can.

Special-release bourbon coming to a select few local liquor stores starting Friday

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control has a message for local bourbon lovers who occasionally complain that the small-batch “good stuff” never makes it to the Buckeye state:

Stop by Friday.

 >> NEW TODAY: Applebee’s launches legal battle against its own franchise owner for control of Dayton-area restaurants

A special sales offer of an exclusive Russell's Reserve Barrel Program product from the Wild Turkey Distillery is launching Friday, June 15 at just seven state liquor-agency stores in Ohio — and three are in southwest Ohio: Arrow Wine & Spirits’ “Centerville store” on Lyons Road in Washington Twp., Jungle Jim’s International Market’s Fairfield store on Dixie Highway, and O’Bryan’s Deli on Columbia Road in Loveland.

>> Downtown Dayton restaurant De’Lish to shut its doors for good, but intends to go out with a flourish

Each store will have bottles from its own special barrel, and each bottle will be priced at $54.99 for a standard-sized “fifth” (750 ml). Each barrel contains bourbon that has been aged for just over 10 years.

Let’s let Jim Canepa, the superintendent of the Ohio Division of Liquor control, pick up the story from here. Here’s what Canepa said in a release:

>> New liquor store could open by Thanksgiving in Centerville

“I hear you . . . Ohio loves bourbon! That’s why we are bringing an exclusive product from Wild Turkey to the consumers of Ohio.” 

“While visiting the distillery in February, we were greeted by Master Distiller Eddie Russell himself. Eddie had pulled out several barrels from some of his favorite rickhouses (B, D and H) and floors (third–fifth). Each carefully crafted barrel has a unique flavor profile with rich, creamy toffee vanilla flavors.”

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Three new liquor stores coming to the Miami Valley

“Before we ended our visit, Eddie personally selected eight of his best barrels for the bourbon aficionados of Ohio. These hand-selected bourbons will be available for sale at seven agencies across the state beginning June 15. Each bottle is labeled Ohio Private Selection, and notes the barrel number, warehouse, floor and the length of time the barrel was aged.”

>> RELATED: No contract awarded for Piqua liquor agency

“As one who enjoys bourbon, I can tell you these are special barrels that are sure to not disappoint!”

Canepa himself will head to a Columbus liquor store Friday morning to celebrate and call attention to the Russell's Reserve Barrel Program launch.  

Under Canepa’s direction, the division has been focusing on upping Ohio’s game in sales of spirits, with an increasing focus on educating consumers about craft spirits and adding new stores in under-served areas.

The division recently awarded contracts for new liquor-agency stores in south Centerville and Mason.

Applebee’s launches legal battle against its own franchise owner for control of Dayton-area restaurants

Applebee’s Grill & Bar’s corporate owners have filed a lawsuit to wrestle control of the brand’s restaurants in the Dayton area from its franchisee, in part because the franchisee has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The complex and high-stakes legal battle is in its early stages in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, but its ultimate impact will almost certainly be felt in the Dayton area. Applebee’s corporate owners have already identified in court papers one Dayton-area location — the Applebee’s at 1795 Delco Park Drive in Kettering — that would be forced to drop its affiliation to Applebee’s if a judge rules in favor of the chain’s corporate owners’ lawsuit.

>> Downtown Dayton restaurant De’Lish to shut its doors for good, but intends to go out with a flourish

RMH Franchise Holdings — the Atlanta-based restaurant franchise company that operates more than 150 Applebee’s locations in 15 states, including Ohio — filed for Chapter 11 re-organization bankruptcy May 8 in the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, indicating it would continue operating while seeking relief from its debts. Those debts included $14.2 million owed to Applebee’s International Inc. for royalty fees and advertising costs, according to bankruptcy court records.

>> Applebee’s franchise owner breaks silence about local restaurant closing

But Applebee’s corporate parent, Dine Brands Global, is challenging portions of its franchisee’s bankruptcy filing. In its own lawsuit filed three weeks after the initial bankruptcy court action, Dine Brands Global claimed that the restaurants operated by RMH Franchise Holdings should not be regarded as assets under RMH’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing because RMH had reneged on its franchise agreement. Dine Brands is asking a judge for a court order ruling that all of of the restaurants operated by RMH now essentially belong to Dine Brands.

Dine Brands Global claims in its lawsuit that RMH Franchise owes it a total of nearly $23.4 million in royalties and fees, and in future royalties and fees lost after RMH Franchise shut down some of the stores it operated. 

>> Dayton Mall Applebee’s property sold (April 2018)

RMH Franchise has not yet filed a formal response to the May 25 lawsuit. Messages sent to a spokeswoman for RMH Franchise Wednesday afternoon seeking comment had not been returned as of this morning, Thursday June 14.

Greg Flynn, Chairman and CEO of the Flynn group, the largest Applebee's franchisee, said in a a statement released by Dine Brands/Applebee’s  that despite the dispute with RMH Franchise, the Applebee’s brand is doing well.  

“It’s unfortunate that this particular franchisee has an issue, but at the same time, I’m very happy that Applebee’s is experiencing some of the best sales and traffic in a decade. A strong driver of our success has been our incredible collaboration and partnership among franchisees and Applebee’s leadership. I believe the future is very bright for Applebee’s.” 

 Court documents suggest the dispute between the Applebee’s corporate parent and its second-largest franchisee had been developing for at least a year. RMH Franchise “stopped paying royalties due under the franchise agreements” in June 2017, according to the lawsuit.

>> ‘She’s gone’: Iconic area winery sign made from 150-year-old cask damaged in strong storms

And according to FranchiseTimes.com, RMH  Franchise suggested in documents related to its bankruptcy filing that Dine Brands was as least partly to blame for its financial difficulties, saying that “specific managerial decisions made on behalf of it by (Dine Brands) … have negatively impacted (our) business operations and left them facing near-term liquidity issues.”  RMH had been making efforts to reduce operating expenses in part by “divesting themselves of certain under-performing locations,” RMH officials said in court documents.

>> New tavern opens in former Phone Booth space

RMH abruptly closed its Wilmington Pike restaurant in Sugarcreek Twp. on Saturday, June 9. Visitors to the restaurant that day were told the restaurant had shut down permanently, and they were given coupons for $10 off a meal at either of two nearby Applebee’s restaurants.

RMH has closed other Applebee’s in other states, including one on Tuesday, June 12 in South Bend, Indiana — that community’s second Applebee’s closure within a year, according to the South Bend Tribune.

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Dine Brands Global says in its lawsuit that if a judge grants its request, it would assume control of the vast majority of RMH’s restaurants and continue operating them as Applebee’s. But it attached to its lawsuit a list of 20 RMH-operated restaurants it would NOT seek to take over, meaning those 20 restaurants would “need to immediately de-affiliate from using the Applebee’s” name and trademarks if the judge ruled in favor of Dine Brands, according to the lawsuit. 

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That list included three Ohio restaurants, one in the Toledo area, one on Colerain Avenue in Cincinnati, and the Delco Park Drive location in Kettering. That location was one of the two restaurants to which RMH Franchise officials referred customers of the Sugarcreek Twp. location when it shut down Saturday. 

Other RMH-operated Applebee’s restaurants are located in Huber Heights, Xenia, Springboro, Springfield, Sidney, Mason, and on Ohio 741 near the Dayton Mall. 

JUST IN: Applebee’s franchise owner breaks silence about local restaurant closing

The restaurant franchise company that operates Dayton-area Applebee’s Grill & Bar locations has broken its silence about Saturday’s abrupt closure of its restaurant on Wilmington Pike in Sugarcreek Twp..

The restaurant’s manager, when reached by phone Saturday afternoon, referred all questions to Robin Jenkins, brand manager for team member and guest engagement for RMH Franchise Holdings, the Atlanta-based company that operates Applebee’s locations in 15 states, including Ohio.

>> JUST IN: New tavern opens in former Phone Booth space

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Email and phone messages left Saturday, June 9 with Jenkins elicited an email response on Tuesday, June 12, confirming that the Wilmington Pike restaurant did indeed close on Saturday, and adding that all employees of the closed restaurant “were offered employment” at other Dayton-area Applebee's.

>> Dayton Mall Applebee’s property sold (April 2018)

Jenkins did not respond to questions about how many employees were affected by the closure. She also said she “cannot comment on the factors that led to this closure.”

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Applebee’s shuts down its Sugarcreek Twp. restaurant

“We greatly appreciate our neighbors' patronage and look forward to continuing to serve guests at the nearby Applebee's restaurants in the area,” the RMH spokeswoman said. 

Customers who showed up to dine at the Sugarcreek Plaza restaurant on Saturday were given a $10-off coupon for two other local Applebee’s locations at 1795 Delco Park Drive in Kettering and at 105 N. Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) just north of the Dayton Mall. 

>> Applebee’s franchise owner closes one of its Kettering restaurants (December 2013)

Atlanta-based RMH Franchise, which also has corporate offices in Lincoln, Nebraska, purchased all of the Applebee’s in central and southwest Ohio from a Lexington, Ky. franchise company in late 2013, a transaction that more than doubled the number of Applebee’s restaurants run by RMH. Just before that transaction closed, three Applebee’s locations in southwest and central Ohio, including one at 1450 W. Dorothy Lane in Kettering and others in Milford and Dublin, shut down. The Kettering space now houses an El Rancho Grande Mexican restaurant.

>> Local winery’s iconic sign made from 150-year-old redwood cask obliterated by storm, power pole 

When the purchase was complete, a spokesman for Applebee’s corporate said his company was committed to working with the new franchise owner to expand the Applebee’s footprint.

>> One-time Ohio congressional district candidate arrested while streaming incident live on Facebook

“RMH is a strong, growing franchise partner, and they are committed to sustainable growth” in its markets, including southwest Ohio, Applebee’s spokesman Dan Smith said in December 2013. 

RESTAURANT DEMOLITION: Say goodbye to Don Pablo’s, and hello to something new to Dayton

The restaurant that most recently housed a Don Pablo’s Mexican restaurant in front of the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek is headed for the wrecking ball. 

>> MORE: 5 restaurants that closed near the Mall at Fairfield Commons

Coming soon to replace it, according to Beavercreek city records, is Black Rock Bar & Grill, a Michigan-based small chain that operates 11 locations, mostly in Michigan and Florida. The restaurants serve steaks sizzling on a 755-degree volcanic rock.

>> UPDATE: New BBQ restaurant coming to the Mall at Fairfield Commons

Messages left for Black Rock officials late Monday had not been returned by mid-morning today, June 12. Mall officials have not formally announced Black Rock’s plans. The space has been vacant for 21 months, since Don Pablo’s shut its doors for good in September 2016.

>> RELATED: Don Pablo’s closes Beavercreek location

But Black Rock officials have requested, and received,  permission from the Beavercreek Planning Commission to demolish the existing Don Pablo’s restaurant and build a new 8,200-square-foot restaurant. 

>> New & locally owned Mexican restaurant opens 1st Dayton-area location

The  planning commission approved the request last week, and Jeffrey McGrath, director of planning and development for the city of Beavercreek, told this news outlet that a demolition permit has been issued. 

>> Owners offer tantalizing glimpse of new Yellow Springs brewpub plans

A limited liability corporation doing business as Black Rock Bar & Grill applied for a full liquor license on March 29 from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control for the former Don Pablo’s space.

JUST IN: New liquor store could open by Thanksgiving in Centerville

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control has awarded a contract to open a new liquor, wine and beer store on Ohio 48 in south Centerville — and the successful bidder brings some experience to the new venture.

>> Food trucks to battle it out this week in first Asian Cuisine competition

The contract recipient, chosen from among four applications submitted, is Shri Lakulishji LLC, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Division of LIquor Controal told this news outlet. The limited liability corporation is operated by Jignesh (Jay) Patel, the owner of Fine Wine & True Spirits, which opened in 2013 in the Sugarcreek Plaza in Sugarcreek Twp.

>> RELATED: Chicken restaurant shuts its doors in Centerville

The proposed location of the new liquor, wine and beer shop is 894 S. Main St. (Ohio 48) in Centerville. The space in the Centerville Square Shopping Center previously housed a video arcade venture called the Chaos Room.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Three new liquor stores coming to the Miami Valley

Patel told this news outlet if all goes well, the new 5,000-square-foot store could open by Thanksgiving. Its tentative name is “Centerville Liquor & Wine,” Patel said. The business owner said he is considering changing the name of his current store to “Sugarcreek Liquor & Wine.”

The new Centerville store will have a broad selection of beer, wine and liquor, and will host regular tasting events, Patel said.

>> RELATED: Arrow Wine & Spirits will head south to open its 3rd store

The Centerville store was among 20 new potential liquor-agency sites statewide that the division of liquor control announced late last year, including three in the greater Dayton area. Arrow Wine & Spirits will open its third Dayton-area location in Mason, and in the third Dayton-area location, in Piqua, no contract was awarded after department officials concluded two applications did not meet their revised, stricter standards. 

>> RELATED: No contract awarded for Piqua liquor agency

New brewpub in the works in Yellow Springs at former restaurant location

Visitors to today’s Yellow Springs Street Fair were greeted by a sign on the outside of the former Williams Eatery that a new brewpub, Trail Town Brewing, was “coming soon” at that location.

We’ve reached out to the owners of Trail Town Brewing to get more information about their plans.

>> RELATED: Yellow Springs restaurant Williams Eatery shuts down after nearly decade-long run

Yellow Springs village records show that the future brewpub founders are leasing the former restaurant space at 101 Corry St. with plans to open a brewpub, although the owners have encountered delays and are awaiting renovations to the building to meet Greene County health and building codes.

>> NEW TODAY: Applebee’s shuts down one of its Dayton-area restaurants

The founders are hoping to introduce visitors and local residents to some of the dishes they’ll be serving by utilizing a food truck that would be parked in front of the future brewpub while it’s under development, village records show.

>> One-time Ohio congressional district candidate arrested while streaming incident live on Facebook

Williams Eatery shut down just before Christmas 2017 after a nearly decade-long run. 

We will bring you any new details about this new brewery and brewpub as they develop.

NEW DETAILS: Owners offer tantalizing glimpse of new brewpub plans

A founder of what may become the Miami Valley’s newest craft brewery and brewpub offered a few new details this morning, June 11, about the proposed Trail Town Brewing in downtown Yellow Springs.

 >> PHOTOS: Did we spot you (or your friends) at the Yellow Springs Street Fair Saturday?

Visitors to Saturday’s Yellow Springs Street Fair were greeted by a sign on the outside of the former Williams Eatery at 101 Corry St. that Trail Town Brewing was “coming soon” at that location.

>> 5 things to know: Applebee’s abruptly shuts down Dayton-area restaurant

Jake Brummett, co-owner of the “Wander & Wonder Yellow Springs” specialty shop in Yellow Springs, is also co-owner of the Trail Town Brewing brewpub.

>> IHOb? 5 hilarious reactions to restaurant chain’s name change

Brummett told this news outlet today that the new brewpub is “early in the permit process,” but if all goes well, Trail Town Brewing could open as early as this fall.

“(We) hope to be brewing in September and open by October,” Brummett said.

>> RELATED: Yellow Springs restaurant Williams Eatery shuts down after nearly decade-long run

Brummett is leasing the former restaurant space with plans to open a brewpub, but has encountered delays and is awaiting renovations to the building to meet Greene County health and building codes, according to the minutes of an April 9 Yellow Springs Planning Commission meeting.

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Brummett was seeking the planning commission’s approval to introduce some of the dishes he’ll be serving by utilizing a food truck that would be parked in front of the future brewpub while it’s under development, village records show.

>> One-time Ohio congressional district candidate arrested while streaming incident live on Facebook

Williams Eatery shut down just before Christmas 2017 after a run of nearly 10 years. 

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