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PIZZA WARS: Yet ANOTHER national chain reveals plans for more Dayton-area restaurants

Any chance that the highly competitive local pizza market might be cooling a bit with the recent closings of a LaRosa’s, Papa Murphy’s and PizzaFire locations evaporated this week with the news that first Pizza Hut, and now Little Caesars, are adding new Dayton-area locations.

Frank Sanchez, franchisee for Little Caesars in the Dayton area, confirmed to this news outlet today that he is gearing up to open two new locations, first in the coming weeks in Fairborn, and later this summer in Centerville. 

>> JUST YESTERDAY: Pizza Hut to expand Dayton-area footprint with 2 new locations

The Fairborn location is located at 1892 S. Maple Ave., adjacent to a Family Video store at Maple and Dayton-Yellow Springs Road. If all goes well, Sanchez said, the carry-out-only pizza restaurant will open in mid-May. 

>> NEW RESTAURANT’S FOUNDER: ‘I can’t wait to start giving back to this town that my family and I have grown to love’

The Centerville Little Caesars will move into the space that previously housed Papa Murphy’s Pizza at 832 S. Main St. (Ohio 48). Plans call for renovations to start by the end of May with a projected opening in mid-July, according to Sanchez, who also oversees a Little Caesars in Richmond, Ind. and three in Michigan. 

>> Your guide to the best Dayton-area pizza

Other Dayton-area Little Caesars are owned by the chain that is headquartered in Detroit and which operates restaurants in all 50 states and in  20 countries and territories worldwide.

>> Here’s how a Xenia brewery is saluting life-saving weatherman in the 1974 tornado

The new Little Caesars locations — and two new Pizza Hut locations coming to Kettering and Beavercreek that this news outlet told you about yesterday — will join an already competitive Dayton-area pizza market, which has long been dominated by venerable hometown chains such as Cassano’s Pizza King and Marion’s Piazza; by national chains such as Domino’s and Papa John’s; and by the dozens of smaller chains and single-store independents that operate in the Miami Valley. 

>> RELATED: Local pizza shop shuts down abruptly, lashes out at ‘corporate’

 In recent years,  other smaller, mostly regional chains have invaded those established market players’ turf, including LaRosa’s, Godfather’s, Dewey’s and Jet’s, among others.

>> RELATED: LaRosa’s in Huber Heights shuts its doors (November 2016)

>> LaRosa’s speaks out on restaurant closing, Dayton market

More recently, “fast-casual” pizza chains that focus on customized, fast-baked pizzas have added a new layer of competition. Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza has led that surge locally, and Seattle-based MOD Pizza operates two Dayton-area restaurants. A third competitor, Cleveland-based PizzaFire shut down its only Dayton-area location late last year. LaRosa’s also has closed two of its Dayton-area locations since late 2016.

>> The best Mother’s Day brunches in Dayton

Local restaurant’s $100 margarita just might be a bargain. Here’s why.

Want to treat yourself (and perhaps a few of your VERY closest friends) to a rather luxurious Cinco de Mayo splurge? A restaurant at The Greene Town Center has just the thing: a $100 margarita that just might be a bargain. 

We’re not kidding.

“It’s crystal clear that revelers seeking a lavish Cinco de Mayo celebration will find it at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar,” the restaurant chain’s marketing folks said in a release. “The upscale steakhouse is partnering with Tequila Herradura, an ultra-premium 100 percent agave tequila, and Baccarat, the world-renowned fine crystal manufacturer, (to offer) a $100 Prime Margarita from May 4-6.”

>> PHOTO GALLERY: Inside the new Fuzzy’s Taco Shop at The Greene

Don’t scoff at the price so quickly. The $100 Margarita is made with Tequila Herradura Selección Suprema and Grand Marnier Centenaire and is garnished with a caramelized lime wheel garnish. The drink is served in Baccarat's Diamant Highball glass, which customers can take home with them in a signature Baccarat red box. 

We did a little checking on the booze used in this particular drink, and on the glass.

>> The best Mother’s Day brunches in Dayton

According to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, the Tequila Herradura Selección Suprema appears to sell for $299 a bottle (yes, a “regular”-sized “fifth,” or 750 milliliters) in Ohio. And the special Centenaire bottling of the orange-infused liqueur Grand Marnier will run you $190 a bottle in a state liquor agency store.

>> TODAY: Pizza Hut to expand Dayton-area footprint with 2 new locations

Here’s how the Fleming’s folks describe the drink:

“Tequila Herradura’s Selección Suprema is the world’s first-ever extra-añejo tequila expression. Aged for 49 months, this smoothly enticing tequila was first introduced by Casa Herradura in 1995. Since its inception it has garnered international awards for its delectable combination of the finest cooked agave, highlighted by notes of rich vanilla and dried fruit — a mélange ideal for pairing with Fleming’s signature dishes.”

>> NEW RESTAURANT: ‘I can’t wait to start giving back to this town that my family and I have grown to love’

And the glass?

“Baccarat has been lauded for centuries as the world’s premiere designer of luxury crystal products. In fact, enjoyed by royalty since 1764, Baccarat is often called the ‘Crystal of the Kings.’ Crafted in iconic Baccarat style, the clear crystal Diamant Highball is accented with silhouettes and pointed diamond cuts that sparkle as they shine. Famed craftsman Thomas Bastide designed this elegant glass to be a lasting testament to taste and sophistication.”

And here’s a kicker: That Baccarat Diamant Highball glass appears to sell for $140 apiece on Baccarat’s web site

And THAT, my friends, is how a $100 margarita becomes a BARGAIN. 

>> LaRosa’s to close Butler County location — before new restaurant opens nearby

 

 

NEW RESTAURANT: ‘I can’t wait to start giving back to this town that my family and I have grown to love’

A chef and former owner of a Miamisburg-based food truck has opened her own restaurant in the same city. 

Tanya Straight, who operated The Red Wagon Cafe food truck with her family, has opened The Canal House Eatery at 103 S. Second St. in Miamisburg.

>> The best Mother’s Day brunches in Dayton

“I chose to open at this location because of my love for this town, its residents and business owners,” Straight told this news outlet. “It is truly a wonderful community to live in, and I have been looking for a location here for quite some time.

“We are very excited to become part of the wonderful downtown businesses here in Miamisburg, and I can’t wait to start giving back to this town that my family and I have grown to love.”

>> TODAY: Pizza Hut to expand Dayton-area footprint with 2 new locations

A ribbon-cutting and grand opening was held in May. Straight will operate the restaurant with the help of her family and between two and five employees, the restaurant owner said. 

Canal House Eatery’s menu will include Specialty Wraps, Paninis, Sandwiches, Soups, Salads, Side Dishes, Desserts and fresh bakery items, Straight said. 

>> LaRosa’s to close Butler County location — before new restaurant opens nearby

The leased space previously housed Palmitas Taco Shop, which shut its doors in December 2017 and is working on transitioning to a food truck, according to its Facebook page.

 

Straight, who has lived in Miamisburg for 12 years and has three children in the Miamisburg school district, operated The Red Wagon Cafe for six years before selling it last year to pursue other interests.

>> Local food truck’s beer and wine garden gears up to open inside the Dayton Mall

“The opportunity to open The Canal House unexpectedly presented itself” via family members who told her about the former Palmitas space, Straight said. “ The option seemed too good to pass up, so my family and I decided to give it a shot.” 

Plans call for Canal House Eatery to be open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.. and for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pizza chain to expand Dayton-area footprint with 2 new locations

The Ohio-based franchisee for Pizza Hut has signed leases for two new Dayton-area restaurants after determining that the region is  under-served by the national pizza chain.

“We are expanding in Dayton, and we are very excited,” Carol Magazzeni, director of marketing and public relations for Hallrich Inc., based in Stow in northeast Ohio. Hallrich purchased the rights to operate Pizza Hut restaurants in the greater Dayton market from the Pizza Hut corporate company in June 2017.

>> The best Mother’s Day brunches in Dayton

Hallrich has inked deals to open restaurants in the former Papa Murphy’s pizza restaurant at 1195 N. Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, and in a former United Dairy Farmers convenience store at 900 E. Dorothy Lane at Ackerman Boulevard in Kettering, Magazzeni said.

The Beavercreek Papa Murphy’s restaurant, located across from Beaver-Vu bowling alley north of U.S. 35, shut its doors in December 2017 as the result of a dispute between a franchise owner and corporate, according to a sign posted on the door of the restaurant. 

>> RELATED: Local pizza shop shuts down abruptly, lashes out at ‘corporate’

The Kettering space is adjacent to a newly opened OinkADoodleMoo barbecue restaurant, formerly Dayton Beer Company’s initial tasting room and brewery. Pizza Hut operated a carryout store for many years in the Fountain Square shopping center on Far Hills Avenue, but it shut down several years ago.

“We found two un-serviced areas, and we are happy to bring delivery and convenient pick-up service to Beavercreek and Kettering,” Magazzeni said.

>> LaRosa’s speaks out on restaurant closing, Dayton market

With the addition of Montgomery, Clark, Greene, Warren, Darke, Logan and Champaign counties, Hallrich now operates about two-thirds of the Pizza Hut restaurants in Ohio, the franchisee’s spokeswoman said. 

Beavercreek officials approved a zoning permit for the North Fairfield Road location on Tuesday, April 24. That location will likely open before the Kettering location, although specific timelines have not been set, Magazzeni said.

>> Here’s how a Xenia brewery is saluting life-saving weatherman in the 1974 tornado

The new Pizza Hut locations will join an already competitive Dayton-area pizza market, which has long been dominated by venerable hometown chains such as Cassano’s Pizza King and Marion’s Piazza; by national chains such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesar’s and Papa John’s; and by the dozens of smaller chains and single-store independents that call the Miami Valley home. 

 In recent years,  other smaller, mostly regional chains have invaded those established market players’ turf, including LaRosa’s, Godfather’s, Dewey’s and Jet’s, among others.

>> RELATED: LaRosa’s in Huber Heights shuts its doors (November 2016)

More recently, “fast-casual” pizza chains that focus on customized, fast-baked pizzas have added a new layer of competition. Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza has led that surge locally, and Seattle-based MOD Pizza operates two Dayton-area restaurants. A third competitor, Cleveland-based PizzaFire shut down its only Dayton-area location late last year. LaRosa’s also has closed two of its Dayton-area locations since late 2016.

Here’s how a Xenia brewery is saluting life-saving weatherman in the 1974 tornado

Devil Wind Brewing in Xenia will pay homage to the late News Center 7 weather specialist Gil Whitney for saving lives in the April 3, 1974 tornado that leveled hundreds of homes and businesses in the town.

>> Xenia tornado devastation experienced in gritty black-and-white photos 44 years later

At 5 p.m. today, April 24, the Dayton area’s newest brewery, at 130 S. Detroit St. in Xenia will release a seasonal beer it calls “Whitney Wheat” in honor of Whitney, who saw a signature “hook” on early weather radar and gave Xenia residents in many neighborhoods that a massive tornado was bearing down on them.

>> ALSO NEW TODAY: 3 NEW reasons to hang out in Xenia

>> No place to hide: the 1974 Xenia tornado (video)

“He gave the Arrowhead neighborhood in particular a heads-up that the tornado was headed their way, and he saved a lot of lives that day,” Devil Wind co-founder David Hatfield said.

>>  Tank’s Bar and Grill slashing some late-night hours; customers react

The massive tornado killed 32, left more than 1,300 wounded, and destroyed more than 300 homes and half the buildings in the city, including nearly every public school. 

>> Former Dairy Queen space springs to life as a locally owned, independent ice cream shop

Hatfield said he made contact with one of Whitney’s sons, Gil Whitney Jr., who lives in the Columbus area, “and he was excited that we were doing this. He said he was looking forward to trying it and to checking the brewery out.”

>> Historic theater brought 2 Dayton-area villages together to become one city

>> PHOTOS: 25 must-see images showing the destruction of the 1974 Xenia tornado

Devil Wind co-founder Doug Lane described Whitney Wheat as “a light, refreshing American wheat, with a subtle sweetness and clean finish.” It has a relatively tame 4.5  percent alcohol by volume — “perfect for after a bike ride on a sunny April day,” Lane said.

>> Film company looking for survivors, stories from the Xenia tornado of ‘74 for new PBS series

Whitney, who had worked in several positions for WHIO-TV, became a News Center 7 weather specialist in the early 1970s. He died in 1982, at the age of 42, of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

>> PHOTOS/SNEAK PEEK: Inside the highly-anticipated taco shop at The Greene that opens TODAY

JUST IN: Dayton’s most awarded chef is headed to Florida

The Dayton area’s only James Beard Foundation award-winning chef is headed for Florida — for now, anyway.

“So sorry, sweet city of Dayton, but I am leaving town August 2018. Not forever, but for now,” Former Rue Dumaine chef and co-owner Anne Kearney wrote in an email to followers. 

>> Former Dairy Queen space springs to life as a locally owned, independent ice cream shop

Kearney, who has served as a private chef and hosted some “pop-up” events at other restaurants in recent months, said she will “join a few comrades in a restaurant group with the promise of an exciting next chapter of my culinary journey. Of course, more details will follow as I better define this move. Until then I am available to create a personal meal for you and yours or aid you in creating a fantastic dining experience/event for a larger group.”

>> PHOTOS: Mouthwatering dishes and drinks that we’ll miss from Rue Dumaine

The former Rue Dumaine, at 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp., shut down permanently in July 2017 after a decade-long run. The restaurant changed its name to Bar Dumaine shortly before shutting down. 

>> TODAY: Tank’s Bar and Grill slashing some late-night hours; customers react

Kearney is the Dayton area’s most highly credentialed chef, based on her recognition by the James Beard Foundation, whose awards are regarded as the nation’s most prestigious recognition program for the food and beverage business — the equivalent of the Academy Awards of the restaurant industry.  

RELATED: On the Menu: a tasty rendez-vous with James Beard-lauded Rue Dumaine

In February 2016, the Beard Foundation for the sixth consecutive year named Kearney a semifinalist for its “Best Chefs in America” competition for the Great Lakes region. Kearney was the only chef from the Dayton area, and one of only three in Ohio, to be named in 2016. 

>> PHOTOS/SNEAK PEEK: Inside the highly-anticipated taco shop at The Greene that opens TODAY

 The Beard Foundation recognized the restaurant itself in 2008, naming Rue Dumaine a semifinalist for the foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” in the nation. And Kearney was named a James Beard Foundation best-chef award winner in the southeastern U.S. in 2002 when she co-owned the highly regarded Peristyle restaurant in New Orleans.

>> RELATED: Rue Dumaine’s Anne Kearney scores ‘best-chef’ nomination for 6th year running

Kearney still has some events planned before her August departure, including one on May 11 at Crooked Handle Brewing Co. in Springboro. She’ll be preparing beef burgers and meatless burgers for a pop-up event from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. that evening at the brewery.

RELATED: Rue Dumaine chef headed to NCR Country Club

3 NEW reasons to hang out in Xenia 

We see you over there, Xenia. 

>> 5 things you must do in Yellow Springs 

Some great places to explore have opened in Greene County’s county seat in the last few years. 

Here are a few reasons to visit Xenia soon. 

BRUNCH 

Spots like Nick’s Restaurant have long been go-to places, but there are a few relatively new kids on the block. 

One Bistro, 87 E. Main St., has great food — and you can help those in need. 

>> ‘Pay what you can’ restaurant to open in Xenia (Aug. 13, 2015)

As with the Miamisburg location, the Xenia restaurant has suggested prices on its meals ranging from $6 to $9, but people can also pay what they can afford. 

Paying a little more than the recommended amount “pays it forward” and helps feed needy people.

Other options include Tables of Contents Cafe, 30 S. Detroit St., and 5 Points Cafe. That breakfast and lunch spot is located at 51 E. Main St.

>> RELATED: 5 Points Cafe to opens in Xenia (March 12, 2018) 

>> 2 new restaurants are open at The Greene — and there’s another on the way

BREW

Downtown Xenia is the home of one of the Miami Valley’s newest breweries. 

Devil Wind Brewing recently opened its doors in a 3,000-square-foot space at 130 S. Detroit St. It is just steps from the bike path. 

The 90-seat brewery gets its name from historical reports that the Shawnee Indians that inhabited Greene County referred to the Xenia area as “Land of the Devil Wind.”

>> PHOTOS: Take a look inside Devil Wind Brewing

BORG

Route 68 Vintage Toys and Collectibles is a nerd paradise. 

Located at 68 S. Detroit St., the recently opened shop has both vintage Star Wars and Star Trek toys and tons of other vintage toys that will take you back to your childhood. 

UPDATE: Local sports bar reopens today after a 2 1/2-week hiatus following fire

*** UPDATE***

A local sports bar that has operated for 25 years will reopen today, May 11, after a series of renovations, according to its owner.

Jack Maio, owner of Bolt’s Sports Cafe in Englewood, said the sports bar made some repairs from a minor fire that occurred April 21 and did some remodeling at the same time.

>> The best Mother’s Day brunches in Dayton

Bolt’s added new tables and chairs both inside and on its patio, did some painting and landscaping, repaired the roof, and added new lighting on the patio and in front of the building at 910 S. Main St. (Ohio 48), Maio said. A new ordering system that also was added will make ordering food easier, the sports pub’s owner said.

>> New Ohio wine festival ‘Vintage Ohio South’ is happening THIS SATURDAY

The Englewood sports pub will be open Monday through Thursday 3 p.m. to midnight, Friday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday noon to 2 a.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight, with brunch served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Maio said.

***PREVIOUS COVERAGE***

The owner of a sports bar that has operated for a quarter century in Englewood said April 23 the establishment is closed for remodeling but will reopen soon.

>> RELATED: Local sports bar to celebrate 25 years with a week of special events

Jack Maio, owner of Bolt’s Sports Cafe, said the sports bar had a minor fire Saturday night that requires some repairs, and he decided to make some minor remodeling changes at the same time.

>> TODAY: Tank’s Bar and Grill slashing some late-night hours; customers react

“We’ll be down for a few days,” Maio said. He won’t know a projected opening date until after meeting with a contractor. It could be as little as two or three days, Maio said.

>> TODAY: Former Dairy Queen space springs to life as a locally owned, independent ice cream shop

Some of the improvements will focus on the patio, Maio said, which has not been fully operational in previous years, but has new tables, awnings and grills for this year. The patio seats about 60 at tables and another 15 at the outdoor bar, the Bolt’s owner said. The patio also offers a cornhole pit and music.

>> PHOTOS/SNEAK PEEK: Inside the highly-anticipated taco shop at The Greene that opens TODAY

New business brewing in downtown Fairborn starting TODAY

Downtown Fairborn just got a new brew spot — and we’re not talking beer.

>> JUST IN: Former DQ to become a new, independent ice cream shop

Grind House Coffee and Tea Company’s official grand opening in Fairborn is happening today.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Grind House Coffee aims to acquire Fairborn Firehouse 

Additional Grind House retail coffee shops are in the works in local Meijer stores after the opening of the Huber Heights location, owner Bill Miller. The Grind House founder said he also is looking to open free-standing stores as the brand expands through the Dayton-Cincinnati region.

>> Tank’s Bar and Grill slashing some late-night hours; customers respond

Grind House Coffee and Tea Company was started in 2015 as an online retailer.

>> Festival season kicks off THIS WEEKEND — and you won’t want to miss these treats

The Grind House Coffee and Tea Company imports beans from all over the world, including coffee and tea farms in Kenya, Southeast Asia and South America.

>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you at Yellow Cab’s Food Truck Rally?

>> PHOTOS: Take a look inside The Green’s new, highly-anticipated taco shop

Want to go?

WHAT: Grind House Coffee and Tea Company

WHERE: 313 W. Main St., Fairborn

INFO: Call (937) 260-8153 | Facebook

In case you missed it: Tank’s Bar and Grill has new late-night hours

A Dayton restaurant that has been serving up very, very late-night grub for decades is dramatically cutting back its hours of operation.Tank's Bar and Grill, the much-loved tavern at 2033 Wayne Ave., announced the changes in a Facebook post. 

“To all our most valued customers. To continue to give the most phenomenal experience, Tanks will be adjusting our hours. Due to decrease in late night business and finding quality staff, our new hours starting Monday April 23 will be as follows: kitchen hours- Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday our kitchen (will be open) 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.Bar will be open till 11 on Sun-Thur. And until 2 on Friday and Saturday. Please note all carryouts must be phoned in 30 minutes before kitchen closing.You may of course order food up until closing time of kitchen to enjoy in dining room. We will have been in Dayton 31 years In May and want to continue to serve Dayton and our Great customers! You are the reason for our work, not the interruption!”

The restaurant — which serves dinner, lunch and all-day breakfast — has been open 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily for many years. 

This is the second time the restaurant has cut its hours in recent months. 

>> Tank’s Bar & Grill has new late-night hours

In October, Tank’s announced it would close at 1 a.m., and its kitchen would close at midnight on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Its hours Wednesday through Saturday remained the same, with the bar closing at 2:30 a.m. and the kitchen at 2 a.m.

NEW KITCHEN HOURS

As noted above, the new kitchen hours are:

Sunday through Thursday  — 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (the bar will close at 11 p.m.)

Friday and Saturday — 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday (the bar will close at 2 a.m.)

>> Dayton food truck giants to face off in Battle of the Breakfasts

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT TANK’S

Known for its burgers, omelettes, grilled cheese sandwiches and “Road Kill” Chili, Tank’s grabbed first place in the 2017 Dayton.com Best of Dayton reader poll. 

>> What are the best restaurants and bars in Dayton? 

Since it opened in 1987 in the former home of Walnut Hills Bar, Tank’s has become an iconic Dayton institution.

A message was left for Debra Tankersley, Tank’s owner and the widow of Tank’s founder Dan “Tank” Tankersley, seeking additional comments. 

>> Dayton responds to the passing of Tank's owner, Dan Tankersley

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ...

Many of the restaurant’s customers did not take the news well, as it was posted by the restaurant on Facebook.

While there were many positive responses to the restaurant’s Facebook post, a few customers said they would no longer return to the restaurant or feared that dark days are ahead for the restaurant. 

>> Where to find the best bowls of chili in Dayton

In exchanges with customers on the Facebook page, the restaurant said the hour changes should not be taken as a bad sign. 

“I can assure you Tanks is NOT closing ever. We simply have to adjust to what makes us better. Trying to find quality staff to work late at night when we do not have the business to support it is not fair to them,” the restaurant’s Facebook administrator responded to one Facebook comment. >> Your ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton

 

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