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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

>> PHOTOS: The most dazzling gowns from Art Ball 2018 you’ve got to see

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. 

Get inspired at garden tour — and support local artists

Across the region flowers are in bloom and gardens are showing off the very best they have to offer.

On June 16 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven gardens featuring imaginative garden décor and beautiful plantings will be on view during the DeWeese Ridgecrest Civic Association Garden Tour. 

This is the sixth such tour for the neighborhood located five minutes north of downtown Dayton.

>> Huge gardens that make the region beautiful

A variety of housing styles populate the neighborhood including Tudor Revival, mid-century ranches, stone cottages, and mini-estates in the woods.

Neighborhood amenities include the Dayton Playhouse, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark and its Children’s Discovery Garden, Jim Nichols Tennis Courts, the DeWeese Parkway walking path and the River Corridor Bikeway.

The neighborhood, which contains approximately 600 homes, is bound by the Stillwater River to the west, North Dixie Drive to the east, Ridge Avenue to the south and Madrid Avenue to the north. 

>> 50 ideas for your Dayton summer bucket list

"Each garden reflects the personality of its owners. For example, Kevin Tunstall and Mark Brewer’s home is an artist’s retreat that provides plenty of relaxation and inspiration. The garden paths lead you around a unique mid-century modern home with welcoming decks. Kevin is a ceramic and glass artist and his studio will be open for the tour.

J Heilman loves to garden and describes his garden as 'madness.' “It’s a beautiful acre of madness created with numerous found objects, a multitude of plants and trees, and an arboretum-worthy magnolia," said Ann Schenking, member of the DeWeese Ridgecrest Civic Association Executive Board and the Garden Tour organizing committee. 

The self-guided tour will be held rain or shine. Tickets are $10 each; children under age 12 are free. The tour begins at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton. 

>> 4 Dayton greenhouses that will take your house (or yard) from drab to fab

"I think the tour could take 2-2½ hours depending on how long one lingers in each garden," Schenking said. "Most visitors will want to drive from garden to garden. While in the same neighborhood, some of the gardens are separated from each other by a few blocks. Biking from garden to garden is doable." 

In concert with the garden tour, the neighborhood’s annual Art in the Garden Affaire will also be held on June 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2919 Ensley Ave. The event is a few blocks from the last stop on the garden tour. 

"The Art Affaire serves complimentary food and beverages. We have some wonderful raffles, including original artwork, and this year, a 'Night on the Town' with some wonderful restaurant gift cards, and two season tickets to the Dayton Playhouse for the 2018-19 season," said Carlene Maynes, the DeWeese Ridgecrest Civic Association’s Arts Ambassador and the founder of the Art Affaire. 

Maynes estimates around 30 local artists will be participating with work on view. 

"The garden tour and Art Affaire are great ways to experience a slice of our beautiful neighborhood. On the garden tour, visitors can gather gardening ideas and marvel at the gardening efforts of our garden hosts. At the Art Affaire, visitors can support our local artist community and enjoy some free food and drink," said Schenking. 

Contact this contributing writer at 



What: DeWeese Ridgecrest Civic Association Garden Tour and Art in the Garden Affaire 

When: Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Seven homes in the DeWeese Ridgecrest neighborhood. The tour begins by at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 1301 East Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton. 

Cost: Tickets are $10 each; children under age 12 are free. Funds raised from the garden tour are used to support the activities of the DeWeese Ridgecrest Civic Association. On the day of the tour, tickets can be purchased at the tour table at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark. 

More information: Call Geni Thurin at 937-902-8784 or visit

New Father’s Day Beer, Bourbon and Brunch event targets Dayton dads who like to eat AND drink

How  does a little BBB sound to celebrate your padre?

Justin White, the executive chef of The Wright Place and the Holiday Inn at 2800 Presidential Drive in Fairborn, is hosting a brand new Father’s Day Beer, Bourbon and Brunch at the hotel Sunday, June 17. 

>>  RELATED: Things to do with Dad  in Dayton that may make him actually like you 

There will be seatings at noon and 2 p.m. 

“We’re honoring dad with a special celebration highlighted by a few of his favorite things,” White said in a release. “Featuring bourbon-infused foods and drinks, local craft beer, live music and baseball, we have something for everyone in the family — but especially for dads.”


The brunch is $31 per adult. The cost is $24 for seniors and military personnel and $13 for children. 

Children age 5 and younger will be admitted free of charge. 

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Adults will receive a pint of Yuengling as part of the brunch. Brew from Warped Wing and Lock 27 will be available for purchase.

There will also be several hand-crafted cocktails using Stillwrights Bourbon, produced from the nearby Bath Twp. distillery Flat Rock Spirits. 

>> Dayton-area distillery to release two new bourbons  (May 11, 2016)


The meal includes bourbon-glazed ribs, mac and beer cheese, assorted smoked sausages and brats cooked in beer, Lemon Shandy-grilled bone-in chicken, bourbon baked beans, brisket sliders, salmon patties with cornbread stuffing and jalapenos, grilled corn on the cob with lime-Parmesan butter, and pecan bourbon pie.

>> The 12 best restaurants in Dayton


The hotel will raffle off Cincinnati Reds and Dragons baseball tickets during the day. Each adult will be entered to win. 


Call (937) 431-4631.

>> St. Anne’s Hill Historic District to host HUGE community yard sale this weekend

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

Women smashing their way into upcoming firefighter challenge 

Women are about to smash a glass ceiling, and it should come as no surprise. 

These ladies carry hammers and axes.

Jake Preston, the organizer of the annual Hunks and Ladders calendar, said this year’s Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Challenge will be co-ed for the very first time. 

>> RELATED: Here’s how to get your hands on a hot ‘Hunks and Ladders’ firefighter calendar for 2018

That means female firefighters will battle for glory at the event set to start at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at The Greene, 4450 Buckeye Lane in Beavercreek. 

Preston said he is excited to have ladies included in the fund-raiser.  

“Why not let our sisters in the fire and EMS services take a crack at it?” he said.  

Firefighters try to woo the crowd as one-by-one they compete in an obstacle course during the challenge. 

The event also will include a performance by the band Stranger, beer sales and other activities. 

Funds raised at the free event and from sales of the 2018 Hunks and Ladders calendar benefit A Special Wish Foundation Inc., Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial Association and Pink Ribbon Driven.

>> This 10-year-old Dayton cancer survivor's special wish? He wants to dance with Ellen 

Preston is searching for this year’s competitors. 

The fitness challenge is open to all Ohio firefighters. 

Audience members and judges — this writer included — will help select the top 12 firefighters for the 2019 Hunks and Ladders calendar.

A champion will be belted and receive a $1,000 travel gift certificate. The second-place winner will receive a $500 gift certificate and the third-place winner will receive a $250 gift certificate. 

>> PHOTOS: Art Ball 2018, Dayton’s red carpet night

Hunks and Ladders was started in 1987 as a fundraiser for the burn unit at Children’s Hospital. 

The 1988 calendar was Hunks and Ladders’ first. 

All 118 firefighters featured in the project’s 30 years are featured in this year’s calendar, which is on sale now at the Dayton Firefighters Credit Union, 338 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton. 

The calendars also will be sold at the combat challenge in July.  

Through the years, Hunks and Ladders firefighters were recognized by talk show host Oprah Winfrey and appeared on Phil Donahue’s national show. 

 >> MORE: How Phil Donahue accidentally made broadcast history in Dayton

The first combat challenge was held in 2015. 

Want to go?

WHAT: Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge

WHEN: Begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21

WHERE:The Greene, 4450 Buckeye Lane, Beavercreek

COST: Free 

INFO: or Facebook

PHOTOS: Summer concerts we can’t wait for at Fraze Pavilion

Summer concert season is officially under way. Here are some of the biggest and best acts coming to Fraze Pavilion in Kettering during the summer of 2018.

Folks behind one of Dayton’s most beloved festivals now serving lunch TODAY 

You don’t have to wait until the dog days of summer to enjoy the tastes of one of Dayton’s favorite festivals. 

Dayton Liederkranz-Turner, the German club behind Germanfest Picnic set for Aug. 10, 11 and 12 at RiverScape MetroPark, introduced a new Monday lunch a week ago. 

Patricia Kister, a loyal member of the club located at 1400 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill historic neighborhood, hipped us on to the lunch and even shared a few pics.

>> PHOTOS: Fall Bier Fest 

The lunch to be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays—today included — is open to the public.

Carryout meals are available.

The menu includes brats, metts, schnitzel with gravy and a host of Germantastic sides like red cabbage, potato salad, noodles and of course sauerkraut. 

>> Carillon Park cancels German festival in wake of backlash

The club will also have weekly specials, according to a post on its Facebook page. 

Today’s special is rouladen /rotkraut and spätzle. 

On June 18, the club expects to serve linse and spätzle with a salad as a special.  On June 25, it will be  weiß wurst with a pretzel.

Prost to that! 

>> RELATED: Bacon — and a lot of it — key to beloved Germanfest Picnic dish


What: German lunch 

Where: Dayton Liederkranz Turner, 1400 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill historic neighborhood

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays. 

Price: Most meals are $7.50 to $12.50

Contact: FacebookWebsite 

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.

>> PHOTOS: Art Ball 2018, Dayton’s red carpet night

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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