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Lily’s Bistro has planned a Renaissance FEAST, topped off with fire-eating, sword-swallowing and more

Hear ye, hear ye! Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District has planned a feast only worthy of Daytonian royalty — although it won’t cost your last gold coin.

Lily’s Bistro is hosting “thee” Renaissance Feast, a Renaissance dining experience complete with performers from thee Ohio Renaissance Festival, the Pickled Brothers Circus. The entertainment will follow the three-course feast with sword-swallowing, bed of nails, jokes and “weather permitting” fire-eating. 

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“With the days getting shorter and weather beginning to cool, RenFeast sets a hearty seasonal banquet table fit for a king and queen,” said Emily Mendenhall, owner of Lily’s Bistro.

>>Asian restaurant in Kettering closes after 10 years, will relocate

The RenFeast full menu includes:

-Red Ale and Ox Tail Pottage in a bread bowl 

-Braised Wild Boar Ribs, potato cakes, roasted root vegetables, honey mead demi-glace 

-Apple Tansey with lemon custard

Attending the RenFeast costs $35 (including tax and tip) and includes the three-course feast and evening entertainment. “Additional meals and specialty cocktails will be available to purchase with $1 off if you come dressed in costume.”


WHAT: Lily’s Bistro RenFeast

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27

WHERE: Lily’s Bistro, 329 E. 5th St., Dayton



Wesleyan MetroPark in Dayton is about to grow, with new amenities including bike trail connections

Fixed on one of the Great Miami’s most scenic waterways is Wesleyan MetroPark, a surprisingly natural escape within Dayton’s urban territory. It’s about to get a lot bigger.

Five Rivers MetroParks recently closed a land acquisition deal that secured the expansion of Wesleyan MetroPark by 45.8 acres. The added space includes ponds, new accesses to portions of Wolf Creek and opportunities to connect existing sections of the Wolf Creek bike trail.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Five Rivers MetroParks wants to increase the size of Wesleyan MetroPark

>>HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: Dayton park’s charming bridge offers a breathtaking view


The land was purchased from Calvary Mission Church through a Clean Ohio conservation grant and also, a “significant” donation from the church. 

>>Your guide to fall festivals around Dayton

“Calvary Mission Church dreamed of this green space becoming a destination where the community could enjoy the outdoors,” said Eric Sauer, MetroParks planning manager. “By incorporating this space into an existing MetroPark, we can expand park amenities and connect trails, in addition to activating the space and making it accessible to the community, which is what the church envisioned.”


The addition of the new green space will be handled with careful planning by the MetroParks, according to a MetroParks press release. Over the next several months, the land will be cleaned up and entrances will be selected to “ensure neighborhood pedestrians have access to the area.”

Until a site plan is completed, rangers will monitor the area, which will be considered a MetroParks’ conservation area. Designated conservation zones within the MetroParks are managed to create a habitat for plants and wildlife to take precedence. 

Wesleyan MetroPark is located at 1441 Wesleyan Road, Dayton and is one of Five Rivers MetroParks’ 18 “clean, safe parks.” 

DLM Bakery just unveiled a brand new brownie that has everything going for it, literally

Dorothy Lane Market is at it again.

The ooey gooey, moist and rich brownies that just cannot be turned down have a new member of their family. DLM just announced their newest brownie variation, Kitchen Sink Brownie Bites. 

>>New KILLER flavor of Dorothy Lane’s famous Killer Brownie hits store shelves

>>Ribbon-cutting today for new cake shop/bakery near Austin Landing

>>DLM’s Killer Brownies capture national favorite-food contest

They’re dangerously snackable, with “colorful sprinkles, M&M's and mini chocolate chips, all mixed into layers of a traditional brownie and a blonde brownie”-- then baked to perfection.

“When dreaming up a name, we just kept coming back to Kitchen Sink Brownie Bites because this brownie truly has everything but the kitchen sink in the best of ways,” said a Dorothy Lane Market spokesperson. 

Kitchen Sink Brownie Bites are now available at all DLM Bakery locations. Visit Dorothy Lane Market’s website to find your nearest DLM.

Ribbon-cutting today for new cake shop/bakery near Austin Landing

A ribbon-cutting and grand opening for the Dayton area’s newest specialty bakery are scheduled for today, Sept. 19.

Representatives of the South Metro Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Miami Twp. Board of Trustees and Miami Twp. administrative staff will be on hand at 11 a.m. today for a ribbon-cutting and grand opening at “Nothing Bundt Cake” at 9632 Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) in the Shoppes at the Exchange retail center north of Austin Landing. The 1,728-square-foot space previously housed Indian Rasoi restaurant.

>> BRAND NEW, STILL EMPTY: The ‘ghost’ IHOP in Vandalia sits vacant 8 months after it was built

The bakery sells tiered cakes, “bundtlet” towers, and more sizes and styles of bundt cakes. The franchise bakery is locally owned and operated by Jeff and Renee Hall.

>> NEW TODAY: Meet our Daytonian of the Week, the founder of Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory

As part of the grand opening week, on Friday, Sept. 21, 20 percent of cake sales will be donated to BOGG (Because of God’s Grace) Ministries, a Miami Twp.-based charitable organization that provides food, clothing and other essentials to people in need. And on Saturday, Sept. 22, the new bakery will award “Free Bundtlets for a Year” (one per month for 12 months) to the first 50 guests starting at 9 a.m., and will host a Family Fun Event from noon to 2 p.m.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Nothing Bundt Cake to open between Dayton Mall and Austin Landing

Renee Hall told this news outlet that she became a fan of the Nothing Bundt Cakes concept — and its cakes — through frequent visits to a franchise-owned Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery on Mason-Montgomery Road in the Mason area. 

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“I fell in love with the product,” Hall said. “And I love their business model and their culture.” 

The bakery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

>> RELATED: New restaurant announced in first project of Dayton Mall plan

Nothing Bundt Cakes was founded in 1997 and is now headquartered in Addison, Texas, near Dallas. The company operates more than 200 bakeries in 32 states, offering bundt cakes in a variety of sizes and flavors.

National Cheeseburger Day: We tried a new veggie option at Five Guys and were happily surprised 

Today is National Cheeseburger Day and we understand that not everyone is going to want to participate in this meaty day of celebration. 

There’s a non-beef, veggie option unveiled at Five Guys earlier this year that is a great alternative for anyone going out to dinner tonight with their patty-loving companions. 

>>Here’s where to get FREE and cheap burgers in Dayton for National Cheeseburger Day

The Veggie Sandwich is not a veggie burger patty like you might expect. It’s a thick layer of grilled mushrooms slid in between two buns with green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions and cheese. Sound boring? Not quite. I was surprised at how complete the mushrooms made the sandwich and how filling my meal was despite missing a traditional patty. 

>>GUIDE: Best burgers in Dayton

Ordering this alternative burger will also save you a bit of change. It costs $3.39 at most locations. The veggie sandwich is about 280 calories without cheese and 420 with cheese. However, trust that the cheese holding together all that mushroom flavor is well worth the extra numbers. 

>> Here’s where to get the very BEST burgers in Dayton

PRO TIP: A little smear of Five Guys’ BBQ sauce added with a few pickles was surprisingly a great decision. Visit the restaurant's website for a complete list of Five Guys locations in our area.

Schnitzel, sausage and spätzle on local brewery’s menu all month long for ‘Loktoberfest’


Can’t wait for Oktoberfest in Dayton? You can get your taste buds ready for the EPIC German celebration at Lock 27 Brewing during the entire month of September. 

>>It’s officially Oktoberfest season: Here are the best celebrations near Dayton

The brewery is serving a German-style menu daily and hosting special events on the weekends at both of its locations during ‘Loktoberfest.’

Take a look at some of the mouthwatering German specialties on Lock 27’s menu right now: 

🍺 Bretzel Lock 27 spent grain Pretzel

This big-as-your-face pretzel is more than enough to share, but even more delicious if you keep it to yourself. Lots of seasonings and whole grain mustard make the experience of eating it a textural bliss. 

>>TAKE A LOOK: Smales gets brand new sign with GIANT pretzel

🍺 Schnitzel 

The schnitzel was hands-down, our favorite dish that we tried on the menu. The pork cutlet was perfectly tender and crispy and served alongside braised red cabbage and whole grain mustard. 

🍺 Sausage

The sausage special was another German classic, and will feature different varieties of sausage depending on what’s available during the month. It was served traditionally with sauerkraut, roasted potatoes and whole grain mustard. 

>>LOCAL BREW: Start your Oktoberfest celebration early with Warped Wing special beer release

🍺 Spätzle 

This dish packs a 1-2 punch with tender, German-style spätzle (or noodles) served alongside Lock 27’s Pork Rouladen. 

🍺Special Beers

Wondering what to pair all this delicious German food with? Locally brewed, German-style beer, of course! Lock 27 has two on tap right now: the Marzen Oktoberfest and the Towpath Kolsche

They also have a few special guest taps for the occasion: Riegele DunkelRiegele Privat and Paulaner Hefeweizen. 

>>RELATEDFor Germany and Dayton, Riegele brewery connects people through beer

Well, what are you waiting for?! Get down to Lock 27 and Guten Appetit


What: Loktoberfest

When: German-style menu served daily during the month of September. Stein holding competition on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. Traditional Oktoberfest on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m.

Where: Both Lock 27 Brewing locations


Dayton Dragon’s Plaza, 329 E 1st St, Dayton


1035 S Main St, Centerville

Info: WebsiteFacebookInstagram

BRAND NEW, STILL EMPTY: The ‘ghost’ IHOP in Vandalia sits vacant 8 months after it was built

A sign inside the new IHOP restaurant that was built last winter on Benchwood Road in Vandalia advises diners to “Please Wait to Be Seated.”

They have been waiting, all right. For about eight months now, in fact. 

While three other Dayton-area IHOPs are bustling with activity, the Dayton area’s fourth new IHOP sits empty. From every indication, the restaurant is ready to make its debut. Tables are all in place, chairs are stacked neatly atop the tables, the parking lot is smooth and striped.

The brand-new-but-still-lifeless restaurant has puzzled Vandalia city officials and local business leaders and frustrated potential diners. 

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“We do receive inquiries about it every week,” said Will Roberts, president and CEO of the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce. “The community wants an opportunity to dine there. People are anxious. They’d like to see it open.”

A spokeswoman for IHOP corporate told this news outlet Friday, Sept. 14 that she had no new information regarding the store’s opening. The store was to be franchisee-owned-and-operated.

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Teo Regalado — the franchisee for the three other relatively new Dayton-area IHOP restaurants in Huber Heights, Beavercreek and Springfield — said in an email that he is not the franchise owner-operator for the Benchwood/Vandalia location.

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

A spokeswoman for Las Cruces, New Mexico-based PDG/Prestige Development Group, the company that has acted as area developer and has overseen construction of the other three Dayton-Springfield IHOPs, told this news outlet in January that the restaurant was scheduled to open in early February. In late January, the spokeswoman revised the opening date to mid-March. In mid-April, the same spokeswoman said, “I don’t yet have a date” for the restaurant’s opening.

>>GUIDE: 7 places to eat breakfast for dinner in Dayton

Vandalia officials have said they have not been notified of the reasons for the delay.

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

“We do get the occasional inquiry as to why the restaurant has not opened yet, but at this point the only thing we can tell them is that from our perspective, they are good to go, and internally, they’re working through whatever issues they have to be able to open,” Rich Hopkins, a spokesman for the city of Vandalia, told this news outlet last week.

>>RELATED: You can now get Ohio’s favorite sweet treat in pancake form

When the restaurant at 3324 Benchwood Road near the Miller Lane/York Commons development does open, IHOP will have doubled its Miami Valley footprint since last summer as part of the chain’s re-entry into the Dayton-area market. The Huber Heights IHOP opened in September 2017 at 7611 Old Troy Pike.  

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

IHOP opened the first of what had been projected to be as many as seven IHOP locations in the region in October 2015 on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, and the second restaurant followed 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 three decades ago.

>>GUIDE: 6 must-try Dayton diners

Basil’s on Market dishing out three courses of comfort every Monday

Every Monday night at Basil's, you can feast on a Prime Rib Dinner Special.


The tender, juicy prime rib entree starts with a salad and comes with a baked potato and seasoned vegetables, and ends with a decadent dessert.

This three-course meal is $25 and available in limited quantities.


What: Prime Rib Monday night special at Basil’s on Market




18 N. Market Street 

Troy, OH 45373 



312 N. Patterson Blvd. 

Dayton, OH 45402 



5650 Tylersville Rd. 

Mason, OH 45040

Cost: $25 as quantities last

More info: Website | Facebook

Need a culture fix? 6 area museums will open their doors for free visits on Museum Day 

Smithsonian magazine would like you to be their guest at a local museum. 

Museum Day is an annual “celebration of boundless curiosity” according to The organization will provide free admission for two people at museums across the country on Saturday, Sept. 22. 

Participating cultural institutions can be found on the website and participants can download one ticket per email address.

For more information about Smithsonian magazine Museum Day:

These are the six sites in the Miami Valley participating in the event: 

Garst Museum and the National Annie Oakley Center 

The Greenville museum is an authority on famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley, the Treaty of Greenville and Lowell Thomas, a broadcast journalism pioneer. 

More info:

>> RELATED: The perfect time (and place) to learn about the life of famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley

WACO Air Museum 

This museum, located in Troy, tells the story of the WACO Aircraft Company and its employees. The company was the largest manufacturer of civil aircraft in the country. 

More info:

>> RELATED: 7 nearby places to lose yourself in amazing history and beautiful art

National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center 

Ohio and the nation’s African American history, art and culture are celebrated at this museum in Wilberforce. Among the collection is a pair of tap shoes donated by the dancer, musician and actor Gregory Hines and the typewriter used by author Alex Haley. 

More info: 

Springfield Museum of Art 

This museum has a permanent collection of 2,000 works of American art with a focus on Ohio artists. Currently landscapes from their collection and The Woods in Color: Works by Jean Koeller are among the artworks on display. 

More info: 

Harmon Museum and Art Gallery 

The history and art museum is located in a historic, three story house in downtown Lebanon. It contains paintings, decorative arts and the Warren County Historical Society Historical Research & Genealogy Library. 

More info:

>> RELATED: Here is the unseen history at one of the country’s first African-American museums

Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum 

The museum celebrates the impact the railroad had on the land through photos, interactive displays and railroad memorabilia. A children’s area has interactive play exhibits and a Thomas the Train set and outside visitors can see a switching station in action. 

More info:

PODCAST: Bill Castro on squid, horses and how his family has served Dayton the world on a plate for 40 years 

You can lead a horse to water, but can you convince it to eat squid?

Amelia Robinson talked to Bill Castro for the latest episode of the “What Had Happened Was” podcast. 

Bill and his family have been serving the world up to Dayton for more than 40 years at their restaurant, El Meson, at 

903 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton. 

>> El Meson’s 40th birthday celebration continues with four more epic anniversary events

Bill talks about being raised in West Carrollton by the Hispanic Ward and June Cleaver and how his family’s business grew from a pizza joint to one that serves the tastes of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. (Yep, some dishes include squid.)

The accomplished horse rider tells Amelia how legendary Dayton Daily News food critic Ann Heller changed the game for the restaurant now located partly in the former site of a barbershop and a famed dark and dingy biker bar.

Do you remember the pork tenderloin at Pett’s? 

>> Related: What you should know about Bill Castro

El Meson got its start in 1978, under the leadership of  Bill’s parents, Herman and Gloria Castro.

Now the third generation of the family is learning the ropes and the paella from Bill’s husband, chef Mark Abbott.

>> RELATED THROWBACK: The top 10 Dayton-area restaurants of a quarter-century ago


Get the latest episodes delivered directly to you. Find it on Apple Podcast (iTunes)Google PlayStitcher and other services. 

If you like what you hear, rate this podcast. 


“What Had Happened Was” is a podcast for Dayton, powered by You won't believe the stories that come from right here. Host Amelia Robinson shares the best tales from the Gem City, Land of Funk and Birthplace of Aviation: Dayton, Ohio. 

This podcast is brought to you by Cox Digital Marketing


Episode 17:

Henrique Couto, the ‘weird’ filmmaker behind the Salvador Dali-ish moustache

Episode 16: 

Inside Dayton’s 1992 Christmas Killings 

Episode 15: 

Daytonian who gave ‘Black Panther’ his claws talks about learning from Madonna, pet-sitting and couch surfing to make her dreams come true

Episode 14: 

Dayton gridiron hero LaVar Glover on walking away, playing golf and building bridges after the NFL

Episode 13: 

Dayton’s mysterious walled falls, a phantom driver and how Dayton became the ‘Gem City’


Episode 12: The Fosters’ Sherri Saum on super hot husband and having her magazines confiscated in Kettering

Episode 11: Radio pioneer and DCDC leader on burning crosses and fighting for herself

EPISODE 10: Tom Archdeacon talks Miami vices, wedding rings and LeBron’s mom 

EPISODE 9: Cackle vs. Cancer — the world with Alexis Larsen and Kristen Wicker

EPISODE 8: Dead in Dayton — a mayor trapped in a brothel, a former slave claps back, and a gypsy queen cliffhanger

EPISODE 7: Tusks, Fireball and belly shirts with the magical McKibben Brothers

EPISODE 6: Sweet sticky things with John “Turk” Logan

EPISODE 5:  Watch for 10,000 ‘leprechauns’

EPISODE 4: The Yellow Springs vagina tree’s knobby side

EPISODE 3: All funked up with Ohio Players’ Diamond Williams

EPISODE 2: Bourbon, Beards and Joe Head

EPISODE 1: The Rubi Girls explain

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