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Build your own potatoes, pasta dishes and hot dogs for $5 at downtown restaurant’s new lunch buffet

You know what might just pair perfectly with your next glass of chardonnay or cup of Joe? A $5 buffet deal. 

Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar, 46 W. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton, launched its $5 lunch buffet special Friday. 

So far, Juanita Darden-Jones, the business’ owner, says things have gone swimmingly. 

>> This little dive bar in Dayton has a FREE hot dog bar

“We are just trying to attract some of the businesses that are around here and give people a reason to come over,” she said. “It is a lot of things that taste good.”

The buffets will be available 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. three days a week. 

A potato bar will be featured Mondays, a pasta bar Wednesdays and a hot dog bar Fridays. 

The potato bar’s fixing include cheese, butter and sour cream. 

Third Perk’s much-beloved chili is included on the hot dog bar.

There will be two types of pasta on the pasta bar and extras that include marina and Alfredo sauces, vegetables, meatballs, bread and salad. 

>> Downtown bar starts hot dog bar

Jones said the buffet is ideal for those in a hurry. 

“You don’t have to wait for your meal to be prepared,” she said. 

Opened in June 2015, Third Perk recently celebrated its third anniversary. 

>> RELATED: Dayton coffee shop to celebrate new liquor license with cocktail party (Aug 18, 2017)

Jones said she is excited about the possibilities that will come downtown with the coming opening of the Levitt Pavilion nearby at in Dave Hall Plaza. 

>> RELATED:  Complete lineup of 2018 concerts at the brand new Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton 

The Pavilion will offer 34 free concerts Aug. 9 through Oct. 7 by a list of musicians known locally, nationally and internationally playing a range of music that includes jazz, rock, blues, folk, R&B, country, pop, world and children’s music. 

Here’s how you can get FREE lasagna from Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Starting today through July 1, Carrabba’s Italian Grill is offering a free lasagna deal when you buy one of three signature dishes.

>> Elsa’s owner: New restaurant ‘won’t look like your parents’ Elsa’s’

HOW IT WORKS

Choose from wood-grilled Chicken Bryan, savory Chicken Marsala, or creamy Pollo Rosa Maria. With your purchase, you can take home an order of lasagne for later. This special can be found on their Carrabba’s Today, Carrabba’s Tomorrow menu. 

>> Eat at Milano’s at special event this week and support a good (and muddy) cause

>> Local KFC closes dining room for extensive renovation 

NEARBY LOCATIONS

900 Miamisburg Centerville Rd., Washington Township

IF YOU’RE TRAVELING

3949 Trueman Blvd., Hilliard

5152 Merten Drive, Mason

8460 Lyra Drive, Columbus

7500 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati 

Lily’s Bistro celebrates 5 years with porky feast including candied bacon & bacon fat beignets

One of Dayton’s favorite farm to table eateries, Lily’s Bistro, will celebrate its 5 year anniversary this week with “The Whole Beast Feast”

The restaurant’s chefs brought in a whole hog from Keener Farms this week and have been breaking it down and utilizing all of the parts respectfully and resourcefully, according to a press release sent to this news organization. 

>> NEW DETAILS: Luke Bryan local farm concert dropped

“This is going to be a ‘nose to tail’ meal, which means we’ll be utilizing every possible part of the animal...” Emily Mendenhall, owner of Lily’s Bistro said.

>> 5 things to know about and what to try at Lily’s Bistro  

“We'll start with a local whole hog from Keener Farm that we will be butchering in house, and the menu will have everything from house stuffed sausages to pressed terrines and candied pork belly with bacon fat beignets.”

“A lot of people can be intimidated by things they haven’t tried before, and we’re hoping to help people understand that just because you haven’t had something doesn’t mean it’s not delicious,” said Executive Chef Jansen Trotman of Lily’s Bistro. 

>> This classic restaurant is celebrating 40 years with EPIC parties “I was born in Trinidad, and one dish I’m very excited about is based off a traditional ‘souse,’ which is a dish that uses pickled components like cucumbers along with parts of an animal that are overlooked in some cultures. I’ll be using the pork knuckle from around the trotter of the hog as well,” he said. 

>> Your guide to Dayton-area food truck events in June

In addition to Thursday’s The Whole Beast Feast, 5-year anniversary celebrations continue with Happy Hour specials all night long on Friday, June 22, and Rum Night on Saturday, June 23, featuring special cocktails and the Sailor Jerry Girls giving away merchandise.

Then, on July 12, Lily’s will host a counterpart 6-course dinner that is entirely plant-based for vegetarians and vegans. 

>> Lily’s Bistro makes menu changes -- focus on creative cuisine 

The Whole Beast Feast costs $49, which includes tax and tip, and takes place at Lily’s Bistro on Thursday, June 21 at 6 p.m. Bar Manager Amber Brady is also planning an optional $14 craft beer pairing to spotlight a number of local and Ohio-made beers.

Want to go?

WHAT: The Whole Beast Feast at Lily’s Bistro

WHERE: 329 E. 5th St., Dayton 

WHEN: Thursday, June 21 at 6 p.m.

TICKETS: $49 (includes tax and tip) purchase via Eventbrite

INFO: Facebook

FOOD NEWS: 18 months after opening, chicken chain shuts down one of its Dayton locations

Less than two years after it opened, a restaurant known for its spicy chicken has closed one if its Dayton-area locations. 

>>RELATED: ‘Nashville Hot’ chicken coming to Austin Landing, Centerville  (Sept 26, 2016)

The Mike’s Nashville Hot restaurant at 6230 Far Hills Ave. (Ohio 48) in the Shops of North Village retail center in Centerville is closed, employees at that location and the Mike’s Nashville Hot restaurant in Austin Landing told this news organization.The Centerville location opened Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. 

The 2,700-square-foot restaurant is next to a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop that opened in May 2014.

>> Opening day today for new Mike’s Nashville Hot in Centerville (Jan 30, 2017)

When it opened, the Centerville Mike’s location had seats for about 72 and employed about 40. 

This news organization is attempting to reach owner Mike Craddick and left a message seeking additional information from the management team at the Austin Landing location. 

Customers are being directed to the Austin Landing location. 

>> RELATED: 11 places to grab some amazing fried chicken in Dayton

The best places to go to stay cool (and have fun) in this sweltering heat

Sunshine and soaring temperatures. 

This week is going to be HOT — check out the forecast here from our partners at WHIO/Storm Center 7.

Here are a few ways to cool down and have fun during a heat wave.

» Heat Advisory in effect today as heat index reaches around 100 degrees

» How to prevent heat-related and life-threatening illnesses during extreme heat

» How quickly heat can kill your child or pet

1. SWIMMING POOLS

From fearless toddlers to fitness-minded seniors, a dip in the pool is a fun (and healthy) way to pass the day. The instant cool-down you feel when diving into a pool is hard to beat.

>> 4 places to go swimming in Dayton you may have forgotten about

2. INDOOR PLAY

When the air is too thick and the temperatures are too high to head outside for play, indoor fun saves the day. From recreation centers to laser tag to art studios, Dayton and its surrounding cities are full of kid- (and adult-) friendly activities that’ll keep you cool and entertained indoors.

>> Your guide to indoor play spaces close to Dayton

>> 40 things to do (indoors) in Dayton when it’s sweltering

3. WATER PARKS

Nothing says summer quite like having a blast on an epic water slide, floating on a lazy river and bobbing in a wave pool. Dayton is surrounded by water parks, including the recently opened Aqua Adventures water park at Land of Illusion.

>> 7 waterpark adventures a short drive from Dayton

>> Where to paddle in Dayton and what to know before you go

4. VISIT A MUSEUM

Air conditioned and full of wonder, museums are a great educational alternative to uncomfortable outdoor play. Outstanding archives and collections have enabled Dayton to offer the community many ways to explore its arts, culture, history and heritage. Take your pick from aviation to local history and beyond, and it can all be found here.

>> 12 museums you must explore in Dayton

>> 4 reasons Dayton moms love the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

5. ENJOY A FROZEN TREAT

From creamy custards to crunch-laden cones, frozen treat establishments around Dayton are ready to shake, scoop and soft-serve all the frozen treats you need to beat the heat and chill out.

>> These are the best-loved small town ice cream shops around Dayton

>> Here are some of our favorite places to grab some yummy ice cream

6. SPLASH PADS AND SPRAY PARKS

Cool fun isn’t limited to the pool as the area has many parks with water play features.

RiverScape and Island MetroParks both have water play areas. Interactive water features can also be found in community parks throughout the Miami Valley including Dayton, Centerville, Oakwood, Kettering, Fairborn and Huber Heights. Bonus: splash pads and spray parks are free.

>> 4 breathtaking waterfalls near Dayton to visit

>> Your guide to Dayton area spray parks

How do you beat the heat? Share your ideas with us at contact@dayton.com

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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Elsa’s owner: New restaurant ‘won’t look like your parents’ Elsa’s’

The co-owner of Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant has a message for prospective customers of his new cantina-style restaurant in the Sugarcreek Plaza off Wilmington Pike.

“This doesn’t look like your parents’ Elsa’s,” Jason Hemmert said. “And we didn’t want it to be your parents’ Elsa’s.”

>> RELATED: Elsa’s also eyeing a new location in Springboro

Hemmert has nothing against tradition, but the newest Elsa’s, which will be called Elsa’s Corner Cantina, ups the game a bit for the locally based Mexican chain. If all goes well, the Corner Cantina will make its debut in mid-July.

BEST OF DAYTON: Elsa’s wins for Best Margarita

The space at 6204 Wilmington Pike in the Sugarcreek Plaza previously housed Caramella’s Italian Kitchen, and, before that, Murphy’s Irish Pub and Barleycorn’s. But it has been renovated extensively. 

RELATED: Centerville strip mall demolished next to Elsa’s

The new restaurant will seat 135 inside and another 50 or so on a breezy patio. There are 30 large-screen televisions inside, and another five on the patio, Hemmert said. And perhaps most important: The original Elsa’s “Bad Juan” margarita will be available on tap

>> RELATED: Dayton area’s 5th Elsa’s gearing up to open in Sugarcreek Twp.

The kitchen will start off with a fairly straightforward Elsa’s menu, but down the road, will produce specials that, if they prove successful, will find their way onto Elsa’s menus elsewhere, Hemmert said.

RELATED: Elsa’s Kettering reopens today after 3-week makeover

Elsa’s operates four restaurants and sports bars in and around Dayton: the original location on Linden Avenue in Dayton, on Wilmington Avenue in Dayton, on Far Hills Avenue in Centerville, and on East Stroop Road in Kettering.

The restaurant will employ as many as 50, and is still hiring back-of-the-house help, Hemmert said.

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.

Eat at Milano’s at special event this week and support a good (and muddy) cause

Epilepsy Foundation is going to get down and dirty — in a Mudpocolypse. 

>> Local craft beer festival returns after 5-year hiatus 

Before things get messy, the foundation is taking over Milano’s in the greater Dayton region to raise funds.

>> Strap on your lederhosen and get ready to polka at this free festival

On Wednesday, June 20, present the official 2018 Mudpocolypse event flyer at any Milano’s restaurant, and Milano’s will donate 20% of the amount of your order to Epilepsy Foundation.

>> Celebrate Taco Tuesday with tacos and Latin Jazz at Fraze Pavilion 

>> Help wanted: Oregon District restaurant rising from ashes and is now hiring

See the Facebook event page for more details (and to access the flyer).

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

You can also register to participate in the epic volleyball for epilepsy event, Mudpocalypse, online. There will be 265 teams competing on 35 courts in one day. Prices to register increase July 1. 

>> De’Lish Cafe is closing for good -- and is going out with a bang

Milano’s are located at: 

• University of Dayton, 1834 Brown Street, Dayton, 45409 

• Miami Township, 9572 Springboro Pike Miami Township 45342 

• Beavercreek, 2260 N. Fairfield Rd, Beavercreek 45431

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

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