Daytonian of the Week: Elizabeth Wiley

6:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 5, 2017 What To Do
Elizabeth Wiley. SUBMITTED

Elizabeth Wiley first made a name for herself at The Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs before opening Meadowlark on Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp. in 2004. Seven years later, she moved Meadowlark to Far Hills Avenue in Washington Twp., then went on to open Wheat Penny Oven & Bar on Wayne Avenue in Dayton in 2013. Most recently, she became co-founder of SageCraft Catering and Events.

In other words, her plate is full — and it would be difficult to overstate the impact Wiley has had on the Dayton-area dining scene. And for those reasons and more, Elizabeth Wiley is our Daytonian of the Week this week. Here’s a peek behind what makes the 59-year-old chef/owner of Meadowlark Enterprises tick.

Driving a pontoon boat full-throttle on Indian Lake; sitting in a front-row seat at a Rubi Girls Show; and visiting any covered bridge in Greene County.

You can go urban to rural in 15 minutes. You can happen onto a sunflower field in the summertime. The reasonable cost of living makes a dream more possible to achieve for people of all ages — like opening your own restaurant!

It wasn’t really a decision, I just drank the water … .

Staff Writer
Elizabeth Wiley, founder of Meadowlark and Wheat Penny restaurants. File photo/submitted

My aunt and uncle opened a restaurant in Olathe, Kansas and hired a retired Army Chef to run the kitchen. I got a summer job there, and the rest is history.

Beverage: A big, cold Gin Martini with lots of blue cheese olives

Food: Thick, crunchy, freshly fried tortilla chips and good salsa

Music: The fact that I rarely listen to anything put out after 1985

Unconditional love and an outsider’s perspective on life as we know it.

• High-speed rail linking the cities in Ohio, including Dayton and Springfield!

• The Final Four instead of the First Four, perhaps?

• More direct flights to and from the Dayton airport. My stomach clenches at the thought of connecting at O’Hare!

Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, 515 Wayne Ave., now offers a full summer patio. Photo source: Facebook

Whatever life may be like in the future, I know we can count on Dayton to be itself, calm and down-to-earth, with a foundation in hard work and a good sense of humor to get ourselves through the thick and the thin.

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