The Dayton area’s most nationally acclaimed chef has told her customers she would like to return to the Dayton area and open another restaurant after a hiatus.
Anne Kearney, chef and co-owner of Bar Dumaine in Washington Twp., said in an email to her followers that she intends to “get the word out on a professional food-industry level to secure a JOB for the next 18-24 months or so,” after she shuts down Bar Dumaine effective July 2 and completes some private-event commitments.
“I dream of returning to Dayton in the late summer-early fall of 2019 in order to set up shop again and make great food happen in Dayton once again,” Kearney wrote.
Bar Dumaine, which was known as Rue Dumaine for more than nine of its 10-year stint at 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, remains open daily for lunch and dinner through Sunday, July 2.
On June 9, Kearney announced her restaurant would shut down “due to circumstances beyond our control.”
She urged her customers to “Help me to say goodbye to this fine establishment by showing us your support as we ‘ride the wave to the shore.’”
“The details of our demise are known to many, but ultimately we have run the course of our lease and were unable to come to a mutually-agreed-upon resolution in order for us to stay at this location,” Kearney wrote.
“Yes, my heart is broken. I will somehow find a way to mend and I hope in my efforts, I will be able to create a space for you to join me again for a great dining experience,” Kearney wrote. “I will keep all of you posted on when and where this journey takes me next and ultimately how I intend to get myself back to Dayton so I am able to feed you once again.”
But until then, Kearney said, “I will likely take a respite from the owner/operator world to delve, discover and develop new culinary related skills.”
Kearney and her husband, Tom Sand, both of whom grew up in the Dayton area, opened Rue Dumaine in 2007. It changed its name to Bar Dumaine, expanded its hours and tweaked its concept in February 2017.
“During the past 10 years, I have grown to love my hometown of Dayton with greater appreciation,” Kearney wrote. “The quality of people that have become part of the (Rue Dumaine and Bar Dumaine) crew has been pleasing for this childless woman.
“The farming community that has collaborated with me to bring quality, locally grown products to the table has been a rewarding experience, I am blessed for their efforts, I will miss those relationships.
“Our guests, you will not be forgotten; some of you I truly consider family. I have come to know many of you beyond a name and a face.”
The terms of Rue Dumaine’s lease at its current location were the driving force behind the decision in spring 2016 to cut back on the restaurant’s hours and reduce costs.
The restaurant’s owners signed a lease in 2007 that called for the restaurant owners to be responsible for paying any increase in property taxes that occurred during the life of the lease, Kearney said at the time. A decision by the Montgomery County Board of Revision following re-evaluation of the retail center greatly increased the assessed value of the property, which in turn triggered a substantial property tax increase that cost Rue Dumaine more than 70 percent more in taxes each year, she said.
“Despite my efforts and the efforts of many to find the right place to relocate, we have come up empty-handed,” Kearney wrote.
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.
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.
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 and her husband owned and operated the highly regarded Peristyle restaurant in New Orleans.