NEW RESTAURANT: Opening date set for local couple’s Nutmeg Cafe in Washington Twp.

Nutmeg Café, a restaurant and coffee shop founded by a local wife-and-husband team, will open on Tuesday, March 9 on State Route 48.

The new eatery is located in a 1,400 square-foot space at 9166 Dayton-Lebanon Pike in Washington Twp., just south of Centerville, in a retail center that includes China Dynasty restaurant and a Sherwin-Williams paint store.

“We’re really excited to serve the area and to offer something unique,” Erin Russ, co-founder along with her husband Bill of Nutmeg Café, said Monday afternoon while showing off what will be the region’s newest independent restaurant when it opens next week. “We want to offer a break from the world.”

Nutmeg Café has no televisions, just some soft background music, to accompany a breakfast, brunch and lunch menu and specialty coffee beverages that will be served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays.

With COVID-19 restrictions, the café seats 12 now, but that number will expand to 18 to 20 after social-distancing restrictions are lifted, Russ said.



The menu includes Broccoli Cheddar Quiche, Chicken Pot Pie, Ham & Cheddar Quiche, salads, soup and panini-style sandwiches as well as bakery items such as cookies, pastries and tortes. The coffee menu features Espresso, Macchiato, Cappucino and Latte, as well drip, pour-over and cold-brew coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea and iced tea.

Erin Russ said she expects the Cinnamon Knot pastry to emerge as the café's signature item. Her husband Bill confided, “I prefer the almont torte, myself.”

Russ says a love of cooking combined with positive experiences while traveling abroad helped drive the Washington Twp. couple to launch their own European-style café.

Russ said her husband’s travel to Europe and other worldwide destinations through his work for a government contract company played a role in the couple’s decision to launch Nutmeg Café. She attended culinary school at the Connecticut Culinary School (now Lincoln Culinary) while the couple was living in Connecticut, and she also worked at an Italian restaurant there, developing and overseeing the restaurant’s fresh-pasta program.

Her husband grew up in Cincinnati, and his job recently brought him back to southwest Ohio from Connecticut.

After the couple’s relocation to Washington Twp., Erin Russ worked for several months at Boosalis Café in the Cross Pointe Centre in Centerville prior to the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted her to review her life’s goals. With her husband’s encouragement, she decided to write up a business plan for Nutmeg Café “and make a dream a reality,” Russ said.



Nutmeg Café will open with five employees.

The restaurant has already caught the attention of passersby who are anticipating the café's opening.

“Quite a few people have stopped by,” Russ said. “They’re excited to have a new espresso option, and they like the food menu and the fact that everything is made in-house.”

For more information, check out the Nutmeg Cafe Dayton Facebook page.

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