New vegan restaurant set to open Labor Day weekend in Dayton

A vegan restaurant that will specialize primarily on breakfast, brunch and lunch — plus a “guest-chef” dinner service every Sunday — is poised to open Labor Day weekend in Dayton.

“Cafe 1610,″ located in the District Provisions building at 521 Wayne Ave., is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. Its three founders are Xtine Brean, who has operated the vegan food truck Om Nom Mobile Cafe and has served as food-services coordinator at Central State University, who will oversee the restaurant’s kitchen; Molly Blackshear, a Dayton native who will oversee the restaurant’s front-of-the-house operations; and Blackshear’s mother, Cathy Mong, a former Dayton Daily News reporter who retired from the newspaper in 2006 after 26 years, who will coordinate an in-house delivery service.

“We are all enthusiastic vegans, but that’s not what this cafe is all about,” Brean told this news outlet. “Our target market is people who are not vegan. We will show them that vegan food is not flavorless, and it is not boring.”

The menu includes Jelly Donut Pancakes; Churro French Toast; a “Grits Bowl,” with barbecue soy curls, braised mixed baby greens and carrot bacon atop creamy grits; “Cactus Tofu Scramble” with nopales and sauteed onions with seasoned tofu, served with roasted potatoes and guacamole; Breakfast Tacos with tofu scramble, “soyrizo” and roasted potatoes topped with shredded vegan cheese in a grilled corn tortilla; and Bionico Fruit Salad, with apple, pear, papaya, bananas, strawberry and cantaloupe swirled with crema topped with granola, coconut and walnuts.

All items are packaged to go, although limited seating is available. Delivery service will be added soon, the restaurant’s founders said.

Blackshear, 34, said she joined the venture in part because, “During the pandemic, those who are in my age group have had time to sit and think and reflect on what’s important and what we should be doing with our lives. We know now that life is short. You have to go after what you want and what makes you happy.”

Cafe 1610 will operate out of the market-style space in the northwest portion of the District Provisions building, also known as the Dietz Block building, built in 1886 at Wayne Avenue and Jones Street. The building has housed Crafted & Cured, Grist Provisions and Glasz Bleu Oven. The founders of Cafe 1610 said they signed an initial four-month lease that will help them gauge the community’s interest in supporting a vegan restaurant at the site.

Mong, who has been vegetarian for 52 years and vegan for four years, said, “We’re going to see if all the vegans we know, and their friends, and their friends’ friends, are willing to put their money where their mouths are, and we’ll know that by the end of the four months.”

Cafe 1610′s Hours will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday.

For more information, check out the restaurant’s Facebook page at, call 937-815-1610 or email

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