Restaurants we miss: Grub Steak served Dayton diners for 50 years

Last week, we asked readers to tell us which Dayton-area restaurants they miss while featuring 10 beloved Dayton restaurants that are no longer with us.

By far the one mentioned most, with dozens of submissions, was The Grub Steak.

Here’s more on its history.

Also, we need your help. Click here to jump to a form at the bottom of this page and let us know what other restaurants you miss, so we can feature them in the future.

How did it start?

The Grub Steak Restaurant was founded in 1963 by Joe Bissett at 1410 North Main Street in Dayton. The small bar and grill grew into a full-service restaurant.

In his 1994 obituary, it was said that Joe Bissett had a special table and would be in the restaurant nearly every day mixing with friends, customers and his employees.

The food

The restaurant’s house specialty was its “Royal Ribs,” which came in three entrée sizes from $11.95 to $16.95. But the “Royal Ribs” weren’t actually ribs but rather strips of boneless pork loin seasoned and slathered with a choice of tangy barbecue or slightly sweeter Mandarin sauce. Wooden skewers were inserted into the pork to mimic a rack of ribs.

Steaks were cut on-premise and hot bread was made from scratch.

Other recommended dishes included the Chicken “Royale,” and side dishes broasted potatoes and the seven-layer Salad.

Famous salad dressings

“Take Home The Taste” was the tag line found on the restaurant’s line of specialty salad dressings. The restaurant made their own salad dressings and sold them in local grocery stores. The four dressings for sale included the house dressing, Creamy Garlic, Creamy Peppercorn, Sweet and Sour Italian and Thousand Island.



Grub Steak II

An additional location, called Grub Steak II, was opened in Beavercreek in 1994 at 2220 U.S. 35. That was the former site of the Cattlemen’s Restaurant. Bissett died just months later.

New owners

Grub Steak had been managed by Fred Fiebiger since 1977. Fiebiger and his wife, Sheila, purchased the restaurant in 1998. Later, Heather Wimberly became a co-owner.

A new location

In 2008, the original restaurant location, that was a fixture on North Main Street in Dayton for decades, moved to S. Alex Road near Ohio 725 in West Carrollton.

Credit: Staff photo/Jim Witmer

Credit: Staff photo/Jim Witmer

Why did it close?

The Grub Steak closed in 2013 after 50 years in business.

In a letter that was posted on the restaurant’s website at the time, owners Fred and Sheila Fiebiger and Heather Wimberly thanked customers and said, “There have been many businesses that have not survived the poor economic climate in recent years. Due to these bad financial situations, and the rising cost of our expenses, it has become necessary for us to close the restaurant.”

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