Three Birds restaurant will have ‘neighborhood feel’ Carmel’s brought to Dayton

Owners plan to source ingredients locally.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The Idea Collective, a hospitality development company that owns Sueño and Tender Mercy in downtown Dayton, is expected to open a new restaurant by the end of 2024 in the former space of Carmel’s Southwest Bar & Grill.

Three Birds will feature New American cuisine with a variety of items on the menu such as smash burgers, rotisserie charbroiled chicken, corn dog shrimp and salads.


Our reader's choice contest is back! Click here to nominate and help us choose our finalists

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Honoring a legacy

About a year ago, the owners of the Idea Collective were connected with Bob Byers, the former owner of Carmel’s Southwest Bar & Grill, by mutual friends when they had heard he was thinking about retiring.

“That’s a legacy type of opportunity that you just don’t pass up. It’s so rare. It’s so special,” said Chris Dimmick, who owns the restaurant with David Kittredge, Ginger Roddick and Chef Jorge Guzman.

Credit: Jon Morton Studios

Credit: Jon Morton Studios

When they came to Dayton in 2016 to open Sueño and Tender Mercy, Carmel’s Southwest Bar & Grill was a place they went to often.

“It has a romantic connection to it as one of the first places we frequented as we were getting acclimated in town,” Dimmick said.

Roddick, who fell in love with the spot pretty quickly, had even said early on that it would be a great spot to have one day.

At 68 years old, Byers retired and sold the property after 17 years.

“I was not yet eager to sell, but as we talked, I realized this group will continue the great tradition of everyday value and hospitality that began at this location in 1955,” Byers previously wrote in a statement on Facebook.

“We certainly respect Bob’s legacy as a restaurant operator in Dayton. He’s had so many amazing concepts that touched so many peoples’ lives in this town, so we definitely don’t take that lightly,” Dimmick said. “As part of this generation of restaurant folks, we’re going to do things a little bit differently. There’s going to be change.”

Breathing new life into the space and honoring its history

After closing on the property in November, the Idea Collective started working with Moda4, a Dayton design & architecture firm, and Level MB, a construction firm in Troy, to see how they could fit their new restaurant concept into the space.

“The majority of our time so far has just been spent trying to make this concept fit into that building and honoring what’s there and protecting it,” Dimmick said. “We love the challenge of breathing new life into something that has history.”

This will be the fifth iteration of a restaurant in the space and they want to honor its original era of being built in the 50s in a mid-century modern kind of way.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The building is currently gutted. Kittredge said they had to strip it to the bones to see what was structurally possible. By doing so, they uncovered several positive surprises such as old brick and stone under the wood, exposed joists and high beams and a lot more natural light than they previously expected.

They are looking forward to preserving the bones to what it was when it was the Parkmoor and adding their own flair.

“The original design for that building actually won architectural awards when it was built as the Parkmoor,” Kittredge said.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo


The majority of the demo is done. In the next two to four weeks they should be able to submit for permits and begin expanding the kitchen space by 800-square-feet.

They are also working with local investors to help make this restaurant happen.

“We have a great team of local investors that helped us get Sueño and Tender Mercy off the ground,” Dimmick said. “They’ll have the first opportunity to participate in this and we’re actively working to put this opportunity in front of a collection of folks that we didn’t get to meet the first time.”

The owners are hopeful they will be able to open Three Birds by the end of 2024.

What to expect at Three Birds

“The main thing we want to protect and continue to honor is that neighborhood feel where you can come in after work, you can come in with the kids, you can come in off the bike path in whatever clothes you’re wearing, in whatever mood you’re in and have a great meal and experience,” Dimmick said.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The owners knew early on they wanted the restaurant to be neighborhood-driven and a place for everyone. This is reflected in the menu featuring New American cuisine.

The core menu featuring smash burgers, rotisserie charbroiled chicken, corn dog shrimp and salads will be available for lunch and dinner. The restaurant will also have a seasonal menu giving their culinary team the opportunity to be creative.

The smash burgers on the menu pays homage to Kittredge’s Oklahoma roots.

“There’s not really anybody in town that I’ve seen yet doing the version that we are going to do,” Kittredge said.

He described the smash burger as being a simple five ingredient burger featuring local beef, quick pickles made in house, salt, pepper and American cheese, topped with thinly shaved, sweet onions and served on a bun.

Another unique item, the corn dog shrimp, is something Kittredge and Roddick saw at a friend’s restaurant in Austin, Texas and they wanted to put their own version of it on the menu.

Three Birds does have plans to source its ingredients locally from places such as Oak & Ember Farms.

What’s behind the name?

The name of the restaurant is a reference to the Bob Marley song “Three Little Birds.”

“Throughout our ups and downs in this process of launching this restaurant group in Dayton, in the middle of the pandemic, whenever we would be feeling down a little bit or be facing some adversity, Ginger would play this song in the office or share it in the group text to kind of pick us up and remind us to stay positive and remain optimistic.”

They plan to bring that same positive energy to this new restaurant concept.

Sticking to their roots

The Idea Collective prides itself on creating a foundation for their employees to learn, grow and in some cases move on to open their own businesses. This new restaurant concept will allow their team to challenge themselves and grow as professionals.

They already have a local leadership team lined up for the restaurant, but plan to hire many more team members. They hope to staff 40 to 50 people for lunch and dinner at least five days a week.

Dimmick recalled when they were planning to open Sueño and Tender Mercy that their motivation was to bring something they’ve seen and enjoyed in other parts of the country to Dayton. As they’ve evolved in life, this time around they were looking to bring something more family-oriented to the area. Dimmick now has two children and wants to add engaging elements in the restaurant that will speak to kids and challenge what’s possible with a kid’s menu.

From young families moving into the area to those that have been anchoring the Patterson Park neighborhood for decades, Three Birds will carry on the tradition of being a neighborhood staple.

“Every opening is fun, but I think for us it goes back to the season of life that we’re in, the opportunity to be a part of those great neighborhoods and bringing something new that makes people feel inspired and prideful,” Dimmick said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The Idea Collective is in the process of rebranding its hospitality development company to RoomService.

More details

Three Birds is located at 1025 Shroyer Road, near the Kettering and Oakwood borders.

The restaurant does not have any social media pages set up just yet, but they are coming soon. In the meantime, those interested in updates on the new restaurant are encouraged to follow Sueño (@suenodyt) or Tender Mercy (@tendermercydyt) on Instagram and Facebook. You can also subscribe to a mailing list at or

About the Author