BREAKING: Caramella’s Italian Kitchen shuts down after 4 months

Caramella’s Italian Kitchen — a full-service restaurant that replaced Murphy’s Irish Pub in the Sugarcreek Plaza in November 2016 — has closed its doors permanently less than four months after it opened, co-owner Scott Anderson told this news outlet today, March 6.

“We shut down yesterday,” Anderson said. “We will not reopen.”

Anderson said lackluster sales prompted the decision to shut down. The Andersons decided in 2016 to replace Murphy’s Irish Pub, which they had owned and operated since 2014, with a full-service Italian restaurant, which Anderson said was envisioned to fill a market niche. The restaurant opened on Nov. 18, 2016.

“I thought we had a great concept, great management, a great chef — but it just never got traction,” Anderson said.

RELATED: The Dayton area’s newest Italian restaurant opens tomorrow (November 2016)

Unused gift cards and gift certificates for Caramella's will be honored at the other restaurant Anderson and his wife Candace own, Paddy's Irish Pub in south Centerville, Anderson said.

Paddy’s Irish Pub remains open “and is doing fine,” Anderson said. About five or six of the 20 employees affected by the closing of Caramella’s will join the staff of Paddy’s, which will allow the Irish pub to open on Mondays and become a seven-days-a-week establishment, Anderson said.

Road construction in the Sugarcreek Twp.-Centerville area that shut down Clyo Road for an extended period last year seemed to permanently impact business, and competition from nearby chain restaurants, especially Cheddar’s, also cut into sales, Anderson said.

“I tried,” Anderson said. “We tried our hardest to stay open. We put a lot of money into it. But as an independent, it’s hard to compete against deep pockets.”

The space at 6204 Wilmington Pike was home to Murphy’s Irish Pub from May 2014 to November 2016. It previously housed a Barleycorn’s restaurant and sports bar.

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