The local restaurant scene has been particularly lively this summer, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down this fall.
In the last week, we brought you news of two restaurant closings, four soon-to-be openings, and one re-opening after a lengthy convalescence by the restaurant’s owner.
Here’s a restaurant wrapup for this week:
• SG 75 Gastropub, formerly the Soooo Good Bar & Grill, at 75 N. Main St. in downtown Springboro, has closed and has been sold — although the former owners say the new owners are planning on reopening the restaurant soon. Owners Jim Hadfield and Shawnette Hixon-Hadfield opened the restaurant in February 2013 as Soooo Good Gourmet Cafe.
• The Subway sandwich restaurant at 5847 Far Hills Ave. in Washington Twp. shut down just prior to last weekend, and by the time we learned about it last week, all of the signage was gone, and white construction paper lined the windows. Our attempts to reach the franchise owner were unsuccessful. There was plenty of competition along the Far Hills Avenue (Ohio 48) corridor through Kettering, Centerville and Washington Twp., including Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, a Firehouse Subs, and even another Subway restaurant in the 3000 block of Far Hills Avenue north of the closed restaurant. A Jersey Mike’s sub shop is also nearby.
• New downtown Dayton restaurant Table 33 hosted an open house from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7 in conjunction with the city of Dayton’s “First Friday” event. But hungry diners will still have to wait just a wee bit longer to explore the restaurant’s menu. Co-founder Chris Harrison told us last week that, “We will actually take a week following the open house to gather ourselves and start doing limited hours and menu starting Oct. 17.” It took the founders a little longer than they expected to staff the restaurant. Initially, plans call for Table 33 at 130 W. Second St. to open only the bakery and bar part of the restaurant, followed several weeks later by the full-service restaurant portion of the business.
• Bibibop Asian Grill is gearing up to open in late October or early November and is how hiring for its first Dayton-area restaurant at 1200 Brown St. near the University of Dayton campus. Rachel Newbury, spokeswoman for the fast-growing Columbus-based chain with a Korean-inspired menu, said Bibibop officials expect to hire a crew of about 40. The restaurant will seat about 100 and will occupy two suites, 135 and 140, that are located across a breezeway from an existing Potbelly Sandwiches. The retail strip also includes Fusian Sushi, El Rancho Grande and Smashburger. And the popular local food truck Zombie Dogz is preparing to open a restaurant next door to Bibibop.
• Old Scratch Pizza, the independently owned restaurant in the works at 800 S. Patterson Blvd. in Dayton, will open to the public on Oct. 18, co-founder Eric Soller told us just Friday. Soller cautioned that the restaurant will be in a soft-opening mode for the first week, serving about 90 percent of its dine-in menu, and will not offer carry-out orders during the first week. The restaurant will specialize in Neopolitan-style pizza cooked in wood-fired ovens that reach an interior temperature of 800 to 1,000 degrees and can cook a Naples-style pizza in two minutes or less, Soller said. The 125-seat pizzeria and beer hall will have communal seating at picnic-style tables and a casual, open environment. It will feature a variety of craft beers on tap.
• The Kettering-based pizza chain that has DEFINITELY lived up to its name “Rapid Fired Pizza” is coming to Middletown. “We feel Middletown is a great community and have been looking for a location within walking distance of Towne Mall and looks like we finally found it,” co-founder Ray Wiley said in a release announcing the new site at 3589 Dixie Highway. The restaurant will be owned and operated by franchisees Kevin and Zach Ketring, who have been in the business for years and own other restaurants. The new restaurant is expected to open before the year ends, with seating for 86, according to this news story from my colleague Mike Rutledge.
• And last but CERTAINLY not least: Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand — which has been shut down while gregarious owner Rick Volz recovered from surgery — will reopen for lunch on Tuesday, Oct. 11, after a four-and-a-half-month layoff. It will be open again on Wednesday and Thursday this week and will follow the same hours next week, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If all goes well, Volz will start opening on Mondays as well. The popular eatery at 4668 Springboro Pike in Moraine closed in May, just prior to its busiest summer months, when Volz entered the hospital for foot surgery. At the time, Volz was hoping the layoff would last for only a few weeks. But the surgery was more extensive than anticipated, and the recuperation has been frustratingly slow, Volz told us. He advised customers to phone in their orders at (937) 299-1440.
We hope Rick returns to mid-season form quickly — and we suspect he will!