Downtown Dayton café renamed for new owner’s 7-year-old autistic daughter

Ohio Coffee Co. transitions into Phebe’s Cafe in the Fifth Third Center

His family was a driving force behind Lonnie Sholar’s decision to purchase the coffee shop and cafe that he had spent a couple of years managing in downtown Dayton.

And his family also was the driving force behind Sholar’s decision to rename the business.

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The Ohio Coffee Co., on the first floor of the Fifth Third Center at 1 S. Main St. in downtown Dayton, has morphed into Phebe's Cafe, named for Sholar's Sholar's 7-year-old daughter, who has autism.

“She has come a long way,” Sholar said of his special needs daughter, and renaming the cafe for her is a fitting tribute.

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The cafe and coffee shop has remained open during the transition, and will hosted a grand opening in Nov. of 2018 to formally introduce itself to downtown workers and residents.

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Sholar told this news outlet that a regular Monday-through-Friday-only, early-day schedule was appealing “because I will get to spend time with my kids.” He purchased Ohio Coffee Co. from former owner Rob Gray two months ago, but Sholar has worked at and managed the shop for about two years, he said. Previously, Sholar served as chef at Hawthorn Grill, a full-service restaurant that operated in Kettering for seven years before shutting down in July 2017.

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Phebe’s Cafe will serve soups, salads and sandwiches, all made from scratch, in addition to an array of coffee beverages, Sholar said. The new owner said he will boost the selection of grab-and-go items for downtown workers and residents.

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There will be daily sandwich and soup specials. Those specials earlier this week included a “Kermit's Delight” sandwich, described as “thin-sliced, bone-in ham with thick sliced bacon, melted cheese, our house-made honey dijon, with romaine lettuce, roma tomato, and sauteed onion, served on grilled sourdough bread.” The soup of the day was chipotle black-bean soup, “to help warm you up.”

The newly renamed cafe and coffee shop will be deeply involved in community and charity events, including but not limited to fund-raising events for autism research, Sholar said.

The grand opening will include specials and giveaways that Sholar said he is still formulating.

Phebe’s Cafe’s hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. The kitchen closes at 2:30 p.m., but the coffee bar stays open until 3 p.m.


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