For 24 years, there has been a Cadillac Jack’s Sports Bar & Grill (or three) somewhere in the Dayton area. They didn’t stay in the same place, or even operate under the same name sometimes, over that quarter century, but there has always been at least one Cadillac Jack’s in the region.
But not anymore. The last Cadillac Jack’s still operating, at 1156 Kauffman Ave. in Fairborn, has shut its doors for good, and even as a locally owned barbecue restaurant prepares to relocate to the former sports bar space, an electronic crawl sign in front of the bar was still giving an emotional send-off to the founders, Billy Joe Deck and his wife Denise.
“Thank you Billy Joe & Denise for all the memories. Love you. -- Staff, and loyal customers,” the sign reads.
The closing marks the end of an era that began in 1995 when the first Cadillac Jack’s opened on Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights. Additional locations followed at 2335 S. Smithville Road in Kettering and at the Fairborn location in the Skyway Plaza before the end of the decade.
>> RELATED: Beavercreek Cadillac Jack's morphs into Caddy's Tap House (September 2014)
Later, the latter two sports bars closed and/or relocated to Beavercreek across from the Mall at Fairfield Commons and on Ohio 741 south of the Dayton Mall. Both of those locations morphed into Caddy’s Tap House by 2016, but both had shut down by mid-2018.
The Fairborn Cadillac Jack’s was re-branded as Hangar 18 Drinking Joint & Hangout in early 2014, but customers didn’t think much of the idea, and Deck returned the Cadillac Jack’s name after about 18 months. The move boosted sales almost immediately, Deck told this news outlet at the time.
Efforts to reach Deck Wednesday night and this morning were unsuccessful. But the Fairborn space won’t stay empty for long.
Jason McGee, founder of Crossroads BBQ & More at 1888 Colonel Glenn Highway in Fairborn, said Wednesday he is planning to relocate his restaurant to the former Cadillac Jack’s this spring.
>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Crossroads BBQ & More to open in Fairborn (October 2014)
McGee, a Fairborn native, and his wife Lauren opened Crossroads BBQ in 2014.