Fairborn restaurant reopens after complete makeover

The remodeled restaurant inside the Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn at 2800 Presidential Drive near Wright State University has reopened with a new name and a new focus on local sourcing of menu ingredients and beverages.

The Wright Place — formerly known as McKenna’s Grille — even has an on-site “Chef’s Garden” from which vegetables and herbs will be harvested.

The restaurant shut down for four months during renovations and reconstruction, and opened “softly” last month, a spokeswoman for The Wright Place said today. The 140-seat restaurant is now fully open to the public for lunch and dinner.

The new restaurant’s design and decor pay homage to the region’s aviation heritage as the birthplace of flight and include custom stainless-steel aircraft cables and large-scale hangar doors made from reclaimed wood and riveted panels reminiscent of an aircraft hull.

The 203-room Holiday Inn Dayton Fairborn hosts a large number of military reunions because of its proximity to the National Museum of the United States Air Force and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and attendees of those events have a strong interest in Dayton’s history and aviation heritage.

“We’re looking to bring this region’s past to life,” Justin White, The Wright Place’s executive chef, said in a release. “At the same time, our food connects with the modern world through local farms and the people behind them.”

>> RELATED: New Fairborn restaurant to partner with Carillon Brewing

Menu ingredients that are not sourced on-site will be obtained from farms within a 100-mile radius, restaurant officials said. Entrées range in price from $8 to $22, and include items such as:

• Huffman Prairie Salad, featuring mesclun mixed greens, heirloom tomato, grilled zucchini, wheat berries, roasted red pepper, feta, toasted almonds, and a sweet herb vinaigrette;

• Local Pulled Pork Sandwich with barbecue sauce on a pretzel bun with pickles and red onion;

• Wilbur Burger consisting of Angus beef, Ohio cheddar, fried egg, candied bacon, lettuce, tomato and red onion, served on a brioche bun.

White’s 22-year culinary career has included serving as executive chef of Jay’s Restaurant in Dayton as well as the Dayton Country Club. He helped lead The Wright Place to earning first place for “Best Entree” at the 2016 Taste of Greene County event held in April at Wright State University for Ahi Tuna Tacos with Jicama Slaw and Sriracha Aioli.

The Wright Place announced in June it will carry a rotating selection of Carillon Brewing Company’s beers, which are made in the brewery on the grounds of Carillon Park in Dayton. The facility was built to replicate a mid-19th century-era brewery, and uses many recipes that are specific to that era.

For more information or to make reservations at The Wright Place, call (937) 431-4624.

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