Let’s start at what promises to be one of the epicenters of restaurant activity in the region: the area in and around the Mall at Fairfield Commons and Wright State University.
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Flyby BBQ, a new and independently owned restaurant that got its start on the local food-truck circuit, is gearing up to open at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek. The new restaurant will be located between the existing Fusian and Bravo Cucina Italiana restaurants near the mall's front entrance.
“As of right now, we expect to open the first week of February,” the restaurant’s founder, 21-year-old Fairborn native David Butcher, told this news outlet yesterday, Jan. 9.
The 2,550-square-foot space will seat about 75 inside and another 10 on a patio, Butcher said. The restaurant should have its wine and liquor license by opening, and has plans to expand its alcohol offerings to include cocktails later, the restaurant’s founder said.
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Flyby will be a fast-casual barbecue restaurant with an ordering system similar to Chipotle. It will serve signature barbeque sandwiches, bowls and platters featuring hickory-smoked meats, a variety of toppings, and regional American barbeque sauces. A vegan option of pulled barbecue jackfruit will be available. The restaurant also will feature homemade comfort-food-style side dishes, banana pudding, craft beer and sodas.
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Plans call for continuing the Flyby BBQ food truck, which will focus on larger festivals and food-truck rallies, Butcher said. The new restaurant will donate all of the proceeds from food sales on opening day to three local non-profit organizations.
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“I’m excited about this,” Butcher has said. “I’ve always had a passion for business and entrepreneurship. But moreso, I have a passion for great food shared with great company, and Flyby is where these passions come together to create something truly special.”
Black Rock Bar & Grill
An outlot in front of the Mall at Fairfield Commons will soon be the home of a new 280-seat restaurant, the first in the Dayton area from regional chain Black Rock Bar & Grill.
"We are hoping for an early March opening," Caleb Ward, spokesman for the restaurant's franchise owners, told this news outlet this week. The property formerly held a Don Pablo's Mexican restaurant, which closed its doors in September 2016 and was demolished last year to pave the way for construction of the new 8,200-square-foot restaurant.
“I don’t think you could ask for a better location,” Ward told this news outlet late last year of the Fairfield Commons space in Beavercreek.
The new restaurant will employ 115 to 125, Ward said. The Michigan-based chain operates a dozen locations in Michigan and Florida and one in the Toledo area.
Black Rock Bar & Grill serves entrees on a 755-degree volcanic rock, allowing diners to cook their meals to their liking. The entrees range from steaks, scallops and shrimp to hot dogs.
“The diversity of our menu is our strength,” Ward said. “And we serve everyone, whether you’re wearing a business suit to flip-flops. We cater to everybody.”
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
The area in and around the Cornerstone of Centerville development also has attracted several new-to-the-market restaurants in recent years, and if all goes well with the upcoming construction season, it will add one more late in the year: Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant.
Plans call for building a 281-seat, 11,750-square-foot restaurant on a 2.1-acre lot on Cornerstone North Blvd.
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“Weather pending, we should be open just in time for the holiday season,” Cooper’s Hawk marketing manager Ami Vanderhoof told this news outlet this week.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant operates a location in Liberty Center in Butler County as well as two other Ohio restaurants in Cincinnati and Columbus, and is putting in another new location in suburban Cleveland.
Each Cooper’s Hawk includes an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private barrel-aging room, and Napa Valley-style tasting room and retail gift store. Founded in Orland Park, Ill., in 2005, Cooper’s Hawk now has more than two dozen locations nationwide.
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Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern, Panda Express, CoreLife Eatery, and Which Wich Superior Sandwiches are among the restaurant chains that chose Cornerstone of Centerville to make their Dayton-area debuts.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on a large new La Pinata Mexican Restaurant at 9505 Dayton-Lebanon Pike (Ohio 48) and Sheehan Road in south Centerville. The new restaurant will replace the La Pinata Mexican Food restaurant that is located in a retail center a couple of blocks to the north of the new venture.
The independently owned restaurant will open “ideally in late January or early February,” its owners told this news outlet earlier this week.
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The new stand-alone restaurant is at the intersection of Sheehan Road and Ohio 48 at the site of a former Coldwell Banker location.
Plans show the new restaurant will have an outside patio that will seat 36 and the inside will seat 127. It will also include a tequila bar, its owners have said.
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Centerville is becoming an epicenter of sorts for Mexican restaurants. It now has six, with another on the way.
There were two significant developments over the summer. Rancheros Cocina Mexicana in the Cross Pointe Centre opened its doors on Aug. 20, and El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill confirmed plans to open a new restaurant in the Centerville Square Shopping Center at 894 S. Main St. in south Centerville without closing any of its other locations.