A Dayton fried-chicken restaurant that was forced to change its name after running afoul of another restaurant’s trademark shut down in February, but its owner, who is involved in hurricane relief in Florida, says he will seek to reopen in a new location this fall.
Customers of Old Dayton Style Dixie Fried Chicken at 2920 Wayne Ave. in Dayton were greeted in late February with a sign that reads, “We are closing. Please look forward to our new location in the spring.”
The restaurant’s owner, Gary Keller, told this news outlet he would like to open a successor restaurant “in about six months, probably before the fall.” He will look first in the Kettering area, Keller said.
A combination of factors led to his decision to close, Keller said. He owns a disaster-recovery business and is providing hurricane relief in the Panama City, Florida area, doing mold-remediation work and water-damage repair to structures in the area damaged by last year’s Hurricane Michael. And business at the Wayne Avenue restaurant was slow, and was not sufficient to sustain the business, Keller said.
>> BEST OF DAYTON 2018: The best cup of chili in the Gem City
“Our food was excellent, but it was the location,” Keller said. “There was no parking. It was not a good business deal.”
>> WORTH THE DRIVE: Monsters, dragons and unicorns take over COSI
The restaurant triggered a trademark dispute when it initially hung a sign proclaiming itself "Ms. Pam's Parkmoor Style Dixie Fried Chicken" in December 2017, just as it was opening. That restaurant name prompted a swift "cease-and-desist" order from an attorney representing Fricker's, the local restaurant and pub chain that has taken steps to register and protect the "Parkmoor" name for fried chicken, Ms. Pam's founders said.
>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: New Dayton eatery's 'Parkmoor' name triggers trademark dispute
As a result, Keller capitulated by covering up, with duct tape, the “Parkmoor” name on the sign in front of the restaurant near Belmont High School. The restaurant eventually morphed into Old Dayton Style Dixie Fried Chicken.
>> RELATED: 8 classic Dayton-area restaurants that we miss
In December 2017, Keller made it clear in an interview at the restaurant that he still believed his fried chicken tastes better — and more true to the flavor of the original recipe served at the Dayton-area Parkmoor restaurant chain — than any other version that he had tasted. But he said he would do as the cease-and-desist letter demanded, to avoid a legal battle.
“I didn’t want to spend $60,000 in court and lose,” Keller said at the time. “They have the rights to the name, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
>> RELATED: ‘Chicken Wars’ break out in Dayton area with opening of several new restaurants (January 2017)
In its heyday in the 1960s, Parkmoor operated more than a half-dozen restaurants in the Dayton area, and at least 10 more elsewhere in Ohio and in Michigan and Indiana. The fond memories of Parkmoor chicken is evident in a long, nostalgia-filled thread of comments on DaytonHistoryBooks.com.
The Frickers restaurant in Huber Heights started serving Parkmoor Chicken in 2009, according to a Dayton Daily News column by Dale Huffman published in August of that year.
>> RELATED: Famous Parkmoor chicken on the menu of local restaurant (August 2009 Dale Huffman column)
The restaurant’s 2,000-square-foot space previously housed Oaked and Smoked, a deli that specialized in smoked salmon; a New York Pizza shop; and Tony’s Italian Sausage.
About the Author