New owners take over beloved Italian restaurant after 10 years, plan to build on its success

An independent Kettering restaurant that was founded in January 2008 has new owners who intend to keep the name and build on the restaurant’s success.

Palermo’s Restaurant at 2667 S. Dixie Drive was sold by its founder, Mefail “Meef” Demnika, to brothers Maher and Marwan Yadak on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

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Palermo’s Restaurant in Kettering is under new ownership. MARK FISHER/STAFF (Staff Writer)

Maher Yadak, who will manage the restaurant, told this news outlet that he intends to keep the “Palermo’s” name and its menu of Italian favorites, including pizza and pasta dishes such spaghetti bolognese, veal parmigiana and lasagna.

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“This place has an excellent history, and it has been established for 10 years,” Yadak said. “It’s a family restaurant serving homemade food. You can’t beat that.”

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Plans call for adding a few new menu items, updating and improving the restaurant’s dining room and kitchens, and launching delivery, Yadak said. After the first of the year, the restaurant will considier opening on Sundays, the new restaurant co-owner said.

Fried Calamari Spumoni ice cream and Veal Marsala at Palermo's Italian Restaurant in West Chester. GREG LYNCH / STAFF (Greg Lynch)

Yadak has 17 years of experience owning, managing and working in restaurants in Texas, and his brother Marwan is the franchise owner of a Subway sandwich restaurant in east Kettering.

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Demnika had announced earlier this year that the restaurant was for sale, and that he wanted to explore other business opportunities.

Look up the term "comfort food" in the dictionary, and there should be a picture of Palermo's Stuffed Shells. File photo (HANDOUT)

He has owned or operated Italian restaurants in the Dayton area for more than 15 years, starting with La Pergola on East Dorothy Lane in Kettering, which now houses an Arepas Colombian Comfort Food restaurant; and Toscani’s (later Arthur’s) on Bigger Road in Kettering, which now houses Seajax Tavern.

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In 2006, while he was operating La Pergola, Demnika’s pizza was crowned by the Dayton Daily News’ LeadBelly Boys the best in the Dayton area. He went on to open Palermo’s in Januaury 2008.

Palermo’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday.

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