During the month of April, a food truck favorite opened a permanent spot, a new taco shop opened in Fairborn, a new Hot Head with self-pour alcohol made its official debut and a pizza giant closed one if its locations after opening three others.
Here’s a look at some of the Dayton-area restaurant highlights from April.
The new Wright Café in Vandalia has had “very good success since opening,” and is gearing up to expand its menu with seasonal offerings in the coming weeks, its owner says.
The new restaurant at 3324 Benchwood Road was built and equipped as an IHOP restaurant but never opened as an IHOP.
“We are a grass-roots type of concept with an outstanding menu where a family or group can get a very reasonable bang for their buck,” its founder Michael Dixson told this news outlet. “We are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have quick items on the menu if one is pressed for time.”
Hector’s Taco Shop
The first Dayton-area Hector’s Taco Shop — but not the last, its founder says — is now open in Fairborn.
The region’s newest Mexican restaurant is located at 1864 Colonel Glenn Highway, in space that most recently housed the Wright Wing sports pub.
Founder Hector Gonzales also is involved in the Dayton area’s Victor’s Taco Shop locations, and the restaurants share a similar menu. But Gonzales has added several menu items distinctive to his namesake restaurant, including a variety of tortas, or Mexican sandwiches, as well as sizzling fajitas, breakfast plates, a veggie quesadilla and other items.
A popular food truck, the Drunken Waffle, has a new permanent home in the Oregon District.
The eatery’s food will be available inside of Toxic Brew Company, 431 E. Fifth St., from 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
Drunken Waffle has partnered with Toxic since it opened. The business’ truck was set up outside of the brewery, and owner Beth Sparks and her staff have used Toxic’s beer in some menu items.
“Their beer complements our delicious waffles perfectly,” she said. “Good people, people, good beer, a match made in heaven.”
Neighborhood Fish and More
The Dayton area has a new seafood restaurant and market.
Neighborhood Fish & More opened April 8, at 6556 N. Union Road in the Meadowbrook Crossing retail center in Clayton.
The 4,000-square-foot restaurant has a dining room and also offers seafood to go, either cooked or fresh for cooking at home, said Neighborhood Fish & More’s founder, Leon Morris.
The opening-day seafood menu included four varieties of fish: catfish, cod, swai and red snapper.
Sides include collard greens, mac & cheese, baked beans, cole slaw and potato salad. Rotating dinner specials will include chicken wings, barbecue ribs, spaghetti and beef links, while weekend dinner specials will include gumbo and smothered pork steak. Desserts include sweet-potato pie and banana pudding.
Tudor’s Biscuit World
The Fairborn Tudor’s Biscuit World is now open for business.
The 2,500-square-foot breakfast-and-lunch restaurant at 130 N. Broad St. in Fairborn will seat 40 to 50 and will employ about 20.
The Dayton area’s first Tudor’s Biscuit World opened more than eight years ago at 810 W. Second St. in Xenia. Tudor’s Biscuit World is based in Charleston, West Virginia, and operates about 70 restaurants in that state, along with a handful in southeast Ohio and eastern Kentucky.
The first Dayton-area Jason's Deli opened Thursday April 4.
The new restaurant is located at 2819 Centre Drive near I-675 and North Fairfield Road across from the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.
ason’s Deli’s officials say their menu offers “healthy to indulgent meal choices for all tastes and appetites,” including specialty sandwiches, salads, wraps, paninis, muffalettas, pasta and potato dishes and 12 original-recipe soups. A vegetarian menu and a gluten-sensitive menu also are offered.
Hot Head Cantina
The new Hot Head Burritos Cantina and Mexican Grill in Centerville that made its official debut on April 15 offers something a little different from other Hot Head locations.
Diners can access a self-pour “wall of beer” system that will also include a handful of liquor options.
“Craft beer is all the rage right now,” Hot Head spokesman Jim Savakinas said, and the new system will offer customers a variety of options as well as convenience.
The restaurant at 6230 Far Hills Ave. boasts 27 taps.
Beer will flow from 19 taps, margarita options from three, and spirits such as tequila and bourbon will be available at five taps.
>> PHOTOS: Inside the new Hot Head Cantina
El Toro Mexican Bar & Grill
El Toro Mexican Bar & Grill will relocate its restaurant that is currently located across from the Dayton Mall to a former TGI Fridays up the street sometime this week, according to Enrique Alvarez, the chain’s district manager.
After final inspections, expected before the end of the week, El Toro will close down the existing restaurant at 2335 Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725) and open the next day at the former TGI Fridays restaurant at 2022 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in the South Towne Center.
Massaman Thai Cuisine
The owner of the former Siam Pad Thai told this news outlet that she is moving ahead with her plans to open a successor restaurant with a new name across from Marion’s Piazza in Dayton’s Patterson Park neighborhood.
Massaman Thai Cuisine will be located at 467 Patterson Road just west of Shroyer Road, and its name honors the curry dish that became a signature dish at Siam Pad Thai in Kettering, according to its founder and owner, Pakawan "Fon" Christman.
Massaman Thai Cuisine does not yet have a projected opening date, but will soon, Christman said.
Stacked Pickle, an Indianapolis-based sports-themed restaurant chain, is gearing up to open its first Dayton-area location, which will also be its first restaurant outside Indiana, in early May.
The restaurant is coming to 103 N. Springboro Pike (Ohio 741), in space that previously housed a Roosters restaurant and pub.
Roosters operated out of that location for several years before moving to the former Caddy’s Tap House/Cadillac Jack’s site at 9400 N. Springboro Pike in Miami Twp. in early January.
Established in 2010, Stacked Pickle is owned and operated by former Indianapolis Colts football player and Super Bowl Champion Gary Brackett.
Blue Crab Juicy Seafood
A former Max & Erma’s restaurant that more recently was home to two other restaurants will soon be reborn as a seafood restaurant, according to a banner in front of the eatery and the commercial realtor who had listed the property for lease.
“Blue Crab Juicy Seafood,” a restaurant with a full bar, is “coming soon” at 8901 Kingsridge Drive in Miami Twp. Skip Schafer of Commercial Realty Associates (CRA-Dayton) said a 10-year lease was executed for the space, but said the restaurant build-out probably would not be complete for several months.
For decades, the restaurant space housed a Max & Erma’s, which was, in its heyday, one of the most popular hangouts in the Dayton area. But Max & Erma’s closed the doors of that restaurant in 2009.
A local Pizza Hut shut down permanently, a few months after the Ohio-based local franchisee for the national pizza chain opened three new Dayton-area locations, a spokeswoman for the franchisee announced on April 9.
Employees of the restaurant located at 4388 Indian Ripple Road, in a strip retail center across from The Greene Town Center, were offered employment at nearby Pizza Hut locations, the spokeswoman said.
The store had transitioned to “carryout-only” a few months ago.