Arby’s abruptly closes its Brown Street/UD restaurant, neighbors say

The Arby’s restaurant at 1200 Brown St. shut down after the close of business Saturday night, Dec. 29, employees of its neighboring restaurants in the University Place retail center said today, Dec. 31.

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There are no “closed” signs on any of the restaurant’s doors or windows, but all Arby’s signage has been removed from the building, and menu boards at the restaurant’s drive-through have also been removed. That work was completed yesterday, on Dec. 30, an employee of a neighboring restaurant said.

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The Brown Street Arby’s operates under separate franchise ownership than all of the other 29 Arby’s restaurants in the greater Dayton area, John Wade, president and founder of AES Restaurant Group, a Carmel, indiana-based company that operates other Arby’s restaurants in the region after purchasing them from GZK Inc. in February 2018. The Brown Street Arby’s was the only local Arby’s not included in the AES purchase, Wade said.

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This afternoon, GZK Inc. CEO Neil Kaufman confirmed the Arby’s closure to this news outlet, and said the shutdown will pave the way for a new Lee’s Chicken concept to open in that location, perhaps as early as this spring.

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While Arby’s fans lost one Dayton location, AES Restaurant Group has been investing in other existing Arby’s restaurants, having just completed significant renovations/rebuilds of Arby’s restaurants in Englewood, Troy and on Linden Avenue in Dayton/Riverside, Wade said.

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Five more restaurants will be modeled in the summer of 2019, Wade said.

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