Flyboys Deli signs lease for new restaurant in downtown Dayton

Flyboys Deli has signed a lease to open a new restaurant on the ground floor of a CareSource building at 219 N. Patterson Boulevard, CareSource officials and the restaurant’s owners announced this morning in a joint release.

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The new deli will open next to the Winans Chocolates & Coffee shop that opened Jan. 13 at 221 N. Patterson Blvd. Plans call for construction to be completed over the next few months in the ground-floor retail spaces that the building’s owner is calling CareSource Ballpark Village.

“We could have added more office space in that area but we wanted to do something more,” David Clapper, director of facilities management at CareSource, said in a release. “We decided to add amenities that improve the experience of the people who live, work and play in the downtown area including our employees.”

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About 800 employees work in the building, a CareSource spokesman said.

The husband-and-wife owners of Flyboys Deli, Steve Crandall and Eunice Kim, operate a deli on Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood, and they shut down their second location at the Mall at Fairfield Commons two months ago.

Crandall said the new location’s proximity to Day Air Ballpark, the Great Miami River, local offices and several new apartment and condos project makes the location “just perfect for us.”

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CareSource “has been super accommodating and a real partner throughout the entire process,” Crandall said in the release.

Texas Beef & Cattle Company founder and owner James Nuñez, who operates a restaurant in the Wright-Dunbar District west of downtown, had submitted a letter of intent in July 2019 to lease the space. But no lease was ever signed, and CareSource resumed its search for a restaurant tenant.

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Crandall said plans have not been finalized, but Flyboys’ downtown location will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week, closed on Sundays. There will be a patio, a main restaurant area in front, three meeting rooms with audio and visual capabilities and a full-service bar, Crandall said in the release.

The menu will include sandwiches and menu items from the Oakwood deli, but will also include Kim’s take on Korean cuisine, the owners said.

In a follow-up interview this morning, Crandall told this news outlet that he was approached in July 2019 by CareSource officials about opening a restaurant in the North Patterson Boulevard space.

“We were initially looking at that space as our third location,” until deciding to shut down the Fairfield Commons restaurant, Crandall said.

The new downtown location will offer a “grab and go” option for diners and baseball fans who are looking for something fast, the restaurant owner said.

No projected timetable is available, but Crandall said he is hoping to take advantage of the Dayton Dragons baseball season as much as possible.

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Crandall and Kim opened the Oakwood Flyboys Deli in January 2013 as a New York-style deli, with a design and decor that celebrate Dayton’s aviation heritage and its history as a cradle of invention.

Crandall is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel. He and his wife moved to the Dayton area from Maryland in 2010. Eunice Kim spent 10 years as owner or manager of delis in Maryland and Washington, D.C. area prior to coming to Dayton, and she served as manager for about a month of Flyboys Deli’s predecessor, Cooper’s Deli.

CareSource is a nonprofit company specializing in health-care coverage, and it administers one of the nation’s largest Medicaid managed-care plans. CareSource serves nearly 2 million members in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Georgia.

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