New Cajun seafood restaurant promises ‘energetic,’ ‘authentic’ New Orleans experience

Hook & Reel confirms plans to open restaurant at the Dayton Mall next to Outback Steakhouse

***UPDATE (June 26, 2019)***

A spokeswoman for a small but fast-growing chain of Cajun-style seafood restaurants has confirmed plans for a new restaurant adjacent to the Dayton Mall.

"We are currently in the permit application process, (but) if all goes well, we hope to open our Dayton location around November," a spokeswoman for Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar told this news outlet.

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The new restaurant will be located in the former Sears Auto & Tire Center at 2564 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Miami Twp. It will be the second restaurant tenant in for former Sears auto space. Outback Steakhouse recently opened in the larger of the two tenant spaces, facing Ohio 725.

Plans call for a 6,888-square-foot restaurant that would seat about 200 and employ 40 to 50, the Hook & Reel spokeswoman said.

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“At Hook & Reel, we celebrate the vibrant and flavorful cuisine of Louisiana by pairing the freshest seafood with authentic Cajun seasonings, fresh garlic, and zesty lemon,” the restaurant chain’s spokeswoman said. “From the flavors and aromas to the energetic atmosphere, we provide an authentic experience that transports you straight to New Orleans.”

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The Dayton area’s U.S. Air Force presence played a role in its selection for a site of a new Hook & Reel, the spokeswoman said.

“At Hook & Reel, we make it our mission to give back to the veterans that serve our country. With Dayton being the home to the National Air Force Museum, we felt an instant bond to the values and culture of the city. We hope that our love of Cajun cuisine will be another thing we come to share in common.”

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***ORIGINAL STORY (June 11, 2019)***

A small but fast-growing Cajun seafood restaurant chain has its sights set on the Dayton area with a new location “coming soon” near the Dayton Mall, according to the chain’s web site.

Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar lists on its web site a "coming soon" location at 2564 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Miami Twp., which appears to place it as the second restaurant tenant in the former Sears Auto & Tire Center at the Dayton Mall.


Outback Steakhouse relocated a restaurant from Centerville to the former Sears space in November 2018. The Hook & Reel address suggests it will take the remaining space in the former auto center that faces the mall, while Outback Steakhouse faces Miamisburg-Centerville Road.

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An application for a building permit with a project name of “Hook a Reel” has been filed with Montgomery County officials for the Outback Steakhouse address.

We have reached out to the Hook & Reel officials and to others regarding the project and will update this story with any new information.

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The restaurant chain’s web site lists a half-dozen restaurant locations but more than two dozen in 18 states that are “coming soon.” The Dayton Mall restaurant is the only Ohio location listed.

The first Hook & Reel Restaurant opened in Lanham, Maryland in 2013, according to the company’s web site.

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“His pledge to all is that each Hook & Reel will only use the finest and freshest seafood, coupled with fresh garlic, lemon pepper, herbs and spices, and chili powder,” the web site says. “All ingredients combine for a one of a kind aroma and finger licking experience that makes people want to come back over and over again. Hook & Reel is a rapidly growing casual family dining restaurant chain, with new locations opening at a brisk pace.”

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