Alberto Arenas has worked for several years in the local restaurant industry, mostly in Mexican restaurants, but he has always had a dream to bring his native country’s South American food to Dayton-area diners.
That dream is about to come true.
Arenas will open a new restaurant to be called Fino Sur Peruvian Street Food in the Cross Pointe Centre in Centerville in early 2020. A “Coming Soon” sign is up, and Scott Wright, leasing manager for Don Wright Realty, owner/broker of the Cross Pointe Centre, confirmed to this news outlet Sunday a lease has been signed. Wright said the retail center is pleased to bring a new and different dining option to the region.
>> ALSO NEW TODAY: Centerville's Chiapas Mexican Grill opens 2nd location
The new restaurant will be located in tenant space adjacent to Scoops Ice Cream near the southwest corner of the retail center. If all goes well with the build-out of the space, which formerly housed a chiropractic office, Fino Sur Peruvian Street Food could open as early as February or March 2020, Arenas said.
>> ALSO NEW TODAY: AMELIA ROBINSON: Shouldn’t we fully take care of our heroes?
Customers will place their orders at a counter. There will be seating for about 45, the restaurant’s founder said.
Arenas has worked as a manager at El Toro Bar & Grill. Most recently, he provided some of his Peruvian street-food specialties at Dayton’s Hispanic Heritage Festival that was held two months ago.
The Dayton area has a handful of restaurants that focus on South American dishes, but fall well short of Cincinnati and Columbus in international restaurants, Arenas said. Many existing restaurants focus on Colombian food, but none focus exclusively on Peruvian food.
Salar Restaurant & Lounge in Dayton’s Oregon District is influenced by founder and executive chef Margot Blondet’s Peruvian roots, but the web site of the fine-dining restaurant describes its menu as “world fusion cuisine with strong Peruvian, French, and Mediterranean influences.”
“Dayton is ready to try new things,” Arenas said. “My idea is to try to educate people and offer many different flavors of Peruvian food that Dayton has not had before.”
The restaurant will start with a small menu focusing on the foods that might be available on the streets of Lima, Peru, while offering some specials on the weekends, Arenas said.
“We want to do something authentic, and we will have an opportunity to show many different things,” Arenas said.