The owners of Meadowlark Restaurant in Washington Twp. and Wheat Penny restaurant in Dayton are planning to open a new restaurant in the Settlers Walk retail center in Springboro.
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The project is in its early stages, and no lease has been signed yet, Meadowlark founder Elizabeth Wiley told this news outlet this morning, April 12. But on Wednesday, Wiley and her partners applied to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control for beer, wine and spirits licenses to operate a restaurant in a 5,000-square-foot space at 720 N. Main St. in Springboro.
The retail space is in a relatively new wing of the Settler’s Walk retail center that also houses Dorothy Lane Market’s Springboro store. It has not had a previous tenant, but is flanked by a veterinary office and a weight-loss business called Profile by Sanford that opened a month ago.
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The retail center is owned by DLM’s owners Norman Mayne and his family. Mayne said this morning that Wiley has been talking with his son Calvin Mayne about the opportunity.
“I’ve been a loyal customer of hers since the day she opened, and proudly so,” Norman Mayne said.
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Wiley echoed that sentiment. “We’re delighted to be partnering with them,” she said. “We are their customers, and they are our customers.”
Wiley said she envisions the new, as-yet-unnamed Springboro restaurant to be similar in many ways to Meadowlark, open for lunch and dinner and perhaps Sunday brunch. The space has a patio, which Meadowlark does not have, and Wiley said she is planning for a bar area larger than Meadowlark’s.
Wiley emphasized that the project is not hers alone.
“My business partners, Liz Valenti and Dave Rawson, are managing chefs and principal operators of the two existing restaurants and will be doing the lion's share of day-to-day operations at our new restaurant,” Wiley said. “There is no way I would be doing another project
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Wiley and her business partners have looked at other new ventures, including a more casual restaurant on the edge of the Oregon District in Dayton and a sandwich shop in Kettering, but those plans fell through before the restaurants could open.
“Hopefully this won’t have the same outcome,” Wiley said.
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Two years ago, Wiley was selected to participate in the James Beard Foundation’s first Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program, a five-day intensive training session designed to help women chefs grow their businesses.