Italian restaurant could open at the former Ollie’s Place restaurant

The founder of the original Palermo’s restaurant says he is eyeing the space

A restaurateur who owned or operated Italian restaurants in the Dayton area for more than 15 years has applied to the state for a liquor license for a potential restaurant in the former Ollie’s Place restaurant space at 520 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp.

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Mefail “Meef” Demnika — founder of the former Kettering restaurants La Pergola on East Dorothy Lane and Toscani’s (later Arthur’s) on Bigger  Road — told this news outlet this morning, Jan. 3, that he has not signed a lease for the former Ollie’s space, but is exploring the possibility of opening a restaurant there.

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Applying for a liquor license is often done early in the development stage of a new restaurant or bar, and it does not always lead to a new business opening. If this project does reach fruition, Demnika’s application suggested a possible name for a potential new restaurant: “Tuscany’s.”

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In 2006, when he was operating La Pergola, Demnika’s pizza was judged by the Dayton Daily News’ LeadBelly Boys to be the best in the Dayton area. Demnika went on to open Palermo’s on South Dixie Drive in Kettering in January 2008. He  operated Palermo’s until selling it in November 2017. The restaurant is still open and operating under different ownership.

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The former La Pergola space now houses an Arepas Colombian Comfort Food restaurant, and the former Toscani’s-Arthur’s space on Bigger Road now houses Sea Jax Tavern.

RELATED: Final closing date set for Ollie's Place restaurant and retail store (April 2019)

Ollie’s Place, launched by Belmont Party Supply founder and owner Mike Schwartz, operated as a restaurant, whiskey-and-beer bar, and beer-and-wine retail store at 518 and 520  Miamisburg-Centerville Road from 2015 to 2019. It shut down eight months ago.

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