A look back at the best new restaurants that opened in 2019

Thai, ramen, seafood, pizza, tacos: All kinds of new dining options opened in 2019 across the Miami Valley, which saw on average more than one restaurant opening a week during the course of the year.

Club Oceano Seafood & Bar, a locally owned seafood restaurant, opened in a highly visible restaurant space at The Greene Town Center, and Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opened its first Dayton-area location in the Cornerstone of Centerville development. Columbus-based Local Cantina opened its first restaurant outside central Ohio in downtown Dayton’s Water Street development, adjacent to Fifth Third Field.

Old Hickory, a long-time Dayton barbecue favorite, opened a second restaurant in Brookville, and an Asian restaurant named Hoshi Ramen opened across from Wright State University.

Giordano’s brought its really, really deep deep-dish pizza to Beavercreek and Reza’s Downtown coffee shop (with pastries and ice cream!) opened in the Oregon District.

Here’s a look at just some of the notable restaurant openings for 2019.



Old Hickory 

Old Hickory, which has been serving up barbecue meats to hungry Daytonians for nearly seven decades, opened a second restaurant.

The Miami Valley’s newest barbecue restaurant from one of Dayton’s most storied restaurant families opened in the spring of 2019 at 302 Market St. in Brookville.

The Brookville restaurant’s menu has much of the classic barbecue-joint menu of ribs, pulled pork, chicken and pork chops, along with burgers, broasted chicken and sides, that the Woodman Drive restaurant offers, according to the Old Hickory Brookville web site.

La Pinata 

A larger, and free-standing, La Pinata Mexican Restaurant at 9505 Dayton-Lebanon Pike in south Centerville opened.

The new restaurant replaced the La Pinata Mexican Food restaurant that was located in a nearby retail center just north of the new venture. The stand-alone restaurant is at the intersection of Sheehan Road and Ohio 48 at the site of a former Coldwell Banker realty office.

Persis Biryani Indian Grill 



An Indian restaurant, Persis Biryani Indian Grill at 9486 N. Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) north of Austin Landing, opened under new management early in the year, although later in 2019, it was replaced by Heavenly Divine Vegetarian Indian & Kosher Food.

Persis Biryani was part of a chain that also operates restaurants in Columbus and Mason/Deerfield Twp. and in nine other states.

>>READ MORE: New Indian restaurant now open on Springboro Pike 




Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

The Chicago-based deep-dish pizza specialist Giordano’s opened its first Dayton-area location at 2819 Centre Drive near the Mall at Fairfield Commons in February.

The 5,000-square-foot, full-service restaurant offers dine-in, carry-out, and delivery for lunch and dinner, as well as catering options.

Giordano’s has been serving its large-scale pies since 1974, when founders and immigrant brothers Efren and Joseph Boglio introduced their mother’s deep-dish pizza recipe to Chicago. A thin-crust pizza is also on the menu.

Flyby BBQ 

The independent and locally owned Flyby BBQ restaurant opened at the Mall at Fairfield Commons. The new restaurant, which got its start as a food truck, is located between Fusian and Bravo Cucina Italiana near the mall’s front entrance.

Flyby is a fast-casual barbecue restaurant with an ordering system similar to Chipotle. It will serve signature barbecue sandwiches, bowls and platters featuring hickory-smoked meats, a variety of toppings, and regional American barbecue sauces. A vegan option of pulled barbecue jackfruit also is available. The restaurant also features homemade comfort-food-style side dishes, banana pudding, craft beer and sodas, according to its founder, David Butcher.

The Bison and The Boar 

The Bison and The Boar, a new steakhouse concept, celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 22.

The restaurant occupies the space formerly occupied by Reflections at 3377 U.S. Route 35 East in West Alexandria. The menu includes seafood, fish, pork and Ohio-raised beef, bison and boar.

Bison and boar are in the restaurant’s name, and there are certainly boar and bison options like the wild boar and the bison burgers for $14 and $15.

But beef reigns supreme at the restaurant located about halfway between Dayton and Richmond, Ind.

Kung Fu Noodles

A restaurant that specializes in noodle dishes from northern China is now open at 2801 S. Dixie Drive in Kettering.

Kung Fu Noodle opened in mid-January 2019. The relatively small restaurant seats 22.

An initial menu featured appetizers such as roasted lamb skewer, dumplings, pot stickers and “Dandan Noodle,” consisting of thin vermicelli-style noodles with stir-fried ground pork, topped with spicy garlic sauce and green onion.

St. Anne the Tart 

St. Anne the Tart bakery and coffee shop, 1500 E. Fifth St. in the St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood east of downtown Dayton, opened on March 1.

The new bakery serves a variety of baked goods from sweet pastries to lunch-worthy savory tarts, and offers an array of coffee beverages, tea, granola and yogurt.

Pita Pit 

Dain Peters, 23, of Englewood has opened his first Pita Pit location at 1047 Brown St. near the University of Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital.

The business specializes in fresh and healthy pita sandwiches, including Pita Pit’s Dagwood, Gyro, Souvlaki, Philly, Baja Chicken Bacon Ranch, Chicken Pesto, Boom Boom Black Bean (and the vegetarian) vegan hummus sandwiches.



Agnes All Natural Grill 

Credit: Lauren Rinehart for Dayton.com

Credit: Lauren Rinehart for Dayton.com

A locally owned and independent restaurant that may have a familiar ring to it has opened inside the Dayton Mall.

Agnes All Natural Grill, which has operated a food truck in the Dayton area for the last two years, opened an Agnes Express location on March 15, in the Dayton Mall Food Court, according to Dave Duebber, general manager of the Dayton Mall, and Chef Brooklyn Sims, chef and manager of the restaurant’s Dayton Mall location.

The new restaurant serves Caribbean specialties that include jerk chicken wings, curry chicken, jerk chicken cheesesteak, and brown sugar lemonade, Sims said. All items are prepared fresh to order, the restaurant manager said.



Hector’s Taco Shop 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The first Dayton-area Hector’s Taco Shop — but not the last, its founder says — is now open in Fairborn.

The region’s newest Mexican restaurant is located at 1864 Colonel Glenn Highway, in space that most recently housed the Wright Wing sports pub.

Founder Hector Gonzales also is involved in the Dayton area’s Victor’s Taco Shop locations, and the restaurants share a similar menu. But Gonzales has added several menu items distinctive to his namesake restaurant, including a variety of tortas, or Mexican sandwiches, as well as sizzling fajitas, breakfast plates, a veggie quesadilla and other items.

Drunken Waffle 

A popular food truck, the Drunken Waffle, has a new permanent home in the Oregon District.

The eatery’s food will be available inside of Toxic Brew Company, 431 E. Fifth St., from 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Drunken Waffle has partnered with Toxic since it opened. The business’ truck was set up outside of the brewery, and owner Beth Sparks and her staff have used Toxic’s beer in some menu items.

“Their beer complements our delicious waffles perfectly,” she said. “Good people, people, good beer, a match made in heaven.”

Neighborhood Fish and More 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The Dayton area has a new seafood restaurant and market.

Neighborhood Fish & More opened April 8, at 6556 N. Union Road in the Meadowbrook Crossing retail center in Clayton.

The 4,000-square-foot restaurant has a dining room and also offers seafood to go, either cooked or fresh for cooking at home, said Neighborhood Fish & More’s founder, Leon Morris.

The seafood menu included four varieties of fish: catfish, cod, swai and red snapper.

Sides include collard greens, mac & cheese, baked beans, cole slaw and potato salad. Rotating dinner specials will include chicken wings, barbecue ribs, spaghetti and beef links, while weekend dinner specials will include gumbo and smothered pork steak. Desserts include sweet-potato pie and banana pudding.

Tudor’s Biscuit World 

The Fairborn Tudor’s Biscuit World is now open for business.

The 2,500-square-foot breakfast-and-lunch restaurant at 130 N. Broad St. in Fairborn seats 40 to 50 and employs about 20. It opened in the spring of 2019.

The Dayton area’s first Tudor’s Biscuit World opened more than eight years ago at 810 W. Second St. in Xenia. Tudor’s Biscuit World is based in Charleston, West Virginia, and operates about 70 restaurants in that state, along with a handful in southeast Ohio and eastern Kentucky.

Jason’s Deli 

The first Dayton-area Jason's Deli opened on April 4.

The new restaurant is located at 2819 Centre Drive near I-675 and North Fairfield Road across from the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.

Jason’s Deli’s officials say their menu offers “healthy to indulgent meal choices for all tastes and appetites,” including specialty sandwiches, salads, wraps, paninis, muffalettas, pasta and potato dishes and 12 original-recipe soups. A vegetarian menu and a gluten-sensitive menu also are offered.

Hot Head Cantina

The new Hot Head Burritos Cantina and Mexican Grill in Centerville that made its official debut on April 15 offers something a little different from other Hot Head locations.

Diners can access a self-pour “wall of beer” system that will also include a handful of liquor options.

“Craft beer is all the rage right now,” Hot Head spokesman Jim Savakinas said, and the new system offers customers a variety of options as well as convenience.

The restaurant at 6230 Far Hills Ave. boasts 27 taps.

Beer will flow from 19 taps, margarita options from three, and spirits such as tequila and bourbon will be available at five taps.




Dayton’s first Gionino’s Pizzeria has opened. The pizza restaurant is located in a former tire shop at 1528 E. Third St., near DK Effect.

The franchise has about 45 locations between Cleveland and Canton, with a Columbus location as well. The first Dayton shop is primarily for pick-up and delivery, according to the owners. A small dining area seating 14 is available.

“What differentiates us, personally, from other local pizza shops is we do the fried chicken,” owner Tony Clark said. “Where I’m from, pizza and fried chicken go hand and hand. ... Down here that isn’t quite the case. So I think people are going to be really excited about the quality of the fried chicken and the wings also.”

Stacked Pickle 

Ohio’s very first Stacked Pickle opened its first Dayton-area location near the Dayton Mall.

Stacked Pickle, a sports-themed restaurant chain, opened at the former Roosters site in Miamisburg at 103 N. Springboro Pike in Miamisburg.

Established in 2010, Stacked Pickle is owned and operated by former Indianapolis Colts football player and Super Bowl Champion Gary Brackett.

The chain serves American foods like wings, burgers, fried pickles and sandwiches. The restaurant chain has nine Indiana locations, according to its website.

Jimmy John’s 

A new Jimmy John’s restaurant opened at 220 N. Main St. in the Biltmore Towers.

The expansion of downtown Dayton’s daytime office population and its residential population, along with development in and around RiverScape, made the Biltmore Towers location attractive, the franchisee said.

The restaurant is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and has delivery by bicycle.

Black Rock Bar & Grill 

Credit: Black Rock Bar & Grill- Toledo

Credit: Black Rock Bar & Grill- Toledo

The new Black Rock Bar & Grill opened in front of the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.

The free-standing restaurant built on the site of the former Don Pablo’s restaurant next to Panera Bread in front of the mall opened at 11 a.m. on, Monday May 20.

The restaurant serves steaks, seafood and other entrees on a 755-degree volcanic rock, allowing diners to cook their meals to their liking. Black Rock also features an assortment of appetizers, sandwiches and desserts, as well as a full-service bar that includes 17 craft beer taps and signature cocktails.

Bridgette’s Cakes & Pastries 

Credit: Bridgette's Cakes & Pastries

Credit: Bridgette's Cakes & Pastries

A Dunbar High School grad has taken her desserts on the road. Judging by the offerings on the menu, that’s a very delicious thing.

Bridgette Rodgers said she is ready for its first full season with sweet and savory dishes.

On board at each stop is a bevy of dishes from Rodgers Fiesta menu (tacos and similar dishes), All-American menus (burgers and other American classics) or her chili cheese menu.

But the desserts that earned Rodgers local fans always seem to steal the show.

Four of a dozen cakes created by Rodgers — her banana pudding cake, her red velvet cake cheesecake and Reese’s cake included — are featured at each event her business attends.



Stella Bleu Bistro 

Stella Bleu Bistro celebrated its grand opening in June, marking the start of another business in downtown Springfield.

The bistro’s owners are Shawn Osterholt and Darin Mitchell. Osterholt is a local physician and investor, while Mitchell served as an executive chef at the Urbana Country Club and Coco’s Bistro in Dayton.

Mitchell said most of the food in the restaurant is made in-house, including the ketchup and mustard.

“I love food, so do the guys that work for me,” Mitchell said. “So we love to have fun coming up with a menu and different options.”

The menus for both lunch and dinner feature a variety of dishes including steak, seafood, pasta and vegetarian options.

El Toro Bar & Grill 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The transformation from the former TGI Fridays is now complete, and El Toro Mexican Bar & Grill has opened its relocated restaurant in the South Towne Center just east of the Dayton Mall.

El Toro closed its existing restaurant in the Shoppes at 725 at 2335 Miamisburg-Centerville Road across from the Dayton Mall shortly before opening at the former TGI Fridays restaurant at 2022 Miamisburg-Centerville Road.

Reza’s Downtown 

Reza’s Downtown, 438 Wayne Ave. in the Oregon District, is an independently owned shop that sells specialty coffee drinks, including lattes and espresso, as well as teas, chai, ice cream and pastries.

Audria Maki, founder of Reza’s Downtown, has partnered with Columbus-based specialty ice cream maker Jeni’s for the shop’s frozen treats, and with Dayton-based Azra’s Mediterranean Cuisine, which operates at the Second Street Market, for its pastries.



Tokyo Grill Sushi & Hibachi Buffet 

A new restaurant opened in a Washington Twp. space that had been vacant since the celebrated restaurant Rue Dumaine shut its doors in July 2017.

Tokyo Grill Sushi & Hibachi Buffet is located at 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp.

The new restaurant serves a variety of bowls, featuring hibachi-grilled chicken, shrimp, steak and vegetables; Poke Bowls, including a Hawaiian Classic and Salmon Lover; soups and salads; and boba tea, according to the new restaurant’s web site. Tokyo Grill Sushi & Hibachi Buffet is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

Hoshi Ramen 

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

A new Japanese restaurant called Hoshi Ramen opened at 2820 Colonel Glenn Highway across from Wright State University.

Hoshi Ramen’s menu includes multiple styles of ramen, made in authentic Japanese style.

Some of the restaurant’s other ramen dishes will be based on vegetable broth or chicken broth. Bao Bun (sandwich-style dish with a steamed bun), Chahan (A Japanese fried-rice dish) and Donburi (vegetables and a protein served over steamed rice) dishes are also available.

World Piece 

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

A new Springboro-based food truck that promises to offer “a taste of the world, one bite at a time” has hit the streets throughout southwest Ohio.

World Piece’s menu “will change from time to time and from event to event,” and the content will be available on the food truck’s Facebook page, owner John Hanson said. The full menu includes items such as street tacos, half-pound burgers in a variety of styles, German sausage sandwiches, salads, wraps, and specialty egg rolls, among other items.



Coopers Hawk Winery & Restaurant 

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant — the upscale/casual wine-themed restaurant with a full-service bar, private barrel-aging room, Napa Valley-style tasting room and gift store — has opened its first Dayton-area location in the Cornerstone of Centerville development.

Visitors walk through the front door into a wine-tasting bar and retail shop that mimics a Napa Valley winery’s tasting room.

A couple of highlights from the extensive menu include the Crispy Brussels Sprouts appetizer, blended with mint, a sesame-Sriracha aioli and cashews, that will change your mind about Brussels sprouts; a Pan-Roasted Barramundi fish entree served with sauteed green beans, grape tomatoes and Thai-Lemongrass sauce; and a decadently rich Cooper’s Hawk Chocolate Cake with hazelnut ganache and Valrhona chocolate.

Lee’s Ltd. Tenders & Dips 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

“Lee’s Ltd. Tenders & Dips,” the first of its kind restaurant for the Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken franchisee in the region, opened at 1200 Brown St. near the University of Dayton.

The new restaurant serves a streamlined menu with a focus on boneless fried chicken tenders accompanied by multiple sauce options. It moved into space vacated by Arby’s, just north of East Stewart Street.

Saigon Noodle Bar 

Saigon Noodle Bar, at 9220 Allen Road in West Chester Twp., aims to provide guests with authentic, homemade Vietnamese comfort food.

The restaurant’s menu features a wide array of Vietnamese cuisine. It’s divided into five sections: starters, Pho and noodle soups, noodle dishes, rice dishes and vegetarian dishes.

Moeller Brew Barn

Moeller Brew Barn opened a new brewery and tasting room at 214 W. Main St. in downtown Troy.

Moeller Brew Barn has operated a brewery and tasting room in Maria Stein, south of Celina in Mercer County, since 2015. Its second location is a 8,000-square-foot former-church-turned-brewery.

A brick oven provides shareable appetizers and pizzas, including a Brie, Pomegranate and Prosciutto pizza and a South Carolina Pizza topped with smoked brisket, pork belly and a mustard barbecue sauce.

Chilli’s Wings & Rings 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The new restaurant called Chilli’s Wings & Rings, 3736 Salem Ave. is now open on Salem Avenue in Harrison Twp.

Chilli’s serves wings, chicken tenders, fish and shrimp. It is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

The restaurant replaced T-Bird's Kitchen, which opened in late 2018. The space also recently housed 2 Flavors, and once held Florentina’s Pizza & Subs.

Dean’s Grill 

A new restaurant in Hamilton, Dean’s Grill at 2535 Pleasant Ave. in the city’s Lindenwald neighborhood, offers American and Mediterranean cuisine.

Dean’s Grill is owned by Mo Abubakr and Al Alfrookh, two former college buddies who opened Patrick’s Family Restaurant on Ohio 128 in Cleves in 2015.

A majority of the menu items at Dean’s Grill are $7.49 or less including a wide array of burgers, wings, Philly cheesesteak, falafel, shawarma, gyros, sandwiches and other dishes.



Heavenly Divine Vegetarian Indian & Kosher Food

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The Miami Valley has its first kosher vegetarian restaurant that specializes in Indian dishes.

Heavenly Divine Vegetarian Indian & Kosher Food is located at 9486 N. Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) in Miami Twp., which previously housed Persis Biryani Indian Grill.

The restaurant offers a wide-ranging menu that includes Tandoori appetizers, curries, Indo-Chinese dishes, South Indian specialties such as Dosa and Uthappam, Chaat items, rice dishes and a variety of pastries.

OinkADoodleMoo & Brew 

The former Dark Horse Tavern in Miamisburg has been brought back to life as a new concept by a locally owned, independent barbecue chain.

OinkADoodleMoo & Brew is now open at 209 Byers Road in Miamisburg. It offers a full-service bar and musical entertainment, ranging from acoustic acts during the week to karaoke on Friday nights and to live bands on Saturday nights.

Qdoba Mexican Grill 



The new Qdoba Mexican Grill, 1524 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, at Washington Village Drive, has opened.

Qdoba shut down its previous Dayton Mall-area location at 2008 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in late July.

San Diego-based Qdoba, a fast-casual restaurant, was founded in 1995 and operates more than 700 restaurants in 47 states.

Glo Juice Bar + Café 

Glo Juice Bar + Cafe, a cold-pressed juice and smoothie shop that has been in the works at 1120 Brown St. since 2017, opened its doors to the public Sept. 30.

The juice shop will also offer smoothie bowls, raw vegan desserts, toasts, and organic baby food seven days a week.

All of Glo’s cold-pressed juice and smoothie products are made in-house with no added sugars. All items are gluten-free and vegan friendly. The company is partnering with Taste-T-Love Baby Food to sell organic baby foods.

La Catrina Street Tacos & Tequila 

The new La Catrina Street Tacos & Tequila restaurant at 845 W. Market St. has opened.

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant at 845 W. Market St. will seat more than 200.

“The menu is not what you would find in a typical Mexican restaurant,” Stephania Villalpando, co-founder and co-owner said. “We will focus on more traditional Mexican dishes, with fresh ingredients, made on site.” And La Catrina will work with local businesses and purveyors, and plans to use bread from The Bakehouse for its tortas, or Mexican-style sandwiches, she said.

Locktenders Restaurant 

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Locktender’s Restaurant, a restaurant three years in the making, opened at 10 W. High St. in Piqua, Sept. 10.

Located on the ground floor of the city-owned historic Fort Piqua Plaza downtown, the restaurant is the fourth from Basil’s on Market owners Todd Uhlir and Jeff Finklestein.

Locktenders menu features a list of sandwiches that includes the Bloody Mary Grill as well as Black and Blue Ravioli, Shepherd’s Pie, Maryland Crab Cakes and other entrees.

Nimbus Comic Café and Mysterium Coffee 

Credit: Rob Dejene

Credit: Rob Dejene

Nimbus Comic Café, a combination of comic books and healthy food, has opened at 486 E. Main St. in Trotwood.

Nimbus Cafe features fruit smoothies, wraps and other foods named for super heroes and comic book characters.

The Groot is named for the character from “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the Jubilee is named for an X-Men superhero. Wakanda fruit punch pays tribute to the “Black Panther.”

Dejene said his smoothies are made from fruit, not powder, and come packed with nutrition like B6; vitamin C; vitamin A; protein and potassium.

The cafe shares a building with Mysterium Coffee.

The Pizza Bandit 

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

A new food truck called The Pizza Bandit is now in business at Dayton’s Yellow Cab.

It serves pizza by the slice to patrons of the bar and delivers via Uber Eats and DoorDash, Brian Johnson, Pizza Bandit partner, said in a release.

To start, the Pizza Bandit will be open for dinner and late night service four days a week. The new food truck will operate Thursdays through Sundays, opening when the Yellow Cab Tavern opens, and serving until 4 a.m., according to a release. It will offer “fresh, hot pizza with a variety of toppings,” its founders said. “We’ll have big New York slices, Chicago deep-dish style, salads, and more.”



Club Oceano Seafood & Bar 

One of the highest-profile restaurant openings at The Greene Town Center in recent years was held Sept. 18 for Club Oceano Seafood & Bar. The locally owned and independent restaurant seats 280 and overlooks The Greene’s town square. It fills the 8,000-square-foot space that previously housed McCormick & Schmick’s seafood restaurant, which shut down in September 2017.

Club Oceano’s founders are Raymond Chow, Sam Zheng and Brian Andzik. Chow and Zheng are co-founders of Sky Asian Cuisine, an Asian restaurant in Kettering. Andzik has served for 28 years as chairman and organizer of the Italian Fall Festa in Kettering.

Old Scratch Pizza 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

Old Scratch Pizza’s second location in Centerville is now open.

The 8,300-square-foot restaurant is located at 440 Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725), in space that formerly housed Centerville Home Fireplace & Patio just west of the Centerville city limits.

In addition to its Naples-style pizzas cooked in wood-fired ovens, Old Scratch serves salads, sides and specialty items. It features 20 taps devoted to craft beer, and four taps reserved for wine, and also offers cocktails.

Culp’s Café 

A new breakfast-and-lunch spot in Dayton will give diners a chance to step back in time to early 20th century Dayton, but with a modern twist.

A re-imagined Culp’s Café has opened in a new site at Carillon Historical Park with an expanded menu and hours.

Inside, costumed servers make classic and Salted Caramel Milkshakes, ice cream sodas and root beer floats behind a 40-foot-long marble soda fountain.

Among the new breakfast items served all day at the café are Belgian Waffles, blueberry pancakes and Chicken and Waffles, which are served with blueberry butter and Cajun spiced syrup.

Visitors can also toast Dayton’s history with a drink from the cocktail menu. A sampling includes Bellinis, Bloody Marys, Irish Coffee and Spiked Hot Cocoa.



Mr. Bourbon Restaurant 

Trotwood has a new restaurant, and its co-owner says he and his partners chose the Salem Avenue location in part because they wanted to support the community after it was ravaged by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

Mr. Bourbon Restaurant opened at 5212 Salem Ave., in a 5,000 square feet space that most recently housed John Anthony’s Southern Cuisine.

The new restaurant’s menu includes its signature Bourbon Chicken and several other chicken dishes, such as Cajun and Curry chicken and a Chicken Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. It also offers gyros, fried rice, burritos and grilled fish entrees, along with a handful of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern specialties such as Greek Salad, Falafel sandwich and Fattoush salad, all served up in a fast-casual ordering concept similar to Subway and Chipotle.

Butter Churn Café 

Waynesville has another lunch-and-dinner dining option in the downtown portion of the village.

Butter Churn Cafe opened earlier this month at 57 S. Main St. It fulfills a long-time dream of its founder and owner, Waynesville native Herchelle Shipman.

The new restaurant serves muffins, cakes and other house-made baked goods. It also makes its own waffle cones, in which it serves scoops of ice cream sourced from Young’s Jersey Dairy near Yellow Springs.

Customer favorites so far have been a tomato soup that has mac and cheese in the soup; a seasonal pumpkin soup; and a signature grilled-cheese sandwich, Shipman said.

Chiapas Mexican Grill 



The locally owned Chiapas Mexican Grill has opened its second — and much larger — location in a former craft beer pub off of Ohio 741.

Chiapas Mexican Grill, which has operated a restaurant at 298 N. Main St. (Ohio 48) in Centerville since 2015, opened its second location at 2733 West Alex-Bell Road near Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) in Moraine. The space previously housed Chappys Tap Room & Grille.

Chiapas Mexican Grill has a broad menu that specializes in the cuisine of southern Mexico, where the Mexican state of Chiapas is located. Offerings include the Mole del Sur, a grilled chicken breast topped with mole sauce. Meat choices for soft tacos include chorizo, carnitas, seasoned grilled chopped steak, marinated pork, cow tongue and grilled chicken. Soups, fajitas, enchiladas and tortas are also available.

Agave & Rye

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Agave & Rye has opened at 7125 Fountain View Drive in Liberty Twp. offering a menu that features 17 “epic” gourmet specialty tacos, seven street tacos, plus a liquor list brimming with more than 120 tequilas and bourbons.

Tacos are prepared from scratch, using fresh produce and protein to create a mix of hot meats and cool toppings. The majority of them are double-shelled with crunchy corn and soft flour and can be ordered with a “Love Cushion” between the two shells — bourbon-bacon refried beans, queso or guacamole — for $1 each.

Ghostlight Coffee 

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Ghostlight Coffee opened its second location in Dayton on Nov. 14 at 800 S. Patterson Blvd., next to Old Scratch Pizza.

The first coffee house has offered fresh baked goods and treats made off-site by Ghostlight bakers, but the new midtown location will have more room for an expanded food menu ranging from breakfast sandwiches and “from-scratch” bakery goods to toasts, tartines and salads inspired by international cafes, its owners said.

Rusty Taco 

The Dayton-area’s third Rusty Taco is now open.

Rusty Taco, formerly known as R Taco, moved into a 2,700-square-foot space at 2335 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Miami Twp. that formerly housed an El Toro Bar and Grill.

Rusty Taco specializes in street-style tacos along with house-made salsas, and also offers craft beers and margaritas. It was founded in 2010 and named for co-founder Rusty Fenton.

That’s Soul Vegan 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The Dayton area’s newest vegan restaurant is located inside the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp.

“That’s Soul Vegan” opened in the mall’s food court. The new restaurant is a partnership between Ashaki Daugherty, who previously operated the KulaKula restaurant on North Dixie Drive, and Jose Estremera, owner of the Agnes Express restaurant, also located in the Dayton Mall Food Court.

Menu favorites so far include “Soul Stuffed Meatloaf,” made from plant-based “Impossible Beef.” The meatloaf is stuffed with “Mean Greens” that have a slightly spicy kick and “Lip Smackin Mac” macaroni and cheese. Another customer favorite is the “Soul Rolls,” in which marinated jackfruit, macaroni and cheese and greens are rolled in a spring-roll wrapper and lightly fried, then served with “Original Soul Sauce.”



Singha Thai Homestyle Thai Food

The Dayton area’s newest Thai restaurant is now fully open to the public in Kettering.

Singha Thai Homestyle Thai Food is located at 4123 W. Town and Country Road in the "Village Shops" section of the Town & Country Shopping Center, behind the main Town & Country retail building. Its smaller retail building also houses First Watch restaurant.

The new restaurant offers an extensive menu of Thai specialties, including a dozen appetizers, eight salads, eight curry options, a dozen entree choices and multiple noodle and rice dishes. Special signature dishes include Ginger Sea Scallop, Basil BBQ Duck, Thai Eggplant Stir-Fried, and Seafood Crazy Noodle, consisting of egg noodles stir-fried with shrimp, squid, scallops, mussels, broccoli, carrot, onion, mushrooms, basil, bell pepper, lime leaves and sweet toasted chili paste.

Thai Street Noodles 

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

A new Thai restaurant — the second to open in Kettering in December— has opened.

Thai Street Noodles is located at 5844 Bigger Road next to Marco’s Pizza, just north of Seajax Tavern in south Kettering. The Bigger Road space previously housed KH Empire Asian Restaurant, which shut down in early 2019. The new restaurant is the second location for founder Pirom Tintong, who also operates Nida Thai Cuisine in Centerville.

“Our main focus will be to introduce the popular and world famous Street Noodles of Thailand, which are fresh, tasty, healthy and affordable,” Tintong said.

Tropical Smoothie Café 

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The area’s newest Tropical Smoothie Cafe is located at 2309 W. Main St. in Troy, and it is the second cafe launched by an operator who won one of the restaurant chain’s “Franchisee of the Year” awards earlier this year.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is “a healthy alternative. We have smoothies made with real fruit and vegetables,” Tim Poulos, the franchise owner said.

The cafe’s menu will include wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads, and quesadillas in addition to the chain’s signature smoothies.

Power Plant Juice Bar

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

A Centerville-area couple that launched a mobile juice truck in 2013 has made the jump to a bricks-and-mortar store.

Earl Hatmaker and Megan Lees opened the Power Plant Juice Bar at 430 Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725), next to Old Scratch Pizza in Washington Twp. just west of Centerville.

The fruits, vegetables and other ingredients that go into Power Plant’s juices and other dishes are organic or local, and most often, they’re both, Hatmaker said.

Fretboard Brewing & Public House 

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A new restaurant and microbrewery that will serve “upscale pub fare with a twist” has opened in Hamilton.

Fretboard Brewing & Public House opened at 103 Main St. It will be the second location for the Blue Ash-based brewery, replacing the former Quarter Barrel Brewery + Pub, which closed Jan. 3. Besides food and beverages, the new restaurant will offer live music and panoramic rooftop views of the Great Miami River and Hamilton’s downtown.

A Fretboard menu features shareables, greens, mains, sides, desserts and a kids menu. Some dishes are vegetarian or gluten free while others may be made that way upon request.

The City Coffeehouse 

Credit: Laura Vlieg

Credit: Laura Vlieg

An independently owned coffee shop has opened in an 1850s-era Huber Heights brick farmhouse once owned by the late state legislator and journalist Clara Weisenborn.

The City Coffeehouse, 4940 Chambersburg Drive, is in soft-opening mode and serving customers as it gears up for its grand opening on Jan. 3, according to the shop’s founders, Whitney Caudill and Danius Williams.

The farmhouse, built in 1850, was once owned by a trailblazing community activist who served as a journalist for The (Dayton) Journal Herald and a Republican state legislator in the Ohio General Assembly for 20 years.

Blue Crab Juicy Seafood 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

A new seafood-themed restaurant is now open in a space behind the Dayton Mall that decades ago was home to one of the most popular restaurant-bar hangouts in the region.

Blue Crab Juicy Seafood Dayton is serving customers lunch and dinner seven days a week at 8901 Kingsridge Drive in Miami Twp. The space behind the Dayton Mall once housed Max & Erma’s, which shut down the location in 2009.

The new restaurant’s Cajun-inspired menu offers multiple seafood options available boiled or fried, including crab, shrimp, crawfish, mussels, clams, oysters and catfish. Soups, including Lobster Bisque, New England Chowder and Shrimp or Crawfish Etouffee, also are available.

>>READ MORE: Sneak peek inside the new seafood restaurant behind the Dayton Mall

Pancho’s Place 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

A new restaurant that offers both Mexican and American-themed dishes with an emphasis on seafood is now open in Huber Heights.

Pancho’s Place, located in a building at at 4480 Powell Road that previously housed Sweet Home Family Restaurant, opened its doors, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The menu uses seafood in a variety of preparations. Shrimp, for example, is served in a shrimp cocktail, shrimp salad or as breaded shrimp, and can also be ordered in enchiladas, quesadillas and tacos. Garlic Shrimp and “Devil Style Shrimp,” which is sauteed with diablo sauce with onions, tomatoes and cilantro and served with rice, beans, salad and salsa, also are available.

Local Cantina 

Local Cantina opened its downtown Dayton location in a ground floor space of the Centerfield Flats building, located along East First Street, next to Fifth Third Field. This is the first restaurant the Tex-Mex chain has opened outside of the greater Columbus area.

The restaurant serves several varieties and combinations of tacos, and also offers appetizers, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, salads, and a self-serve chips-and-salsa station. The taco options include Roasted Carnitas, Grilled Fish, BBQ Beef Brisket, Tinga Chicken, Baja Shrimp, Tempura Shrimp and Nashville Hot Chicken.

Staff writers Amelia Robinson, Eric Schwartzberg, Lisa Powell and Riley Newton contributed to this report.

About the Author