JUST IN: ‘Rampant theft’ prompts owner of Wright Cafe to shut down restaurant temporarily

***UPDATE (May 28, 2019)***

The Wright Café, which opened less than three months ago on in Vandalia, has shut down temporarily because of what its founder Michael Dixson described as "rampant theft (of) money, equipment and food."

Dixson, president of Prestige Development Group, told this news outlet in an email Monday that the restaurant at 3324 Benchwood Road will reopen "sometime later, but for now, we need to regroup."

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Dixson and Prestige Development Group had been connected with the development of IHOP restaurants in the Dayton area. The Wright Cafe opened in March 2019 in the Benchwood Road space that had been built and outfitted as what would have been the Dayton area’s fourth IHOP restaurant, but it never opened as an IHOP.

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Meanwhile, the other three IHOP restaurants in the region — in Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Springfield — shut down unexpectedly in mid-January and have not reopened. A spokeswoman for IHOP has declined to comment in detail on the future of those restaurants and on the reasons behind the Benchwood Road restaurant never opening as an IHOP.

***ORIGINAL STORY (April 18, 2019)***

The new Wright Café in Vandalia has had “very good success since opening” three weeks ago, and is gearing up to expand its menu with seasonal offerings in the coming weeks, its owner says.

The new restaurant at 3324 Benchwood Road, which was built and equipped as an IHOP restaurant but never opened as an IHOP, also will host a “local business night” on Monday night to get acquainted with its neighbors.

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“The Wright Café is now open and has been successfully doing business for a few weeks,” its founder Michael Dixson told this news outlet.  “We are a grass-roots type of concept with an outstanding menu where a family or group can get a very reasonable bang for their buck. We are open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner and have quick items on the menu if one is pressed for time.”

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“We are currently working with a few local companies to expand our menu in next few weeks and add some additional seasonal products. ... We have already started building our following and have had very good success since opening. Our customers leave the restaurant happy and come back usually with a new customer.”

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The “Local Business Night” will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, “so we can meet our neighbors in the community,” Dixson said.

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The restaurant was built, equipped and furnished down to the tables and chairs as an IHOP more than a year ago, but it never opened. Neither IHOP corporate officials nor Dixson  — who is CEO of New Mexico-based PDG/Prestige Development Group, the company that acted as area developer and oversaw construction of the other three relatively new Dayton-Springfield IHOPs — have commented on what happened with the Vandalia restaurant.

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Meanwhile, the other three IHOP restaurants in the region — in Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Springfield — shut down unexpectedly in mid-January and have not reopened.

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The Wright Café’s hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Sunday brunch. For more information about the Wright Café, call (937)-280-4081.

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