Seafood restaurants dominated news from the local dining scene in October.
Club Oceano, a locally owned restaurant at The Greene, opened to strong reviews, and two more seafood restaurants, Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar and Blue Crab Juicy Seafood, are in the works at or near the Dayton Mall.
Inside the Dayton Mall, however, Hunger Paynes Beer & Wine Garden — a spinoff of the popular Hunger Paynes food truck — shut its doors, mall officials confirmed.
Here’s a look at the Miami Valley’s restaurant news for October.
Club Oceano Seafood & Bar
Club Oceano Seafood & Bar at The Greene Town Center is the newest entry on the local fine-dining seafood scene.
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
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.
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.
Dayton has a new Dunkin’ Donuts shop, and another will follow soon on its heels as the doughnut chain and its local franchisee make good on their promise to dramatically expand Dunkin’s footprint across the Miami Valley.
The newest Dunkin’ opened at 2835 Harshman Road in Dayton, near the city’s border with Huber Heights. It is the ninth Dunkin’ Donuts in the Dayton area. The tenth — at 1505 N. Fairfield Road at Lantz Road, south of the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek — is still under construction, but is not far behind. It is expected to open in the coming weeks.
The McDonald’s Restaurant in downtown Dayton, 410 S. Main St., has reopened.
One of the Miami Valley’s most high-profile McDonald’s restaurants — especially for those who live, work, shop or attend events in downtown Dayton — shut down temporarily for a significant renovation and re-design, inside and out.
“Customers can look forward to a new, sleek, modern exterior and interior,” the spokeswoman said last month before the project was completed. “Outside, double drive-throughs will be featured, wrapping behind the building, and (will) be equipped with digital-menu ordering boards. Inside will be completely modernized with a clean, fresh aesthetic, digital touch-screen kiosks for ordering, and updated menu boards at the counters.”
A Burger King restaurant has opened at 4025 Wilmington Pike in front of the Meijer store in Kettering.
The new store is a replacement of sorts for a Burger King location that shut down in May around the corner at 1431 E. Dorothy Lane. And the new store was built a few hundred feet from where another Burger King once operated in front of the Meijer store. That restaurant was on a plot of land that is now occupied by a Grismer Tire store.
Thai Street Noodles
A new Thai restaurant is in the works in south Kettering, and it will be a second location for its owner, although with a different name and menu.
Thai Street Noodles could open as early as next month at 5844 Bigger Road, according to its owner, 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. “We plan to open in November.”
Tropical Smoothie Café
The franchise owner behind the new Tropical Smoothie Cafe coming to 2311 W. Main St., Suite B in Troy snagged one of the restaurant chain’s “Franchisee of the Year” awards earlier this year.
The new Troy cafe will seat 50 and will employ 35 to 40, said franchise owner Tim Poulos, who operates a Tropical Smoothie location in Springfield. If all goes well, the Troy location could open as early as mid-December.
The cafe’s menu will include wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads, and quesadillas in addition to the chain’s signature smoothies.
Round1 Entertainment at the Mall at Fairfield Commons will open next month.
Round1, similar to Dave and Buster’s, offers all-inclusive parties starting at $21.99 for two hours. Food includes pizza, burgers, wings, salads, sides and drinks. Alcoholic beverages are available for adults.
The entertainment concept is centered around bowling and arcade games and will open Nov. 23.
River Rock Bar & Grille
A new and locally owned restaurant and bar called the River Rock Bar & Grille is in the works overlooking the Great Miami River in Piqua.
Plans call for opening in two to four weeks.
River Rock will offer a full menu that will range from traditional sports-bar fare such as wings and burgers through entrees that will include crab cakes and steaks.
The restaurant’s bar is expected to have a full wine list, signature cocktails and 15 taps that will spotlight local breweries.
Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar
Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar is in the works in the former Sears Auto & Tire Center in front of the Dayton Mall.
“At Hook & Reel, we celebrate the vibrant and flavorful cuisine of Louisiana by pairing the freshest seafood with authentic Cajun seasonings, fresh garlic, and zesty lemon,” the restaurant chain’s spokeswoman said in June. “From the flavors and aromas to the energetic atmosphere, we provide an authentic experience that transports you straight to New Orleans.”
The current projected opening is January.
Blue Crab Juicy Seafood
Blue Crab Juicy Seafood, which is coming to the space at 8901 Kingsridge Drive that previously housed Osaka Sushi & Hibachi, which shut down in 2016.
A menu posted on the Indianapolis restaurant’s Facebook page shows a Cajun-inspired menu with multiple boiled or fried seafood options, including crab, shrimp, crawfish, mussels, oysters and catfish.
Last week, the restaurant’s parking lot was re-surfaced, but no projected opening date is available yet.
Little River Bar & Grill
An historic Warren County restaurant-bar is being revived again along the Little Miami River.
The Little River Bar & Grill is the name of the latest business to be operated at 5527 Oregonia Road, in Oregonia, an unincorporated town in Washington Twp., Warren County.
Bar food, steaks, vegan and home-cooked meals will be included on the menu. Trivia nights and live music on Saturday nights are planned.
If all goes well, the new owners plan to open the new business in December.
A Cincinnati group plans to open a restaurant offering burgers and cocktails in Hamilton at the southwest corner of Main and C Streets.
Billy Yanks is expected to open at 201 Main St. in the spring and offer specialty burgers and a build-your-own custom menu, plus mac-and-cheese in a variety of flavor combinations.
The restaurant also will offer appetizers, desserts, soups, salads and sandwiches.
Chiapas Mexican Grill
The independently owned Chiapas Mexican Grill restaurant on North Main Street (Ohio 48) in Centerville is gearing up to open a significantly larger second location in what was once a bustling craft-beer bar.
The restaurant will be located in the former Chappys Tap Room and Grille at 2733 West Alex-Bell Road near Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) in Moraine.
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.
Plans call for the new restaurant to open perhaps as soon as mid-November.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
The president of the Ohio franchisee for Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers confirmed his company’s plans for a new location in Huber Heights.
Plans call for the new restaurant to open sometime next year in a former PNC bank branch at 7841 Old Troy Pike.
The Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers operates restaurants on Ohio 725 east of the Dayton Mall in Washington Twp. and in Beavercreek across from The Greene Town Center.
“We are shut down,” Bill Shancey, founder and owner of Shantz Express at at 5993 Bigger Road in south Kettering, confirmed to this news outlet. “We want to thank our loyal customers for their support. We will be back better than ever soon.”
“I am hoping to have a food truck by late spring, but everything is in limbo right now,” Shancey said.
The Shantz Express menu featured pizza, wings, calzones, gyros, burgers, sandwiches, subs, salads and specials that included pierogies and chicken nachos.
Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings has shut down its restaurant at 774 N. Main St. in Springboro to pave the way for the opening of a newly constructed restaurant in the nearby Austin Landing development in Miami Twp., an employee at the Springboro restaurant said Oct. 23.
The new Austin Landing location is expected to open the week of Nov. 11, although the precise date has not been set.
Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden
The Dayton area has lost one of its restaurants that was inspired and founded by a local food truck.
Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden, which opened inside the Dayton Mall in July 2018, has “closed their operation,” David Duebbber, the mall’s general manager, confirmed to this news outlet.
The restaurant and beer garden — founded by Andrew Payne, the owner of Hunger Paynes food truck — was located in the lower level of the mall, near Macy’s.