SNEAK PEEK: We take you INSIDE the new restaurant that just opened in downtown Dayton

Local Cantina has opened its downtown Dayton location in the Water Street development on East First Street, and it becomes the first restaurant in the Tex-Mex chain located outside greater Columbus.

The 4,500-square-foot restaurant is located in the Centerfield Flats building in the 500 block of East First Street, across from Brixx Ice Company.

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The new Dayton Local Cantina is in “soft opening” mode since Friday afternoon, Leanna McKenney Heath, spokeswoman for the Columbus-based chain, told this news outlet over the weekend. The Dayton restaurant will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Wednesday, Dec. 25,  Heath said.

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The restaurant will open mid-afternoon today, Monday Dec. 23, and its bar will be open late tonight, until 2:30 a.m., an employee said Sunday.  Plans call for serving lunch on weekdays starting sometime after the first of the year.


Local Cantina operates nine restaurants in the greater Columbus area, but the Dayton location is the chain’s first outside central Ohio.

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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.

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The new restaurant has a full liquor license and an extensive selection of craft beers and spirits. A brunch menu is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Catering is available.

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“Dayton has undergone a recent transformation with booming development,” George Tanchevski, owner of Local Cantina, said in a release earlier this year, when plans for the new restaurant were revealed. “Crawford Hoying (developer at Water Street District and Centerfield Flats) has been a trusted partner of ours for several years, and being so close to the locally loved Dragons stadium inspired us to choose this location.”

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Centerfield Flats, which will open in the spring, features 110 new luxury apartments next to Fifth Third Field, the home of the Dayton Dragons. Residents of the new housing will have a top floor event space that provides views of the ballpark and riverfront.

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