The local dining scene lost several iconic restaurants in 2019

Some of the Miami Valley’s favorite and longest-running eateries shut their doors in 2019.

A devastating fire in July closed the K’s Restaurant, a community landmark in Brookville for 40 years, and the owners decided not to reopen.

Another long-time favorite, the Original Rib House in Vandalia, closed in July after 54 years of service under two restaurant concepts.

Earlier in the year, three Dayton-area IHOP locations, all popular breakfast destinations, were also shuttered abruptly, their front doors padlocked overnight. Although there was talk of possibly reopening the restaurants, none of the three did, although the venerable national breakfast chain is poised for a return in a new Dayton-area location in 2020.

Here’s a look at some of the most notable restaurant closings in the Dayton area in 2019.




Credit: Marshall Gorby/Breaking News Staff

Credit: Marshall Gorby/Breaking News Staff

Employees of the Dayton-area IHOP restaurants that abruptly closed were told in late January 2019 that the restaurants would be reopening in perhaps a month, although they were given no target date for a return to work.

The franchise owner of three Dayton-area IHOP locations — in Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Springfield — is “unable to continue operating,” and the restaurant chain is exploring options to get the padlocked restaurants reopened, an IHOP spokeswoman said at the time.

Those efforts to reopen the three padlocked restaurants were unsuccessful. However, another IHOP franchisee will enter the market in 2020 with a new IHOP in Miller Lane’s restaurant row just off I-75 in Butler Twp.

Beef O’ Brady’s 

The last day for Beef O’Brady’s at 3347 Seajay Drive in the Beaver Valley Shopping Center was Jan. 17, according to Beef O’Brady’s owner Bill DeFries.

The restaurant transitioned into Wings Sports Bar & Grille the next day.

DeFries opened his first Beef O’Brady’s franchise in Centerville in 2004, which he sold in 2011. The sale of the Beavercreek location would  mark the end of his restaurant career, Defries said in a release.



Cadillac Jack’s 

The last Cadillac Jack’s still operating, at 1156 Kauffman Ave. in Fairborn,  shut its doors for good early in 2019.

The closing marked the end of an era that began in 1995 when the first Cadillac Jack’s opened on Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights. Additional locations followed at 2335 S. Smithville Road in Kettering and at the Fairborn location in the Skyway Plaza before the end of the decade.

Old Dayton Style Dixie Fried Chicken 

A Dayton fried-chicken restaurant that was forced to change its name after running afoul of another restaurant’s trademark ended up shutting down early in 2019.

The restaurant triggered a trademark dispute when it initially hung a sign proclaiming itself “Ms. Pam’s Parkmoor Style Dixie Fried Chicken” in December 2017, just as it was opening. That restaurant name prompted a swift “cease-and-desist” order from an attorney representing Fricker’s, the local restaurant and pub chain that has taken steps to register and protect the “Parkmoor” name for fried chicken.



Steak ‘n Shake 

Two Dayton-area Steak ‘n Shake restaurants shut down, and although a spokeswoman for the burger chain said the shutdowns are temporary, there is no projected timeline to reopen the stores.

The most recent Dayton-area closing occurred at 9150 N. Main St. (Ohio 48) in Englewood. Earlier, the Steak ‘n Shake at 6549 Miller Lane in Butler Twp. closed its doors. Several more Steak ‘n Shake restaurants remain open and operating in the Dayton area, however.

Ten of the 12 restaurants in Butler, Warren, Hamilton and Clermont counties closed temporarily during the year as well.



Rivertown Chili 

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

A locally owned Miamisburg restaurant, Rivertown Chili, closed in June.

Rivertown Chili at 105 S. Second St., posted the following for a final send off: “To all of our followers: Our lease on the current location will be up at the end of the month,” the owners of Rivertown Chili wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “This is our last weekend for service. So all the regulars (and you know who you are), we look forward to the privilege of serving you one more time; for those who haven't been in for a while, stop by and say hello/goodbye; for anyone that has never been in but wanted to give us a try ... last chance.”



Original Rib House 

The Original Rib House on East National Road in Vandalia has closed, marking the end of a long run.

The restaurant served tens of thousands of meals under two brand concepts over the last 54 years.

“It’s the end of an era,” Bill Brusman said.

His father Harold operated the former Vandalia Cafeteria and the former Vandalia Motel and Coffee Shop in other locations in town, meaning that the Brusman family has been serving food to Vandalia residents for nearly a century.



Primanti Brothers 

Shortly after the Dayton area’s Memorial Day tornadoes, a spokesman for Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Bar had said the company was working to “safely open” its tornado-damaged restaurant in Beavercreek.

But by late summer, those efforts fizzled, and the spokesman acknowledged that his company’s only Dayton-area restaurant would shut down permanently.

In a statement emailed to this news organization Aug. 28, in response to an inquiry, Primanti Bros. spokesman Ryan Wilkinson said the restaurant at 2430 N. Fairfield Road “was hit particularly hard by a tornado during storms that did damage across the Dayton region” on Memorial Day May 27. The costs of repairing and reopening the restaurant and rehiring a new staff are too high, Wilkinson said, so the decision was made not to reopen.

K’s Restaurant 

The K's Restaurant in Brookville, which a police chief said suffered “significant damage” in a July 3 fire, will not reopen, the restaurant announced later on its Facebook page.

The fire heavily damaged the kitchen and half the dining room of the family-style restaurant at 485 Arlington Road, which has been in the Brookville community for 40 years. Its most recent location was the former Brookville National Bank, which was purchased and converted into the restaurant in 2005.



MOD Pizza 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The MOD Pizza restaurant that has operated for two years at the Cornerstone of Centerville development shut down abruptly on Sept. 14.

A sign taped to the entrances of the restaurant say, “We’re Closing. Thank you Cornerstone. For more locations and information, visit Same great people, same great food.” Windows of the restaurant were papered over.

Another MOD Pizza location in Englewood is still operating and was not impacted by the Centerville closure.

MOD Pizza is the second fast-bake, custom-order pizza chain to close a location in the Dayton area, following the closure of the Dayton area’s only PizzaFire restaurant in January 2018.

Tim Hortons 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

At least four Dayton-area Tim Hortons restaurants shut down abruptly in early September while other locations in the region remained open and operating business as usual, and continue to do so.

The Tim Hortons locations that shut down included 5976 Far Hills Ave. at Whipp Road in Washington Twp., 2312 Needmore Road along I-75 in Dayton, 6793 Miller Lane in the Vandalia/Butler Twp. area, and 5798 N. Springboro Pike in Miami Twp.

Tim Hortons officials said, “This closure is part of our normal course of business. Tim Hortons remains committed to growth in all markets, including the U.S.”


A challenging location, combined with fallout from the Dayton area’s mass shooting, Memorial Day tornadoes and KKK rally, forced the owner of Hannah’s restaurant, music and bar venue at 121 N. Ludlow St. in downtown Dayton, to shut down in early September.

“This location just didn’t work out,” Hannah’s founder and owner Luke Feerer told this news outlet. “We did our best, but it just wasn’t in the cards. At the end of the day, I’m proud of what we did for the two years we were here.”

Feerer is looking for a new location — one with dedicated parking, and a larger seating capacity, he said — and intends to reopen.



Shantz Express 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

A south Kettering restaurant that got its start as a food truck shut its doors in October.

“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 at the time.

The Shantz Express menu featured pizza, wings, calzones, gyros, burgers, sandwiches, subs, salads and specials that included pierogies and chicken nachos.

Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden 

In October 2019, the Dayton area lost another restaurant 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,  “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.



Arepas & Co. Colombian Comfort Food (Washington Twp. location only) 

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The most recently opened of the three Arepas & Co. Colombian Comfort Food restaurants in the Dayton area shut its doors in November.

The small, locally owned restaurant chain closed its location at 1000 Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725) in Washington Twp., between Centerville and I-675. The restaurant opened in June 2017. The two other Arepas & Co restaurants, in Kettering and downtown Dayton, remain open.

Arepas & Co co-founder Lisa Perdomo said family medical issues led to the decision to close. “We are focusing on our two core locations,” Perdomo said. “Family comes first.”



W.g. Grinders

For a sandwich shop storefront that never flips its "closed" sign over to "open," there sure is a lot of activity inside the W.g. Grinders storefront at Stroop Road and Far Hills Avenue in Kettering.

The store at 10 W. Stroop Road in the Castle Hills shopping center across from Town & Country shopping center has become a food-prep commissary of sorts for W.g. Grinders school-lunch and catering business — a part of the business that has grown so fast that the owners of W.g. Grinders decided to shut down the retail/carryout portion of the business earlier this year, according to Randy Duff, director of operations and human resources for the restaurant-and-catering company.

But there’s a chance the walk-in portion of the business could reopen in the spring or summer of 2020, Duff said.

>>READ MORE: Kettering sandwich shop may reopen to the public next year

Flyboys Deli

The locally owned and independent Flyboys Deli at the Mall at Fairfield Commons announced it will shut its doors Dec. 31 after nearly two years and is planning to relocate to downtown Dayton. The Flyboys Deli in Oakwood, which was launched in 2013, remains open and operating.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Eunice and I will be closing our Flyboys Beavercreek location on the 31st of December,” Steve Crandall said in an email to this news outlet. “New plans and arrangements are already in the works for opening our new location in downtown Dayton in the spring of 2020.”

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