The stories that REALLY got people talking in 2018

Credit: Jim Witmer,

Credit: Jim Witmer,

The Dayton area restaurant and shops gave people something to talk about in 2018 — and not all of that talk was positive.

The stories generated much conversation on social media and in work break rooms.

Here are 2018’s most talked about lifestyle stories:


Credit: Screen grabs

Credit: Screen grabs

The owner of the very popular Vandalia sports bar apologized for an incident that reportedly ended with a local mother Whitney Hague and her family leaving the eatery embarrassed after attempting to feed her baby Gerber Mac and cheese. 
>> RELATED: Popular sports bar apologizes to mom for kerfuffle over baby food 

Leann Kreusch McLaughlin and Mary Lou Kreusch,  McLaughlin's mom and Bunker's co-owners, in August took back the apology after getting more information.

“In reviewing all the information, we should have handled the situation differently. We wouldn’t have apologized for something which did not take place. My staff handled the situation correctly, appropriately and respectfully and for that, I apologize to them for the names they were called on social media and the subsequent social media bullying and backlash which ensued,” they said in a statement.

>> RELATED: Bunkers Sports Bar owners take back apology to mom, say video does not support her version of baby-food dispute

McLaughlin said the restaurant’s no outside food policy does not apply to babies and other special circumstances.

In the statement, they said the baby food was brought into the restaurant in a KFC container.

"Gerber baby food was never once visible. The only thing visible were KFC containers the family had in their hand upon walking in the restaurant. The still photo from the restaurant's security cameras clearly show takeout containers, not Gerber food containers as previously portrayed," the statement read. 


Chris Carmichael, the owner of Carmichael's Pub, 3011 Wayne Ave., got people talking this fall when he said he closed the business' kitchen because of staffing.

"Nobody wants to work. People lie. People steal," he said

The bar remains open, but now offers only food items that do not have to be prepared by a cook such as pizzas, subs and chips and dip.

Carmichael’s award-winning burgers were featured as part of a Facebook Live a year ago.

>> RELATED: What you're saying: Facebook reacts to Dayton tavern owner closing kitchen
Customers had called him to complain of hour-long waits for hamburgers.

“I can make a meatloaf in less than an hour,” he told this news organization at the time.

>> Here's what you need to know about Dot's Market

Before closing the kitchen for good, Carmichael said he had to comp $143 in food in one day due to failures in the kitchen.

>> RELATED: Dayton tavern owner decides to close kitchen


Steve Barnhart, the founder, CEO and chief brewing officer of Lock 27 Brewing,  brewed up conversation when he defended Dayton against naysayers who spread doom and gloom about the region.

Barnhart penned an open letter to the community about the positive things going on here.

“There has been a great deal of negative press in the last few weeks concerning the Miami Valley and its economic past. While seeing these stories is disheartening to say the least, as CEO of Lock 27 Brewing, I look around our region every day and see the positive spirit and sprouted seeds of growth,” he wrote.

Barnhart told us he wasn’t quite sure what he’ll do with his “Letter to the Miami Valley.” He may post it on the brewery’s blog. He might distribute it more widely to media.

But one way or another, he wants to get the word out.


Credit: Teesha McClam

Credit: Teesha McClam

Glen Brailey has decades of experience as a local and independent restaurant owner, co-founding Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory, founder and owner of Pacchia in the Oregon District and Spinoza’s Pizza & Salads in the Mall at Fairfield Commons.

But even Brailey hasn’t seen a market as competitive as today’s, an observation he shared with his customers via a call-to-action email in which he decried the "oversaturation" of eateries, many of them chains.

>>Local, independent pizza-shop owner calls out diners, chain restaurants - and his sales surge

“Will diners reward locally-owned operators with continued visits and referrals? Or will they flock to the newest chain restaurant to ‘check it out?’ Unfortunately, frequent (lines) observed at ... area chain restaurants seem to indicate the latter.”

Brailey’s e-mail did not go unnoticed and he said he received positive customer response to his e-mail.

"I received a 35 percent 'open rate' for this email, the highest rate I have ever enjoyed .... Sales were up considerably since I sent it out, and numerous guests commented on reading it."


Credit: Photo: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Photo: Amelia Robinson

The owner of a long-time Kettering business and her patrons were taken by surprise by sudden news in the spring.

For nearly 25 years, the routine was the same when it was time for Dr. Carol Ryan to renew the lease for the space in Fountain Square Shopping Center in Kettering that she rented for Martha's Skin Care

She’d simply sign a new one. That changed in April.

Instead of signing a new lease with the center’s new owner Miami Valley Commercial Group, Ryan said she and her staff learned they would have to leave the shopping center located at 3109 Far Hills Ave.

“It was very abrupt,” Ryan said. “You never like to end a business on such short notice. We have nowhere to go and no time.”

“It makes me tear up every time I talk about it,” she said. “It was just the fact of it suddenly happening. We are like a refugee business. Where do you go? You just go.”