A restaurant that served as an incubator for a locally owned chain shut down over the weekend.
Arepas & Co. Colombian Comfort Food closed its vendor-booth restaurant in the 2nd Street Market effective Saturday, Sept. 9. Ruth Williams — known as “Ruthie” to her regulars — had overseen that location, and she will join the staff of the Arepas & Co. restaurant a few blocks away at East Third Street and Wayne Avenue in Dayton.
Arepas & Co. founders J.P. and Lisa Perdomo said the decision to shut down the booth where they launched and nurtured their dream was “bittersweet,” but after five years, it’s time to focus on their three other restaurants.
Here’s why they did it, in their own words:
“When we decided to launch our Colombian comfort food concept, we weren’t sure how well accepted it was going to be … we needed a venue that appealed to a diverse group of people that were open to new, unique food concepts, and the 2nd St Market delivered that us. So the market became the incubator for our idea and needless to say, with its convenient location and awesome visitors, it provided all the nurture we needed to help us grow to what we are today.”
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“Now that we have three permanent locations in the Dayton area we feel the need to focus on their growth, and it is only fair to open the spot for another dreamer, another local entrepreneur who wants to try a new, exciting concept and continue to make Dayton and the 2nd St market a great foodie destination.”
“We are glad to give someone else the opportunity to have the very same experience and success we’ve had.”
Three months ago, the Arepas & Co. founders opened what was that the time their fourth Dayton-area location at 1000 Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725) in Washington Twp. Arepas & Co has operated a Kettering restaurant at 1122 E. Dorothy Lane since March 2014. It opened in the former Olive Urban Dive space at 416 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton in January 2016, and made the decision at the time to maintain its presence in the nearby 2nd Street Market, where they opened in December 2012.
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Long-term plans call for having seven to 10 locations in the region, J.P. Perdomo said in June.
Arepas & Co. specializes in comfort foods from different regions of Colombia, South America, including Arepas, Empanadas, Mazorca, Yuca Fries, and Choclo. For more information, check out the Arepas & Co’s Facebook page.