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New Far Hills Dunkin’ Donuts won’t be like any other you’ve seen

The Dayton area's newest Dunkin' Donuts shop coming to a former Wendy's restaurant on Far Hills Avenue in Washington Twp. will be unlike any other in the region.

Township officials have approved zoning plans for the project at 5901 Far Hills Ave., which calls for a build-out a Dunkin’ Donuts’ “Next Generation Concept Store.”

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The Next Generation stores include digital kiosks that will allow customers to place an order without the help of a crew member; a faster drive-through experience for members of Dunkin’s “DD Perks” loyalty program who order ahead through a mobile app; and an expanded “grab-and-go” selection of bottles beverages, snacks and fresh fruit.

The Dunkin' Donuts Next Generation Concept Store. SUBMITTED

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Dunkin’ Donuts also is promising “premium pours” that include cold beverages such as coffees, iced teas, cold brew coffee and nitro infused cold brew coffee, served through a tap system that looks very much like a craft-brewery taproom. A single-cup machine will also give customers the option of grinding and brewing coffee varieties one cup at a time.

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The new concept is a pivotal part of the chain’s plans for the future, Dunkin’ Donuts officials said earlier this year when the first such concept store opened in Quincy, Massachusetts.

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This former Wendy's and Clark's Pharmacy on Far Hills Avenue will soon become a Dunkin' Donuts. MARK FISHER/STAFF

“The launch of our next generation concept store marks one of the most important moments in Dunkin’ Donuts’ growth as an on-the-go, beverage-led brand,” Dave Hoffmann, president of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada, said in a release. “We have worked closely with our franchisee community to create a positive, energetic atmosphere for our guests that remains true to our heritage, while emphasizing and enhancing the unparalleled convenience, digital innovation and restaurant excellence that distinguishes Dunkin’.”

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Pat Gilligan, the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas, has been steadily expanding the doughnut chain’s footprint across the region. There are Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Kettering, Centerville, Sugarcreek Twp., Miami Twp., Riverside and Springfield, and another on the way in Fairborn, in addition to the coming-soon Far Hills location. All but one of the existing shops (Miami Twp.) have opened in the last five years.

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Prior to Gilligan’s franchise deal, Dunkin’ Donuts’ once-robust presence in the Dayton area had shrunk to one location on Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) near the Dayton Mall, which operates under separate franchise ownership.

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Originally a doughnut and coffee chain, Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded its offerings in recent years to include frozen and iced beverages as well as bagels, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, bakery sandwiches and wraps.

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 The Washington Twp. space housed a Wendy’s restaurant for 16 years until it was shut down in November 2014. It later housed a Clark’s Pharmacy that closed in December 2017.

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