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FOOD NEWS: Dayton fried-chicken restaurant has a new name

A Dayton fried chicken restaurant has reopened after closing temporarily and changing its name for the third time in five months.

The former Ms. Pam’s Old Dayton Style Chicken at 2920 Wayne Ave. became Old Dayton-Style Fried Chicken next week, Gary Keller, the restaurant’s owner, told this news outlet on April 20. Former manager Pam Jackson is no longer with the restaurant, Keller said.

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Posts on the restaurant’s Facebook page suggest Jackson is looking for a new location to open her own chicken restaurant. 

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Chicken in the fryer at “Ms. Pam’s Old Dayton Style Golden Fried Chicken” on Wayne Avenue near Belmont High School. MARK FISHER/STAFF (Staff Writer)

***PREVIOUS COVERAGE***

A Dayton restaurant that ran afoul of another restaurant’s trademark just as it was opening its doors for the first time in December has removed its offending signage that had been corrected using duct tape — and also is dramatically expanding its menu.

The restaurant now known as Ms. Pam’s Old Dayton Style Chicken at 2920 Wayne Ave. triggered a trademark dispute when it hung a sign proclaiming itself “Ms. Pam’s Parkmoor Style Dixie Fried Chicken” in December. 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, Ms. Pam’s founders said.

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As a result, Ms. Pam’s owners Gary Keller and Pam Jackson capitulated by covering up, with duct tape, the “Parkmoor” and “Dixie” on the sign in front of their new restaurant near Belmont High School. Now, that original sign has been removed, and, “Hopefully, we’ll have our new sign up by the end of the week,” Jackson said late Monday.

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In December, Keller made it clear to this news outlet that he still believed his fried chicken tastes better — and more true to the flavor of the original recipe served at the Dayton-area Parkmoor restaurant chain — than any other version that he had tasted. But he said he would do as the cease-and-desist letter demanded, to avoid a legal battle.

This sign didn’t last long in the form you see here at the Dayton restaurant now known as Ms. Pam’s Old Dayton Style Chicken. This photo was taken in early December 2017, before the restaurant opened, and before its founders received a cease-and-desist letter. MARK FISHER/STAFF (Staff Writer)

“I didn’t want to spend $60,000 in court and lose,” Keller said at the time. “They have the rights to the name, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

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In its heyday in the 1960s, Parkmoor operated more than a half-dozen restaurants in the Dayton area, and at least 10 more elsewhere in Ohio and in Michigan and Indiana. The fond memories of Parkmoor chicken is evident in a long, nostalgia-filled thread of comments on DaytonHistoryBooks.com.

The Frickers restaurant in Huber Heights started serving Parkmoor Chicken in 2009, according to a Dayton Daily News column by Dale Huffman published in August of that year.

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Jackson previously worked for the Church’s Fried Chicken chain in the Dayton area.

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The restaurant’s 2,000-square-foot space previously housed Oaked and Smoked, a deli that specialized in smoked salmon; a New York Pizza shop; and Tony’s Italian Sausage.

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The Ms. Pam’s menu includes fried chicken pieces, chicken tenders, chicken livers and boneless chicken. And the owners have recently added several items to the menu, including desserts such as sweet potato pie, house-made banana pudding, German chocolate cake and vanilla cake; chicken & noodles; barbecue chicken sandwiches; chicken wraps; and beef hot dogs. Sweet tea and kids meals also are now available, Jackson said.

For more information, call (937) 496-5064.

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