The area in and around the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek has been a hotbed of restaurant activity in recent years, mostly focusing on new restaurants.
And that’s not surprising, because in 2015, the parent company of the Fairfield Commons mall actually demolished a portion of its building that had previously housed anchor department-store space to pave the way for the addition of restaurants and other entertainment-themed retailers.
But the area where Beavercreek, Fairborn, Wright State University and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base-related businesses all come together has seen a large number of restaurant closings in recent years as well.
In most — but not all — cases, the spaces left behind haven’t remained empty for long, as successor restaurants have moved in quickly. And several new restaurants have opened in the area in recent months and years, including MELT Bar & Grilled, Flyboys Deli, Fusian, Primanti Bros., MacKenzie River Pizza Grill Pub and Wandering Griffin, to name a few.
Here are some of the higher-profile restaurant closings in and around the Mall at Fairfield Commons.
Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant was a Beavercreek dining option since it opened in 2005 at 2420 N. Fairfield Road, just south of the Mall at Fairfield Commons. The restaurant shut down permanently and with apparently little warning at the end of 2017.
“We don’t currently have plans to open another location in the Dayton area,” Melanie Carroll, marketing director for Abuelo’s corporate parent, Food Concepts International, told this news outlet shortly after the closure.
Logan’s Roadhouse closed its Beavercreek location at 2819 Centre Drive near the Mall at Fairfield Commons in September 2016. Employees were told high rent and the upcoming renegotiation of a lease was a factor in the decision to close the Beavercreek location.
A month before the closure, Logan’s Roadhouse Inc. filed for reorganization bankruptcy and said it would close 18 “underperforming” locations in the 256-unit chain as it restructured its debt. No Dayton-area location was among the that first wave of closings, however.
Logan’s still operates two Dayton-area steakhouse restaurants: near the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. and in Troy.
Don Pablo’s closed its restaurant at 2745 Fairfield Commons Blvd. in September 2016. The Tex-Mex chain, which got its start in Lubbock, Texas in 1985, has only one remaining restaurant in Ohio, on Madison Road in Cincinnati.
The Max & Erma’s restaurant chain’s corporate owner closed its restaurant in front of the Mall at Fairfield
Commons in April 2017, and said the space would be converted to a different restaurant concept, MacKenzie River Pizza Grill Pub. And that’s exactly what happened in the ensuing months.
“We wanted to give the Beavercreek community a new exciting dining option,” James Blystone, vice president of franchising and communication for Montana-based Glacier Restaurant Group, told this news outlet. “This location worked fine for Max & Erma’s, but as we continue to expand the MacKenzie River Pizza Grill Pub, we look for opportunities that we feel are a great fit for this brand.”
“We are confident the Beavercreek location and the community will embrace MacKenzie River’s scratch kitchen, extraordinary service and mountain ambience.”
In February 2018, Glacier made a very similar announcement for its Liberty Twp. restaurant.
The Dayton area’s only Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant location at 3725 Presidential Drive off Colonel Glenn Highway up the street from the Mall at Fairfield Commons shut its doors rather abruptly in September 2015, after nearly 13 years in business.
The restaurant’s franchise owner-operator, Russell Berner, said at the time that he was selling the restaurant and real estate. “We appreciate the patronage of the last 13 years,” Berner said. But he said the offer for the property “was too good to refuse.”
It didn’t stay vacant for long. The Wandering Griffin Brewpub opened in the space in November 2016.
These are some of the higher-profile closings in the last three years in and around the Fairfield Commons Mall. There have been other closings in the mall’s food court, including Phantom Pizza, Cajun Ming, Subway and Designer Dogs, but those spaces were filled, usually quite quickly, with restaurants that include Sbarro, Gyro King and Asian Too.
And if we want to talk restaurant closings in the “Way-Back” times, we could mention Boulevard Grille or California Pizza Kitchen — but that may be a story for another day.