In this file photo from late August, Dave VanArtsdalen, co-founder of Zombie Dogz food truck, stands inside the Brown Street space that will open in 10 days as a restaurant. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Zombie Dogz announces opening date for Brown Street restaurant

The owners of Zombie Dogz have announced on their Facebook page that their restaurant near the University of Dayton will open Nov. 13.

The bricks-and-mortar version of the Dayton area’s most popular food truck will be located at 1200 Brown St., in a strip of retail spaces just north of Stewart Street that houses several other restaurants. The space adjacent to UD’s main entrance previously housed Shish Wraps, which operated for three years before shutting down in April. Zombie Dogz’ hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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“We are offering 12 core Dogz out of the long list of dogs that we have and will always have another three to seasonally rotate,” Zombie Dogz husband-and-wife founders Dave and Lee VanArtsdalen wrote. “We are implementing side items other than chips, and also salads, and a new protein, chicken sausages, and also, finally by popular demand, a gluten-free bun option.

“It has been a long journey and we are so proud to finally be at this point of finally showing everyone what we’ve spent three years working so hard for, and what we’ve been working on the last six months. We’ve really put a lot of our blood, sweat, and tears into our brick and mortar location, and we are just so stoked to finally introduce Zombie Dogz Dayton to the community.

“We couldn’t have made it this far without everyone’s support over the years. That’s why we are just so full of emotions to finally give Zombie Dogz a permanent place here in Dayton, but most importantly to finally give our employees a permanent job. We are so lucky to have the crew that has stuck by us since the beginning and has believed in us this much to have stuck it out this long with us for this day to finally come. We’ve hired a new crew that we feel is just as rad and are so lucky to have wonderful people working for us.

“We super look forward to opening and seeing your lovely faces.”

The restaurant will employ about 15 and will seat about 50 in its 2,000-square-foot space, Dave VanArtsdalen has said.

The food truck has a strong, loyal customer base — its Facebook page has more than 37,000 followers — and a reputation that extends beyond Dayton. Zombie Dogz was named “Best Food Truck in Ohio” in Ohio Magazine’s 2016 Best of Ohio Readers’ Ballot. And it finished second in Mobile Cuisine’s 2016 Hot Dog Vendor of the Year poll.

The Brown Street strip is well-populated with restaurants. Zombie Dogz’ neighbors already include Potbelly Sandwiches, Fusian Sushi, El Rancho Grande and Smashburger. In addition, the first Dayton-area location of Bibibop Asian Grill, a fast-growing Columbus-based chain with a Korean-inspired menu, is gearin up to open next door to Zombie Dogz.