The owners of a new, locally-owned restaurant that just opened near the University of Dayton want their guests to feel at home when they come in for a drink or a bite to eat.
Back Home Tavern & Table opened on Monday, Jan. 27, at 1151 Brown St. in the space that used to house Romer’s Bar & Grill, and before that, Bargo’s Grill & Tap.
The new restaurant is open daily, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, making it not only a destination for lunch and dinner, but for late-night bites as well. A special, late-night menu with reduced offerings goes into effect from 10 p.m. to midnight daily.
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The restaurant is owned and operated by Jason Dobbin, his wife Michelle Dobbin and their partner Kelton Blurton. Back Home has a staff of 15 employees and can seat up to 99 patrons.
“We want you (our customers) to feel at home,” Michelle Dobbin said. “But it’s also a play on his back home.”
After working in the restaurant industry for years, Jason Dobbin said they wanted to do something different by opening a scratch-made kitchen that drew inspiration from dishes he enjoyed back in his home state of Idaho.
Contrary to popular belief, Idaho isn’t just known for its potatoes, but Back Home’s fries are really good, according to its owners. “The seasoning and sauce are key,” said Michelle Dobbin.
Their fresh-cut fries are served with a side of Back Home’s signature fry sauce, alongside their burgers, which are made from locally-sourced Ohio ground beef, and as an option with their sandwiches.
A lesser-known ingredient that is native to Idaho, and actually the state fruit, is huckleberry, which Back Home utilizes in a barbecue sauce. The Huckleberry BBQ is featured on ‘The Huck’ burger and as an option of sauce for their ‘Flyers Wings’.
Another Idaho specialty that Back Home touts is its Finger Steak, strips of top sirloin battered and fried until crispy (think chicken fingers, but with steak!). “You won’t see anything like this in Dayton,” said Carrie Thompson, an employee at the restaurant.
The restaurant specializes in an assortment of upscale comfort and bar foods, but a few standouts include their Snake River Bites, fried pretzels served with homemade queso and jalapeno ranch, and Campfire Corn Dip from their appetizer menu, the owners said. A few must-try entrees include the Whitehouse Burger, Idaho Warmer, which is a decadent meatloaf sandwich, and their Steak Sammie.
There are also vegetarian options on the menu, including the Holy Cowless black bean burger.
Reopening the kitchen was just one of the capital improvements made; they also renovated the bathrooms, repainted walls, redid the floors, added bigger TVs and a projector, and they don’t plan on stopping there.
“We are really excited to re-do the patio in the spring,” Michelle Dobbin said as she explained her vision of a relaxing space decorated with string lights. When the patio opens, an additional 50 seats will be added to the restaurant’s capacity, said Jason Dobbin.
An assortment of bourbons, scotch and wine has been added to the bar’s selection of beers and liquor. Happy hour specials are offered on Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and during that time glasses of wine, beer and well-drinks will be half-price. They will also offer $2 off select food items.
A few themed-nights from the space’s former days will be carried into its new life as Back Home. “Thursday will still be college night,” Jason Dobbin said.
Additionally, Back Home plans to host a live DJ on Wednesday nights, live bands on Friday nights and karaoke on Saturday nights. Down the line, Dobbin said, he hopes to unveil ‘Mad Moscow Mule Monday,’ where the bar will offer a $25 Moscow Mule served in a massive copper mug.
The owners hope that Back Home can be accommodating for people at all walks of life, from college students to professionals and families.
“We are really wanting to bring that neighborhood feel,” Jason Dobbin said.