LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS: A ‘ghost kitchen,’ a specialty market and the return of a BBQ favorite

February was a busy month on the Dayton-area dining scene, and most of the news was positive

Credit: Staff

Credit: Staff

A frigid February was warmed by plenty of hot restaurant news.

Among the local restaurant news stories we brought to you last month included the opening of a new “ghost kitchen” — Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen, a delivery-only restaurant offering dishes created by the celebrity chef — at The Greene Town Center.

But that was only one of several tantalizing developments on the local dining-and-foodie scene. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, as many restaurants opened during the month as closed. And we got word of more new dining spots in the works.

Here’s a closer look at the biggest stories from the Miami Valley’s restaurant beat during February 2021.


Flavortown Kitchen

Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Legendary foodie king and Food Network star Guy Fieri has launched a delivery-only restaurant at The Greene.

According to Guy Fieri’s website, a “Flavortown Kitchen” location has opened at The Greene at 4459 Cedar Park Dr., the address of Brio Tuscan Grille. Flavortown Kitchens are rapidly popping up across the U.S. and are operating as “ghost kitchens” instead of stand-alone, brick-and-mortar establishments.

“Flavortown Kitchen is a delivery-only restaurant featuring real-deal flavors from Chef Guy Fieri,” according to the Flavortown website. “From our signature Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ Wings to our award-winning Mac N Cheese Burger, all of Flavortown’s favorites come straight to your doorstep.”


Credit: Staff

Credit: Staff

Centerville chefs Casey Van Voorhis and her husband Patrick have relocated Grist, a specialty pasta market and restaurant.

The new Grist is located at 46 W. Fifth St. at Ludlow Street, in space that formerly held Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar. The relocation to larger quarters will allow the store to considerably expand its offerings, Grist’s owners said.

Formerly known as “Grist Provisions,” the business was previously located in the District Provisions building at 521 Wayne Ave. in the Oregon District before the shop closed in August 2020. It operated as a market that offered pop-up dinners and take-home, fine-dining-caliber breads, pastas and other specialty items.

The dine-in and grab-and-go menu will feature seven sandwiches, four salads, desserts, pastries and more. And Grist’s signature pasta sauces, pastas and breads available for carryout, ready to be prepared at home.

Taco Street



Taco Street Co. is the latest Dayton-area food truck to make the jump to bricks-and-mortar restaurant with the opening of its new location in Beavercreek.

The new taco shop is located in the Mall at Fairfield Commons food court, in space vacated last year by Wayback Burgers.

Taco Street Co.’s menu includes shrimp, chicken and barbacoa beef tacos and taco salads, as well as its signature taco, the Taco Street Classic, which consists of ground turkey, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato and house-made Taco Street sauce in a fresh-made crunchy taco shell.

Raising Cane’s

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has opened a new Springfield location at the intersection of Hillcrest Avenue and Albemarle Road.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled for our first restaurant of 2021 to open in Springfield,” Eric Ongaro, CEO of Raising Cane’s Ohio said. “We’re excited to give Caniacs in the area even more ways to get their chicken finger fix. We have hired an incredible crew to join us in serving everyone in the area and we can’t wait to start.”


Fatback’s BBQ



Fatback’s BBQ — the locally owned barbecue restaurant that operated for seven years at 1334 Linden Ave. in Dayton until shutting its doors in September 2020 — is gearing up to reopen under new owners, who have the full faith and confidence of the restaurant’s founder.

“We plan to keep the Fatback’s tradition going,” the restaurant’s new owner told this news outlet. “Our planned re-opening date is early March.”

Fatback’s founder and former owner Larry “Bub” Britton told this news outlet that the restaurant’s new owners “have my total support and blessing, and I am grateful that Fatback’s Barbecue will live on.”

Fox’s Pizza Den

Credit: Ashley Moor

Credit: Ashley Moor

A new Fox’s Pizza Den restaurant is scheduled to open in Englewood this spring, and more Dayton-area locations are in the works, according to its local franchise owners.

The carryout pizza shop will be located at 606 Taywood Road in Englewood’s Northmont Plaza.

Sherry Gibson will be the primary owner-operator of the new Fox’s Pizza Den location, which is projected to open in April. The shop will offer carryout and delivery only; no dine-in service is planned.


Mimi’s Bistro & Bakery

Mimi’s Bistro & Bakery — better known by its former name, Mimi’s Cafe — has shut its doors after 14 years serving diners from a prime location in an outlot in front of The Greene Town Center.

Neither Mimi’s officials nor management at The Greene commented on the late-February closure.

Mimi’s has been a long-time tenant of the retail, office and residential center in Beavercreek. The restaurant opened in January 2007.

The closure was the second in about six weeks of a prominently located eatery at The Greene. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop at the center’s front entrance closed its doors for good in mid-January 2021.


Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

Starbucks has closed one of its Beavercreek locations at the Mall at Fairfield Commons.

The food-court Starbucks is no longer listed as an active location on the coffee giant’s web site. And an online listing of tenants on the Mall at Fairfield Commons web site lists only the Starbucks perimeter store.

The Mall at Fairfield Commons has seen turnover in some of its food-court tenant spaces. Taco Street Co. opened recently in space that was vacated last year by Wayback Burgers. A year ago, Deg’s Flame Grilled Chicken moved into space that previously housed Gyro King. At the mall’s front entrance, Basil’s on Market opened last fall in space that had been vacated by Flyboys Deli.

The Golden Jersey Inn

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

The Golden Jersey Inn, the full-service restaurant that is part of the iconic Young’s Jersey Dairy, will not reopen but will instead be transformed into events space to be called Young’s Events Center, according to owner Dan Young.

The restaurant has been shut down since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It had operated for more than 20 years on the Young’s Jersey Dairy site.

The Young’s Jersey Dairy store remains open and operating, with socially distanced seating inside as well as a drive-through. It is scheduled to be replaced by a new and larger facility later this year, Young said. The dairy store serves a food menu that includes ice cream, sandwiches, sundaes and fried cheese curds.

Greenfire Fresh

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The owner of Greenfire Fresh — the Tipp City restaurant formerly known as Greenfire Bistro and founded more than two decades ago as Chin’s Ginger Grill — announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page that the restaurant would shut down at the end of February.

“It is with very heavy hearts that we have to announce that the Greenfire will be closing at the end of this month,” owner Rob Scott wrote.

“There are many factors that have led us to this extremely hard decision. While COVID certainly hasn’t helped the journey, I’m sure I’ve made my own share of mistakes along the way too,” Scott wrote. “Also, due to new codes and regulations, it has become financially overwhelming to bring our kitchen up to code, in order to serve you as best as possible.”