New restaurants in the works to look forward to in 2021

Plans are in the works for several new restaurants to open throughout the Dayton area in the coming months or later in 2021, in defiance of a stubborn and insidious pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the industry.

The activity has reached into many corners of the Miami Valley. New eateries under development include Jollity, a full-service restaurant coming to the Fire Blocks District in downtown Dayton; Michael Cui’s Restaurant, a new Asian dining spot in the works in Kettering; Thai Table Restaurant, opening soon in the former Geez Grill space in Washington Twp.; and one that is probably closest to opening, Wiley’s Wings Tender Fries, a new concept that could open its doors before the end of the month in Huber Heights.

Here’s a look at some of the notable new restaurants that have revealed their plans and that could open sometime in 2021.

Little Fish Brewing Company, downtown Dayton

Downtown Dayton will soon be home to a second location of Athens, Ohio-based Little Fish Brewing Company.

The brewery announced it has signed a letter of intent with Windsor Companies to develop a craft brewery and tap room in Webster Station in downtown Dayton. Construction is projected to begin in spring of 2021.

The future Little Fish location will be dedicated to the production of wood- and barrel-aged sour beers. Patrons will be able to enjoy these, as well as other Little Fish beers brewed at the Athens location at the Dayton taproom and beer garden.

Whit’s Frozen Custard, Centerville



Plans are in the works to turn a long-vacant site near Centerville’s Historic District into the first Dayton-area franchise of an Ohio-based business specializing in desserts.

Northmont High School and University of Dayton grad Jeffrey Neace is looking to open a Whit’s Frozen Custard on Ohio 48 in a vacant Marathon service station at 199 N. Main St.

When completed — hopefully by summer, Neace said — “it’s going to have a modern, retro feel to it,” and will add 10 to 15 jobs.

Michael Cui’s Restaurant, Kettering



A new Asian restaurant is planned for a Wilmington Pike building that has been vacant for years.

Michael Cui’s Restaurant plans to expand the dining space at the former Norton’s at 2505 Wilmington by adding a patio, records show. About 3,000 square feet of patio dining space will be added north and east of the building, which has 4,700 square feet.

Cui said he has obtained a building permit and has hired a general contractor to remodel the site. In October 2020, he said he doesn’t plan to open for about a year, citing issues related to the economy and the coronavirus.

Wiley’s Wings Tenders Fries, Huber Heights

Ray Wiley, the restaurant entrepreneur who launched the Hot Head Burritos in 2007 and Rapid Fired Pizza in 2015, announced he plans to open Wiley’s Wings Tenders Fries at 6315 Brandt Pike (State Route 201) in Huber Heights.

The restaurant could open before the end of January, possibly even this week, its founders say.

The new eatery will have a relatively limited menu that in addition to its core items of wings, tenders and fries, will include cole slaw and Texas toast. The sauce choices, however, will be abundant.

“I don’t know the final number, but I think we’re up to 18 or 20” sauces, said Wiley, whose Hot Head Burritos chain places a great emphasis on sauce choices.

Nutmeg Café, Centerville

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

A love of cooking combined with positive experiences while traveling abroad helped drive a Washington Twp. couple to launch their own European-style restaurant to be called the Nutmeg Café.

Erin and Bill Russ are partners in the new venture, which is coming to the Centerville Shoppes on State Route 48 just south of Centerville. The couple has signed a lease for a 1,400 square-foot space at 9166 Dayton-Lebanon Pike.

Nutmeg Café will offer breakfast and lunch items as well as a variety of cookies, tarts, tortes, and pies throughout the day. The menu will include quiche; a breakfast sandwich of egg, sausage, and cheese on a house-made English muffin; yogurt parfait; panini sandwiches; salads; and house-made soups. Espresso-based coffee beverages, hot and cold teas, drip coffee, and bottled water and soda will be available.

Entropy Brewing Co., Miamisburg

A multi-generational-focused brew pub aims to open inside a historic downtown Miamisburg building.

Entropy Brewing Co. will be located on the first floor of the former Suttman Men’s and Boy’s Wear at 24-32 S. Main St., which is being revamped for $2.2 million by Dayton-area commercial real estate development company.

The new business, which is slated to open by next fall, will offer a Southwest-style menu and house-brewed craft beer, along with morning hours where it will serve coffee, mimosas, pastries, avocado toast and breakfast burritos, said Jordan Joo, founder and owner of Entropy Brewing.

Entropy Brewing will offer a large outdoor patio, indoor seating area with a full-service bar and view of the brewing equipment and a “speakeasy” event space in the basement with its own entrance on the building’s left side, Joo said.

Thai Table Restaurant and Bar, Washington Twp.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Thai Table Restaurant and Bar is coming to 5841 Far Hills Ave. in Washington Twp.

A lease has been signed and renovations are underway, the restaurant’s founder, Suwapat “Sue” Whitted, said in October.

Whitted has operated Thai Kitchen at 8971 Kingsridge Drive behind the Dayton Mall for the last three years.

“Thai cuisine is becoming more popular in the Dayton area, and I want to explore some new ideas,” Whitted said.

Thai Table Restaurant and Bar will have a slightly more upscale menu than other local Thai restaurants, the restaurant owner said.

Jollity, downtown Dayton

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Three local entrepreneurs who have experience working at some of Dayton’s most high-profile restaurants will team up to open a new full-service restaurant in downtown Dayton early next year.

The restaurant will be called “Jollity” — a word that signifies a lively, cheerful activity or celebration — and it is coming to 127 E. Third St. in Dayton’s Fire Blocks District, according to Zackary Weiner, chef and co-founder of the new venture.

Jollity’s menu will be split into two sections: Jollity Staples and Today’s Celebrations. Each section will feature eight to 10 menu items varying in size and price.

“The staples will remain the same for about six months at a time. We opted out of the traditional app/salad/entree menu style, and we will encourage all of our guests to browse our menu and to order at once and allow our service staff to appropriately course your meal for you unless otherwise specified,” Weiner said.

Gulzar’s Indian Cuisine, downtown Dayton

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The owner of an Indian restaurant in Richmond, Ind., is moving ahead with plans to open a second location in downtown Dayton, despite delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Things are moving along, but they’re moving along slowly,” A.J. Singh, owner of Gulzar’s Indian Cuisine, told this news outlet in August. “We’re definitely going to be there, I can promise you that.”

The restaurant is planned for 217 N. Patterson Blvd., in the ground floor of a CareSource building in downtown Dayton.

Singh opened Gulzar’s Indian Cuisine, named for his grandfather, about five years ago. His father, Paramjeet Singh, opened Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine about 20 years ago in Cincinnati.

Flyboys Deli, downtown Dayton

Flyboys Deli has signed a lease to open a new restaurant on the ground floor of a CareSource building at 219 N. Patterson Boulevard.

The new deli will open next to the Winans Chocolates & Coffee shop that opened Jan. 13 at 221 N. Patterson Blvd.

The husband-and-wife owners of Flyboys Deli, Steve Crandall and Eunice Kim, operate a deli on Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood, and they shut down their second location at the Mall at Fairfield Commons at the start of 2019.

Steve Crandall said earlier this month that the COVID-19 pandemic “did slow things down quite a bit, but for now, we are looking at mid-spring for a probable opening.”

The menu will include sandwiches and menu items from the Oakwood deli, but also will likely include Kim’s take on Korean cuisine, the owners said.

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