WORTH THE DRIVE: Nostalgia on the menu at these restaurants north of Dayton

Credit: Ashley Moor

Caption
From the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville to Crabill’s Hamburger Shoppe in Urbana, these are the nostalgic restaurants located in the Northern Miami Vall

Credit: Ashley Moor

If there’s one thing the Northern Miami Valley supplies in delightful excess, it’s nostalgic restaurants. From the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville to Crabill’s Hamburger Shoppe in Urbana, several restaurants north of Dayton have managed to maintain a nostalgic ambiance for decades.

For those looking to enjoy a dining experience reminiscent of years past, we have compiled a list of the best nostalgic eateries in the Northern Miami Valley.

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🍴Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe

Louise Maher opened the Greenville business on North Broadway in 1934 with her brothers Tom and Gene Maher. The mainstay of the restaurant is Maher’s own recipe for the slightly sweet, steamed loose-meat sandwich. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Caption
Louise Maher opened the Greenville business on North Broadway in 1934 with her brothers Tom and Gene Maher. The mainstay of the restaurant is Maher’s own recipe for the slightly sweet, steamed loose-meat sandwich. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Location: 125 N. Broadway St., Greenville

Hours: Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

More info: Website | Facebook

Since 1934, the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe has been serving up its iconic loose-meat sandwich (it has been described as a Sloppy Joe minus the sauce). While it has become famous for its sandwiches, ice cream and shakes, the Greenville institution has also garnered national attention for a tradition started by its customers. For decades, visitors to the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe have made it a tradition to stick their chewing gum to the exterior walls of the restaurant.

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🍴K’s Hamburger Shop

K's hamburger Shop, Troy.--1930 era photo of K's with the brothers out front of the store.
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K's hamburger Shop, Troy.--1930 era photo of K's with the brothers out front of the store.

Credit: None

Credit: None

Location: 117 E. Main St., Troy

Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed on Sundays.

More info: Website | Facebook

A trip to K’s Hamburger Shop is akin to stepping into a time machine. The restaurant, which has been open since 1935 in downtown Troy, still maintains the ambiance and decor from decades past. Customers can dine on delicious burgers made with meat ground on-site, milkshakes, malts, homemade soups, macaroni salads and more nostalgic items.

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🍴Kewpee Hamburgers

Kewpee Hamburgers, located in Lima, has been serving up cult-status hamburgers since 1928.
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Kewpee Hamburgers, located in Lima, has been serving up cult-status hamburgers since 1928.

Credit: Kewpee Hamburgers Facebook

Credit: Kewpee Hamburgers Facebook

Location: 2111 Allentown Road, 111 N. Elizabeth St. and 1350 Bellefontaine Ave. in Lima

Hours: Hours vary based upon location. Check the restaurant’s website for the operating hours of each location.

More info: Website | Facebook

Back in 1928, Hoyt. F “Stub” Wilson and his wife, June, opened the first Kewpee Hamburgers location in downtown Lima. In the past century, Kewpee Hamburgers has expanded to include two other locations in the Lima area. The Lima chain has become famous for its hamburgers that come simply adorned with a pickle. (“Hamburg, pickle on top, makes your heart go flippity-flop”). The restaurant chain also serves fish sandwiches, simple breakfast foods, like doughnuts and omelets, fresh-baked pie, frosted malts and soft-serve frozen yogurt.

🍴Sam and Ethel’s in Tipp City

Sam and Ethel's in Tipp City has been serving up famous breakfast dishes for decades.
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Sam and Ethel's in Tipp City has been serving up famous breakfast dishes for decades.

Location: 120 E Main St., Tipp City

Hours: Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More info: Facebook

Sam and Ethel’s was first opened by Bill and Flora Senseman in 1944. Then, over a decade later, in 1957, Sam and Ethel Moore took over ownership of the restaurant and turned it into the establishment that locals know and adore today. The original building, located at 120 E. Main St. in Tipp City, was built in 1868 and used as a shoe repair shop and an ice cream parlor until it was turned into a restaurant.

The restaurant especially appeals to those who claim breakfast as their favorite meal of the day. The cuisine at Sam and Ethel’s, like large, fluffy pancakes and Main Street Skillet, celebrates the first meal of the day with unparalleled ease. Those who prefer a cozy breakfast experience will not be disappointed at Sam and Ethel’s in downtown Tipp City.

🍴The Spot Restaurant

Rob Lowe and his dad eat a lunch of burgers and pie at The Spot in Sidney during a visit in 2019.
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Rob Lowe and his dad eat a lunch of burgers and pie at The Spot in Sidney during a visit in 2019.

Credit: Michael Jannides

Credit: Michael Jannides

Location: 201 S. Ohio Ave., Sidney

Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

More info: Website | Facebook

The Spot Restaurant was first created by Spot Miller in 1907. At the time, Miller was selling food from a chuckwagon that he set up at the corner of Court Street and Ohio Avenue in downtown Sidney. In 1934, a permanent building was erected in that same location. The building was remodeled in 1941 after a fire destroyed the first permanent structure in 1940.

Since 1941, The Spot Restaurant has been serving up mid-century modern ambiance with delicious cheeseburgers, tenderloins, pies, homemade soup and frosted malts in tow.

Fun fact: Dayton native Rob Lowe’s grandfather once owned The Spot Restaurant and Lowe has been spotted taking a walk or two down memory lane in the past.

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🍴Mel-O-Dee Restaurant & Catering

The Mel-O-Dee Restaurant. Bill Lackey/Staff
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The Mel-O-Dee Restaurant. Bill Lackey/Staff

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Location: 2350 S. Dayton-Lakeview Road, New Carlisle

Hours: Open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

More info: Website | Facebook

Their food is sure to put a mel-o-dee in your heart. Since opening for business in 1965, Mel-O-Dee Restaurant in New Carlisle has been serving up homecooked food like Broaster Chicken, fried steak, spaghetti and liver and onions. For decades, the restaurant has served as a gathering place for New Carlisle residents and a loyal customer base.

🍴Wot-A-Dog Drive-In

Wot-A-Dog Drive-In in New Carlisle. FILE
Caption
Wot-A-Dog Drive-In in New Carlisle. FILE

Location: 603 S. Main St., New Carlisle

Hours: Open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.

More info: Website | Facebook

For decades, Wot-A-Dog Drive-In has been a summertime staple in New Carlisle, serving famous coneys, hamburgers, crinkle-cut fries, root beer in frosted mugs, root beer floats and milkshakes. These nostalgic items can be enjoyed in the restaurant or you can have them delivered to your vehicle by one of the restaurant’s carhops.

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🍴Crabill’s Hamburger Shoppe in Urbana

Crabill's Hamburger Shoppe in Urbana has been serving up cult-status food since 1927.
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Crabill's Hamburger Shoppe in Urbana has been serving up cult-status food since 1927.

Credit: Crabill's Hamburger Shoppe Facebook

Credit: Crabill's Hamburger Shoppe Facebook

Location: 727 Miami St., Urbana

Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More info: Website | Facebook

Forest Crabill first began selling hamburgers out of a small garage in 1927. In the years that followed, the family carried on the legacy of Crabill, eventually moving into the restaurant’s current building in 1989. Over the past century, Crabill’s has been one of the most popular institutions in Urbana, maintaining a long roster of faithful customers who enjoy indulging in the restaurant’s iconic hamburgers (which come with interesting condiment options, like brown mustard and sweet relish), soups and homemade pies.

Currently, the restaurant is only serving customers through their drive-thru window.

🍴Bulldog Diner

Bulldog Diner has been a popular long-running establishment in West Milton.
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Bulldog Diner has been a popular long-running establishment in West Milton.

Credit: Bulldog Diner Facebook

Credit: Bulldog Diner Facebook

Location: 30 Lowry Drive, West Milton

Hours: Wednesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 8-11 a.m.

More info: Facebook

West Milton residents and outsiders alike will find a bit of comfort in this long-running establishment that serves up cozy ambiance, a wide selection of hearty breakfast foods, homemade pies and delicious breakfast and lunch specials.

🍴Hussey’s Restaurant

Hussey's Restaurant in Port Jefferson.
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Hussey's Restaurant in Port Jefferson.

Credit: Hussey's Restaurant Facebook

Credit: Hussey's Restaurant Facebook

Location: 8760 Broad St., Port Jefferson

Hours: Wednesday and Thursday from 4-7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4-9 p.m.

More info: Facebook

Located where a pond and flour mill once stood in Shelby County’s Port Jefferson is Hussey’s Restaurant, which has been serving up delicious food like prime rib and an assortment of seafood platters since 1933.

🍴Buffalo Jack’s

Buffalo Jack's in Covington. (Source: Facebook)
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Buffalo Jack's in Covington. (Source: Facebook)

Location: 137 S. High St., Covington

Hours: Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

More info: Facebook

Those looking for a truly unique dining experience will surely find it at Buffalo Jack’s in Covington. Apart from its fairly nontraditional menu, which includes game dishes centered around alligator, buffalo, elk, wild boar and venison, guests will be treated to an entirely unique ambiance within the Miami County restaurant that is curated with taxidermied animals on the walls and a rustic charm straight from the 1970s.

🍴Wooden Shoe Inn

A menu item from The Wooden Shoe Inn, located in Minster.
Caption
A menu item from The Wooden Shoe Inn, located in Minster.

Credit: The Wooden Shoe Inn Facebook

Credit: The Wooden Shoe Inn Facebook

Location: 6 N. Main St., Minster

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 4-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4-9 p.m. and Sunday from 4-8 p.m.

More info: Website | Facebook

The Wooden Shoe Inn has been a Minster landmark since 1933. The long-running establishment was renovated last year and now includes a larger menu and an updated dining area. Despite these changes, The Wooden Shoe Inn still maintains a bit of nostalgia through its historic back bar that is chock full of memorabilia from the restaurant’s past.

Customers can look forward to indulging in a range of family-friendly German and American fare from steaks and a special tenderloin pizza to pork schnitzel and German chocolate cake.

🍴Loretta’s Country Kitchen

Loretta’s Country Kitchen in Christiansburg. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
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Loretta’s Country Kitchen in Christiansburg. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Location: 12 E. Pike St., Christiansburg

Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More info: Facebook

In the mid-1980s, the Lyons Family Restaurant opened in Christiansburg. During that time, Loretta Rhodes worked as a waitress at the establishment and spent nearly a decade attempting to open her own version of Lyons Family Restaurant after the establishment closed. Finally, in 1998, Rhodes opened Loretta’s Country Kitchen. The restaurant specializes in serving homecooked meals and desserts to customers who want “Home Cookin’ At The Right Price!”

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