6 new Dayton-area restaurants opened in September, with more coming soon – including a revamped version of an Oregon District favorite

The end of summer ushered in new restaurants with Tiki themes, Caribbean cuisine and burritos from New Jersey.

Backwater Voodoo, located next to the popular Watermark in Miamisburg, offers Tiki cocktails and New Orleans inspired food.

Agnes All Natural Grill has relocated in downtown Dayton with family-inspired Caribbean food and Bubbakoo’s Burritos, a fast-casual restaurant, opened in Sugarcreek Twp.

New plans for an Oregon District favorite, Corner Kitchen, were announced last month. It will reopen with the same name and some of the same dishes but under a new Dallas, TX management group.

It’s also time to continue nominating for Best of Dayton! Are any of these among your favorites in the Dayton area, or do you think others should be on top? Click here to nominate! We choose finalists largely based on how many times a person or place is nominated.

Here’s a look at some of the restaurant news in the Dayton area for September.


Backwater Voodoo

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Backwater Voodoo in Miamisburg celebrated its grand opening giving Dayton-area diners the chance to enjoy truly authentic Tiki cocktails and celebrate Tiki culture.

Owners Maria and Eric Walusis, who own Watermark next door, have opened a warm, cozy new restaurant and bar influenced by the couple’s love for New Orleans, and the city’s contribution to Tiki cocktail history and rebirth.

In early 2020, prior to the pandemic, the couple took a trip to New Orleans and took in many of the Creole cottages. They decided to move forward with a NOLA-inspired décor and vibe.

A little more than half the cocktails on the menu are originals developed by Eric. Backwater Voodoo will always feature classic Tiki drinks like the notorious Zombie ($12, “the drink that launched a thousand Tiki bars, the Holy Grail, the Golden Fleece” ), and will have a partially rotating menu to keep things fresh.

A variety of items are on the menu including Little Bites, Hawaiian rolls with griddled Spam, caramelized scallion, melted swiss and spicy Chinese mustard (3 for $9.95), NOLA Jambalaya Dip ($9.95), made with caramelized peppers and onions, andouille and cheese, Boudin Balls ($11.95), a deep fried New Orleans classic made with pork shoulder and rice, with Remoulade for dipping, and Death Rolls ($9.95) — generously stuffed alligator egg rolls with peppers, onions, cabbage and dirty rice.

Bubbakoo’s Burritos



A “neighborhood” spot for a Jersey Shore-rooted burrito shop has opened in Sugarcreek Twp.

Bubbakoo’s Burritos, located at 5810 Wilmington Pike, is a fast-casual restaurant founded in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 2008. The Wilmington Pike restaurant will be Ohio’s second location. A Bubbakoo’s Burritos is open in Cincinnati at 9890 Colerain Ave.

“It’s a great experience,” spokesman Tom Mirabella said. “It’s got the Jersey Shore skate, surfer atmosphere. Everybody’s very friendly. We have signature items you’re not going to find in other locations. It’s very much a neighborhood, fun place for friends (and) family to enjoy a great meal.”

Panera Bread

Days after the Centerville Panera Bread on Main Street closed shop, a new location has opened about five minutes down the road.

On Wednesday, Sept. 1, the newest Dayton-area Panera Bread opened at 821 Lyons Road in Washington Twp. The new restaurant and bakery features a drive-thru, curbside pickup and will be open Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We are proud to be opening a third bakery-café in the wonderful community of Washington Township” said Sam Covelli, owner and operator. “Whether choosing to dine in, drive-thru, pick-up, or order delivery, we strive to serve delicious food and a great experience for our customers.”

Agnes All Natural Grill

Credit: Staff

Credit: Staff

A decade-old foodie stop, most recently located inside the Dayton Mall, is bringing its popular brown sugar lemonade to downtown Dayton.

Agnes All Natural Grill closed its Dayton Mall food court location and relocated to the Wympee building, located at 416 E 3rd St. in downtown Dayton across from The Barrel House.

Agnes All Natural Grill is named after owner Jose Estremera’s late mother, Agnes. The establishment specializes in Caribbean cuisine, a reflection of his mother’s Trinidadian roots.

Startup Grounds

Startup Grounds, located in The Hub in the downtown Dayton Arcade, is run by Rich Taste Catering owners Clarece and Gerald Richardson.

At Startup Grounds, UD students work to gain experience in skills like marketing and accounting.

The coffee shop sells sandwiches and salads. It is also an avenue for other vendors to take off because it features goods from local underrepresented, minority-owned and female-owned vendors, such as cookies from The Cookieologist and coffee from NameSake Coffee.

Zen Lounge

The latest downtown Dayton spot has a sushi bar and a range of local beers and cocktails.

Zen Lounge is gearing up for a grand opening Oct. 1 and now operating under a soft launch at 121 N. Ludlow St.

General manager Devin Foster said they will serve sushi rolls, sushi bowls, sushi burritos and salad. They are going to have cocktails and nine craft beers on tap with a focus on local breweries.

Foster said the current idea is a sushi chef will be on site until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the option for people stopping by after work to call ahead and pre-order. Depending on what kind of demand they see, they could expand hours.


Corner Kitchen

A former Oregon District restaurant location that closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020 could soon see new life.

One Esca Group, a Dallas restaurant management company, has purchased the lease of the former Corner Kitchen space from its former owners and husband-and-wife team, Jack and Natalie Skilliter. The company intends on owning and operating Corner Kitchen under the same name.

The restaurant, situated on the corner of Fifth and Wayne avenues, opened in July 2015 under the direction of the Skilliters. The new restaurant will retain some of the original Corner Kitchen offerings.

Popeyes Louisiana Chicken

Two new Popeyes Louisiana Chicken location are coming to Montgomery County as part of an area expansion effort of the nationally known restaurant chain.

The eatery has two new 2,200-square-foot locations under construction at 5798 N. Springboro Pike in Miami Twp. and 6793 Miller Lane in the Vandalia/Butler Twp. area, both of which were home to Tim Hortons restaurants until they abruptly closed in early September 2019.

The new Popeyes will open in December, according to Julea Schuh, a spokeswoman for Popeyes’ franchisee Gilligan Company. They will employ 30 to 35 people each.

Popeyes, known for its fried chicken and Cajun-style side dishes, was once a Dayton-area mainstay. It had multiple locations in the region in the early 1980s, but those closed, and the region went without a Popeyes for several years. When the Popeyes at 3796 Salem Ave. in Harrison Twp. opened in 2001, fans flocked to the restaurant for several days, causing waits of up to an hour.

Hole N One Donuts

Luke Lawrence, a 19-year-old avid golfer from Springboro, plans to launch Hole N One Donuts at 2739 W. Alex Bell Road in Moraine in mid-October. The 1,000 square-foot establishment will offer a wide variety of doughnuts in addition to muffins, cookies, turnovers and other baked goods. Limited seating of about four to five tables will be available inside the shop, which will be open from 6 a.m. to about 3 or 4 p.m. daily.

El Rancho Grande

El Rancho Grande is planning to open a new restaurant in Englewood tentatively in late November. The location will be 7712 Hoke Road, formerly home to LaRosa’s, which closed in November 2020.

This will be the local Mexican restaurant chain’s eighth store in the Dayton area, with 16 in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas combined.

El Rancho Grande has applied for a liquor license for the location as well.


Speakeasy Ramen, a Springfield eatery that has been described as providing the best ramen in the state, has applied for a permit in Troy. The permit application lists the address as 101 West Main Street in Troy.

The new restaurant will be called Miso, the Japanese name for a soybean-based soup, and operate in a former furniture store near Moeller Brew Barn downtown, according to Brittany Waters, general manager of Speakeasy Ramen. Waters also said Miso’s menu will feature more broth-based choices as well as ramen and sushi, although on a much bigger scale.

A timeframe for its opening is still to be determined.


Patriot Eatery & Pizzeria

The Patriot Eatery & Pizzeria in Dayton had its final day in business.

The restaurant located at 2627 S. Smithville Road posted to its Facebook page on Aug. 29 that Sunday would be its last day.

“Good morning everyone on this our last day we will be closing at 1:00,” posted The Patriot Eatery on Facebook. “Thank you for your support and your smiles and business. It’s been a pleasure serving you these past few years. Please stay safe and happy. Lots of love the Patriot family. One big hug going out to y’all.”


A long-standing Subway restaurant in Dayton has shut its doors for good.

The Subway at 528 Wilmington Ave., on the corner of Irving Ave., has all signage stripped and appears to be permanently closed, though the restaurant says “temporarily closed” on the Subway website.

In early 2018, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton bought the Subway building for $295,000 in a sale reordered by Montgomery County on Jan. 23, 2021. At the time, Ohio’s Hospice said it bought the property as part of its long-term strategic campus plan.