Dayton’s new food hall opens today: Meet the vendors

Dayton’s first food hall in the historic Wright-Dunbar District is opening at 7 a.m. today for coffee and breakfast from two of its vendors. The remaining vendors open at 11 a.m. for lunch.

“We are ready for today,” Rob Barry, general manager of West Social Tap & Table said. “Everyone has worked hard on their menus and the staff is ready to meet their regulars!”

West Social Tap & Table, located at 1100 W. Third St., is a joint real estate venture between Dillin Financial, Clous Road Partners and Wright Dunbar Inc. The $2.1 million project transformed a former 6,400 square foot conference center into a food hall with a bar and six other independent businesses including De’Lish, Grind House Coffee & Tea Co., The Lumpia Queen, SOCA, ILLYS Fire Pizza and Taco Street Co.

Barry and Cheryl Dillin, chief brand officer with Dillin Corp., told this news outlet customers will be able come into the food hall, sit down, scan a QR code and order drinks from the bar or coffee shop and food from the other tenants - all at the same time. Customers will receive a text when their food and drinks are ready and will never have to physically wait in a line if they don’t want to.

To start off, the food hall will only offer in-house ordering. To-go orders and online ordering is expected to be added at a later date.

Below are the seven food hall tenants:

The Bar

The bar, featuring 16 taps of domestic and craft beer, wine and cocktails will be the “heart of the restaurant,” Barry said.

Each food tenant will have a specialty cocktail at the bar. This includes Cajun Lemonade, Gin Pom, Trinidad Sour Riff, New York Sour and Strawberry Margarita. Bartenders will be available to help guests choose other drink pairings with their meals.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The bar will be a work in progress, Barry explained. He said as they get to know the community and find out their favorite drinks, the bar will be flexible.

Dillin Corp. owns the bar.


De’Lish, a Cajun, creole, comfort food concept that was previously located on N. Main Street in the former space of Gregory’s Piano Bar is reopening at the food hall.

“I always wanted to start the restaurant back up,” owner Jasmine Brown said. “I was just waiting on the timing.”

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Brown opened the restaurant in 2010 with her husband, Willie Hutson, who passed away six years ago. She said they opened the restaurant because they were foodies and wanted to bring food from their travels to the Dayton area. The restaurant closed in 2018 when their lease was up.

Customers can expect their favorites to be on the De’Lish menu including egg rolls, wings and shrimp and grits. Brown said she will also have a wide variety of vegan options and a weekly special. Many of the ingredients Brown uses are from local vendors.

Grind House Coffee & Tea Co.

Grind House Coffee & Tea Co., previously located in the Huber Heights Meijer store, is reopening in the food hall after closing in 2020 when owner Bill Miller became ill.

“It was a rough year, but I came through it,” Miller said. “I’m glad to be back.”

Miller said what sets his coffee apart from other shops is that he uses beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, Kenya and other countries. He told this news outlet that most coffee companies strictly use Columbian beans.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

“It’s all about the timing in the roasting process that makes the beans taste like they are and I pride myself in doing that,” Miller said.

The coffee shop’s menu will feature lattes, frozen lattes made with ice cream, cold brew, doughnuts, pastries and much more. Miller said he is collaborating with the bar in the food hall to offer customers two drinks featuring bourbon and whiskey.

The Lumpia Queen

The Lumpia Queen is opening its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in the food hall.

Owners Catherine and Damon Roberts said they are looking forward to introducing three classic Philippine dishes to the West Dayton area.

The couple described lumpia as a Filipino spring roll. Damon said it is more crispy than chewy. Customers can order the hand-rolled lumpia with either beef, pork, chicken or veggies stuffed inside.

Catherine explained traditional lumpia uses pork, but after they started the catering business in 2019 and the food truck in 2020, they had customers requesting other meats. She said they also have vegan, gluten-free and dessert lumpia.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

What makes The Lumpia Queen’s signature dish different from others, is that they also include rice noodles inside the lumpia. Other dishes customers can order include the pancit bowl and adobo bowl.

“For us, this is just another building block,” Damon said. “We had our three to five-year plan and this gives us a chance to see if the brick-and-mortar lifestyle is what we want to pursue or if we want to expand through more food trucks.”

“We’re nervous and excited at the same time,” Catherine added. “There are so many people waiting for this place to open and we want to be well prepared.”


After starting a food truck two years ago, Shafton Greene, the owner of SOCA, is opening a brick-and-mortar location in the food hall.

Greene was born on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. He grew up in Washington, D.C. and came to Dayton for college. He told this news outlet he originally opened the food truck with his brother because he couldn’t find Trinidad-inspired food in the area.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

“We just wanted to make sure everybody tasted the culture,” Greene said. “Some of the things we make you can’t get it for 10 hours, if you drive either way, and that’s what makes us unique. We bring a different flavor to Dayton.”

SOCA features an array of Trinidad-inspired dishes including Roti, Doubles and Oxtail. Greene described Roti as a flatbread stuffed with chickpeas, curry chicken, potatoes, spices and sauces. Doubles is the Trinidad version of a taco.

The SOCA food truck did not open this season because Greene wanted to focus on his brick-and-mortar location. However, he plans to use the food truck for special events in the future.

ILLYS Fire Pizza

What started out as a family tradition turned into a priority when Robert Gunn, owner of ILLY’S Fire Pizza, lost his job working for a telephone company. Robert, owns the 80s-90s hip hop themed pizza joint with his wife, Kelly.

He explained that his family moved from Dayton to Columbus to follow his job, but then he was laid off. ILLY’S Fire Pizza launched in March 2013 as a way to provide for their family. ILLY is an acronym that stands for “I’m livin’ life, you?” The owners said people are supposed to respond, “livin’.”

Their favorite part of owning the pizza joint is the aspect of family.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

“It’s the whole sense of family because we started it in our home and then we grew it with our children,” Kelly said.

ILLY’S Fire Pizza is providing a healthier alternative for pizza by using all turkey products. Customer favorites include the Jive Turkey featuring turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage and turkey bacon and the Illuxe featuring turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, spinach, onions, mushrooms, olives and feta. All pizzas have a six cheese blend, a special sauce and a sweet finish on the crust, they said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

And with the help of a 7,000 pound pizza oven named Mia, they are sure to get the job done. Robert said they will be able to cook 14 to 16 pizzas at one time in 90 seconds.

“We’re looking forward to bringing together families,” Robert said. “We’re looking to bring a fun, hip environment.”

To play off of their 80s-90s hip hop theme, employees will wear Adidas track suits and have their own jargon.

Taco Street Co.

Taco Street Co. is opening in the food hall after closing its first brick-and-mortar location at The Mall at Fairfield Commons earlier this month.

Anthony Thomas, owner of Taco Street Co. said he started out with a food truck in 2018 before opening a location at the mall in 2021. He said he decided to close the mall location to put all of his focus into the food hall.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

“This is where I launched my food truck, right across the street,” Thomas said. “My base is pretty much here.”

Thomas explained his recipes aren’t traditional Mexican recipes. He said he puts his own twist on it by using some of his mother’s recipes he remembers from his childhood.

Customer favorites include the Taco Street Classic, Birria Tacos, Street Corn and Strawberry Lemonade, Thomas said. The Taco Street Classic uses a specific type of corn tortilla that is stuffed with ground turkey and deep fried. It is topped with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese and a secret, sweet and tangy sauce. The Birria Tacos are a combination of a traditional birria taco recipe and his mother’s pot roast recipe.

Today’s grand opening will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. featuring Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims Jr. A Grand Opening Block Party is planned for Friday, August 5. The block party will feature live music and additional neighborhood food trucks.

For more information on West Social Tap & Table, visit the food hall’s Facebook page.

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