February restaurant news: 8 coming soon, 2 open, 1 reopening

As new food vendors are headed to 2nd Street Market, some restaurant owners have decided to open an additional location while others are stepping away from the Dayton area.

In our February Restaurant Roundup, we report eight establishments coming soon, two now opened and one reopening.

If you know of a new restaurant coming to the Dayton area, email natalie.jones@coxinc.com with details.


Wat Da Pho to open second location in Huber Heights

Wat Da Pho, a Beavercreek Vietnamese Restaurant, is opening a second location in Huber Heights this summer with a twist.

Steven Huynh, who co-owns the restaurant with his business partner, An Le, told Dayton.com the new location will be an express version of their current restaurant concept.

The new restaurant at 7612 Old Troy Pike in the Huber Heights Commons Retail Center will feature their authentic Vietnamese Pho noodle soup, Banh Mi Sandwich and appetizers, Huynh said. The new 1,600-square-foot space will be a fast-service restaurant with a self-order kiosk. It is expected to seat 39 people inside with additional seating on an outdoor patio.

The earliest the Huber Heights location could open is June or July, Huynh said. The latest is expected to be August.

Father-daughter duo to open restaurant in Bellbrook

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Ardita Demnika and her father, Agron, will be taking over the space of Verona’s Pizza in Bellbrook to open a new restaurant called Veli’s Pasta and Pizza next month.

Demnika told Dayton.com the restaurant will continue to serve pizza, calzones, stromblis and baked dishes with plans to add additional entrees like spaghetti and alfredo. She explained the recipes will be the same for the most part, but she and her father plan to add their own personal touch.

“It’s something I know how to do and it’s something my dad really wants,” Demnika said. “He has wanted a restaurant for a very long time.”

In 1999, Demnika and her family came to America from Kosovo. When she was 12, she began working in the restaurant industry with her father at the former Palermo’s Restaurant in Kettering. In recent years, they have worked together at Troni’s Italian Restaurant in Kettering.

New chapter could begin for former Oregon District bar space

Something new could be coming soon to the former space of Tumbleweed Connection in Dayton’s Oregon District.

Denver Williams, a zoning specialist with the city of Dayton, confirmed a building permit is currently under review by the city’s building division for plans to re-establish occupancy of 454 E. Fifth St. as a bar.

According to the commercial building permit, the applicant, Austin Smith (Mandj Inc.), desires to reestablish occupancy of the two-story building.

In the project description of the permit, it says the kitchen will not be used and there will be no construction. The name of the project is Next Door Bar.

Dayton native to open barbecue spot in 2nd Street Market

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The Dayton Barbecue Company is planning to open in the former spot of Cheeky Meat Pies in 2nd Street Market at the end of March.

Owner Eric Evans told Dayton.com he is looking forward to offering his customers a consistent location to order his barbecue. He added the market is the perfect spot because he will be able to meet many new customers.

When The Dayton Barbecue Company opens Friday, March 31, Evans said customers can expect smoked wings, pulled pork, brisket, baked macaroni and cheese, and green beans in addition to several new specialty items.

In the future, Evans said he hopes to have a standalone brick-and-mortar in addition to the space at 2nd Street Market. He would also like to add barbecue classes, a retail piece and much more as he grows his company.

New ramen restaurant applies for liquor license in Englewood

Credit: Russell Florence

Credit: Russell Florence

A new ramen restaurant could be coming soon to Englewood.

According to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, TBCHEN INC DBA Ninja Ramen applied for a D-5 permit on Feb. 13 for 375 W. National Road.

The restaurant space previously housed China Palace and sits next door to Englewood City Hall and Fire Station 98.

New vendor to continue Mediterranean cuisine at 2nd Street Market

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A new vendor is joining 2nd Street Market in the longtime space of Azra’s Mediterranean Cuisine.

Gunash Akhmedova is hoping to open Gunash Mediterranean Cuisine in the next two weeks. Azra Kaurin, owner of Azra’s Mediterranean Cuisine, is retiring from 2nd Street Market this weekend.

Akhmedova told Dayton.com customers can expect a few similar menu items like shawarmas, gyros, paninis and soups but they will be her own recipes. She added that everything will be made from scratch and she hopes to add additional dessert options, Turkish bread, eggplant kebabs and much more.

Gunash said she moved to Dayton about five years ago to be closer to her family. Having a small space to feed people was a dream she had since she moved here but she said there was never an open space at 2nd Street Market. Over the last couple years, she has worked as a cook at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

New Popeyes restaurant to open on Wilmington Pike

A new Popeyes Louisiana Chicken restaurant is heading to Wilmington Pike near Miami Valley Hospital South in Sugarcreek Twp.

Julea Schuh, a spokeswoman for Popeyes’ franchisee Gilligan Company, confirmed the new restaurant will be located at 6242 Wilmington Pike. The site was previously home to an Applebee’s restaurant.

The 2,400-square-foot space seating over 30 people is currently under construction and expected to open at the end of May, Schuh said.

The restaurant is part of an expansion effort to build as many as five new stores per year in the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus markets. The Gilligan Company opened a new restaurant at 5798 N. Springboro Pike in Miami Twp. in March 2022 and another at 6793 Miller Lane in the Vandalia/Butler Twp. area in June 2022.

New restaurant, bar to open inside Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Barstool Sportsbook, a new restaurant and bar, is opening inside Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway on Sunday, March 12.

“The new space will include a full service bar, food service, VIP space and be a great addition to our property’s newly launched sports betting product,” a press release from the racino said.

In addition, the space will offer 35 TVs and a 34-foot-wide jumbotron above the bar area. The restaurant will feature bar food including burgers, pizza, tacos, sandwiches and more.

Barstool Sportsbook is joining four other dining venues at the racino: Skybox Sports Bar, Take 2 Grill, Wahlburgers and Zombie Dogz.

A ribbon cutting is planned for Friday, March 10 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., but the space will not open to the public until Sunday, March 12 at noon.


Neighborhood bar near UD to reopen under new ownership

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A neighborhood bar near the University of Dayton known for its pizza is reopening next week under new ownership, according to a post on the bar’s Facebook page.

“Kramers is currently closed and will reopen under new ownership on March 8th at 11 a.m.,” the post said.

This news comes after a Feb. 26 Facebook post stating the former manager had decided to move on.

According the bar’s website, Elmer Kramer opened Kramers in 1933 amidst the prohibition.

“It wasn’t until the prohibition lifted that Elmer was able to add carry out beer, and open the local bar,” the website said. “Kramers was known as a sports bar because many people would choose Kramers as there place to ‘tailgate’ before UD basketball and football games.”


Jersey Mike’s opens in Troy, more locations on the way

Jersey Mike’s Subs has opened a new location at 1406 W. Main St. in Troy.

According to Ben Genovese, an area trainer for Jersey Mike’s Subs, the store opened Wednesday, Feb. 15.

This comes about three months after the Dayton area welcomed a new Jersey Mike’s Subs location to 2831 Wilmington Pike in Kettering.

Ted Tolliver, a Dayton-area franchise owner, told Dayton.com there is a Jersey Mike’s Subs location expected to open in Huber Heights on Old Troy Pike and Taylorsville Road in May. He previously told this news outlet he is also looking for real estate in Englewood.

New Germantown restaurant serves classic dishes

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

A new restaurant has opened in the former space of KJ’s at 35 W. Center St. in Germantown.

Alleyway Cafe is owned and operated by a Germantown family consisting of Randy and Julie Stiver, Jeff and Debbie Stiver, Audra Stiver, Alexis Stiver, Ashley Noble and Heather Jarrett. The restaurant serves classic dishes including biscuits and gravy, hamburgers, sandwiches, fried chicken and more.

The restaurant opened its doors to the public on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

According to a press release, the name of the restaurant was chosen to reflect the tradition and heritage of the city.

“The name of the restaurant, Alleyway Cafe, is in honor of the notable wagon wheel alley system, designed by Germantown’s founder, Philip Gunckel, in 1814, that the restaurant building sits on,” the release said. “Each block in the downtown Historical District is divided by this diagonal alley system, the hub of which was a central open space where horses and buggies could turn around and park.”

For many years, the Alleyway Cafe building was home to Bud’s Market. In the early 1980s it was converted to a restaurant and has remained a restaurant ever since.

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