After 16 years of renting a space in Yellow Springs, Carl and Kim Lea, the owners of Bentino’s Pizza, can now call 107½ Xenia Avenue their forever home.
The husband and wife team said they purchased the property in which their business resides nearly two weeks ago. They told Dayton.com that one day before signing the papers the owner of the Subway, previously located next door in the same building, notified them that they were planning to leave.
As of Monday, there is a sign posted on the door that says Subway is closed permanently and the Leas confirmed they are searching for a new tenant. Dayton.com has reached out to Subway regarding the reason for closure, but has not heard back.
“I just want to give another small business an opportunity to flourish in this town.” Kim said. “There’s plenty of business to go around that’s for sure.”
Carl added, “We’re looking for a business that compliments what we do.”
The Leas said they have several interviews scheduled for potential tenants specializing in food, but a decision has not been made. Kim said the “sooner the better” for finding a new tenant, but they want to make sure that person is the “right fit.”
Carl opened Bentino’s Pizza of Yellow Springs in 2006 after wanting to open a business in the village. He said he had previously owned a retail business where he had a booth at the Yellow Springs Street Fair selling sunglasses, jewelry and other popular items. He explained that he would sell almost as much in one day at the street fair as he would at other festivals in two to three days.
“Yellow Springs is the place to be,” Carl said. “It’s a place where a lot of things converge and a lot of people come.”
After noticing there were no food delivery options in Yellow Springs at that time and after talking with his friend, Jason Garringer, the owner of Bentino’s Pizza in Jamestown, he decided to bring a new pizza shop to the village.
Kim joined the Bentino’s team in 2007 as an employee, but soon became a vital role in the shop with her culinary background.
“Having Kim around who knew what she was doing really brought the whole restaurant together,” Carl said.
Bentino’s has a variety of specialty pizzas and calzones, as well as breadsticks, pasta and more.
Carl said that he had always wanted to own the building.
“Speaking with the building owner and finding out that he would probably be willing to sell it in the future was one of the main reasons we chose this building,” Carl said.
The Leas explained that they had previously put an offer on the building five to six years ago, but they were turned down. They said that acquiring the building makes them excited for the future.
“Knowing that despite how difficult all of the obstacles have been in the last couple of years, at the end of the day, we built something really special,” Carl said.
The owners said they have plans to brighten up the building and add murals by local artists. They added that they are ready to make the building their own.
The pizza shop is hiring for multiple positions. For more information about Bentino’s Pizza of Yellow Springs, visit www.bentinos.com/yellow-springs or the pizza shop’s Facebook page.