July restaurant news: 17 opened, 2 closed, 7 coming soon, others making changes

Several new restaurants with an array of cuisines opened in the Miami Valley this month after a few longtime restaurants decided to close their doors in June.

In addition to restaurant openings, others will be coming to the area soon or announcing changes.

Here is our July Restaurant Roundup:

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


- Whit’s Frozen Custard

Customers at Whit’s Frozen Custard’s newest Ohio location can enjoy frozen desserts in a 1950s-style dining area or take them outside on a large outdoor patio.

Whit’s Frozen Custard business operator Jeffrey Neace said he came up with the idea for the business at 199 N. Main St. in April 2020 as he drove past the former site of a Ritter’s Frozen Custard on Ohio 48.

“I thought, ‘I really miss that place. That would be a cool thing to do,’” said Neace of Washington Twp. “That’s how this whole thing started.”

Whit’s Frozen Custard features a variety of sweet treats, hot dogs, sandwiches and chili, as well as vegan, no-sugar and gluten-free options.

- Jasper Kitchen + Bar

A new restaurant and bar cooking up brick oven fired pizza and much more opened at the Jasper Hills Golf Club east of Xenia.

Jasper Hills Golf Club opened in May at 1100 Knollhaven Drive where the former Sebastian Hills Golf Club was located.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Melissa Dodd, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Dalton, told Dayton.com they envisioned a restaurant from the very beginning.

“When we walked into the space, we immediately knew it could be repurposed in order to house a small, full-service restaurant,” she said. “So, that became a goal of ours to make that space function in a way that would better serve the community and maximize the square footage.”

The restaurant and bar will seat 44 people inside and offer brick oven fired pizzas, salads and sandwiches.

- Tony & Pete’s Groceries and Coldcuts

Dayton’s newest neighborhood market and old-school sandwich shop is now open in the Fire Blocks District.

Justin Simmons and Kathleen Roll, a husband-and-wife team, opened Tony & Pete’s Groceries and Coldcuts at 129 E. Third Street.

Tony & Pete’s has a small, curated selection of staple grocery items including fresh produce, milk, eggs, beer and wine.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The 2,100-square-foot business also has multiple old-school sandwich counters. The couple said the menu includes mostly cold-cut sandwiches, a few warm sandwiches, salads and sides.

“We were really hoping to fill a hole in downtown Dayton,” Roll said. “We’re really hoping the neighbors and people that work downtown can really gravitate towards what we’re doing here.”

- La Embajada Argentinean Cuisine

A restaurant offering Argentinean cuisine with Spanish and Italian influence made its debut this month.

La Embajada Argentinean Cuisine, located at 9486 Springboro Pike, held its soft opening Saturday, July 9, which is Argentine Independence Day.

Located next to Roosters, the 2,263-square-foot Miami Twp. restaurant is the work of Buenos Aires natives Jorge and Monica Fabregat, a husband-and-wife duo who operated the underground eatery La Embajada Underground since 2014. Once La Embajada Underground established a loyal following, they felt it was time to establish a brick-and mortar-location.

Embajada means “embassy.”

“That’s we want to do is be an embassy of Argentina and bring something different than the regular Latin American restaurants bring,” Jorge said.

- The Muddy Goose Coffee Co.

The Muddy Goose Coffee Co. is a new coffee shop located at 465 N. Main Street in Springboro.

Jacquita Melton, a chief master sergeant with the Ohio Air National Guard in Springfield, previously told this news outlet she and her team had spent the last year learning the roasting side of the business as well as the science of coffee.

The coffee shop has its own American-made coffee roaster to create unique coffees.

Customers can create their own drink, choose a classic option or try a specialty drink. Classic drinks include brewed coffee, an americano, a chai latte and much more. Specialty drinks feature the buckeye latte, bourbon butterscotch frappe, chocolate cold brew, a peanut butter and jelly smoothie and several others. The coffee shop also has pastries and handmade chocolate.

Much like its name, the coffee shop will be a unique space. Melton previously told this news outlet the name was inspired after she and a business partner saw a goose stuck in a mud puddle as they left a meeting.

- Crumbl Cookies

The Dayton area’s newest Crumbl Cookies location is now open in Beavercreek.

“It has been a long journey here, about a year, but we are running full speed ahead,” said Kendra Stringham, who owns the cookie store with her husband, Eric. “We seriously can’t be more excited to serve the community of Beavercreek and the greater Dayton area cookies.”

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

With the Beavercreek Crumbl being less than five miles from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the owners said they will offer a 10 percent discount to those with a military ID year round as a thank you to those who have served and continue to serve.

Crumbl Cookies is located at 2260 N. Fairfield Road in Suite G.

- Miguel’s Poké Island

Miguel’s Poké Island, a new poké shop in Yellow Springs, is now open.

The restaurant is owned by Miguel Espinosa, who also owns Miguel’s Tacos.

“After 6 years of multiplying loyal advocates with his impeccable Mexican food in the Yellow Springs area, he is ready to embark on a new adventure with Chef Eric Mawby,” the website said. “Between the two of them, they came up with flavors that can really tell a story.”

Customers at Miguel’s Poké Island will be able to build their own poké bowls and sushi burritos with bases such as rice, quinoa or a kale salad mix and proteins such as tuna, salmon, tofu or grilled chicken. Toppings include pineapple, corn, cucumber, onion, kimchi and much more. Sauces include spicy mayo, spicy poké sauce, green goddess, teriyaki and poké sauce.

The restaurant, located at 134 Dayton Street, will have a variety of smoothies, boba teas and açaí bowls.

- Lucia Italian and Route 63 Comfort Classics inside Miami Valley Gaming

Miami Valley Gaming and Racing has opened two new restaurants after feedback and requests from guests.

Lucia Italian and Route 63 Comfort Classics are located in the former location of the Acres Buffet, a press release from Miami Valley Gaming said.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“The Miami Valley Gaming team is excited to expand our offerings and introduce a new area that will be a retreat from all the action on our gaming floor,” said Craig Robinson, president and general manager of Miami Valley Gaming. “We are confident this new area will become an immediate customer favorite.”

Lucia Italian will feature traditional classic Italian food including pasta, pizza and sandwiches. There will also be dessert options.

Route 63 Comfort Classics offers a twist on comfort food. Their menu will include old fashioned meatloaf, mac and cheese and gourmet burgers.

- Starbucks

The new Starbucks café located inside the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton is celebrating its grand opening Thursday, July 28 with grande handcrafted beverages for only $2.

Kailey Yeakley, social media and communications manager for Dayton Live, said the coffee shop will be giving away gift cards throughout the day as well.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Dayton Live will operate the coffee shop 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Yeakley said on nights they have a show at the Schuster Center, Starbucks will be open through the beginning of the production.


- The Bar

The bar, featuring 16 taps of domestic and craft beer, wine and cocktails will be the “heart of the restaurant,” Rob Barry, general manager of W. Social Tap & Table, 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

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.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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.

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, 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.

“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.”

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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’.”

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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

“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.

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.

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

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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.


- Outback Steakhouse could be heading to Centerville

An Outback Steakhouse is proposed near Interstate 675 and Wilmington Pike at Cornerstone North Boulevard in Centerville.

The Centerville Planning Commission met July 26 during a work session to consider an application from Vantage LLC, on behalf of Outback Steakhouse.

The application requests to build a 4,936-square-foot Outback Steakhouse restaurant at 5181 Cornerstone North Blvd.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Vantage LLC is proposing to build the restaurant on the eastern end of the site. Drivers will enter on Cornerstone North Boulevard between the proposed restaurant and Home2 Suites. Site work will include the installation of curb and gutter, proposed utilities, pavement for parking and associated drives, site grading and the construction of the proposed building, the application said.

The application is expected to be heard at the planning commission’s regular meeting on August 30.

- Agave & Rye to open Centerville location

Agave & Rye, a Tequila and Bourbon Hall delivering “epic tacos” and an unconventional dining experience, is opening a location in Centerville.

“Centerville has a reputation of being such an amazing community that we couldn’t resist the opportunity to be part of it,” said Yavonne Sarber, CEO and co-founder of Agave & Rye Tequila and Bourbon Hall. “We’re so excited to celebrate the city itself with local food lovers and restaurant-goers.”

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Kate Bostdorff, communications director for the City of Centerville, confirmed the new restaurant will be located in the space at 11 N. Main Street that formerly housed Panera Bread.

Agave & Rye’s menu features 20 specialty double-shell (crunchy corn and soft flour) tacos such as “The Crown Jewel”, containing truffle mac n’ cheese and lobster

The restaurant also has grilled street tacos, chips and dips and many other appetizers, sides and entrées. Specialty drinks include the Bourbon Peach Punch, OG Margarita, Jalapeno Pineapple Rita and several others.

- New Indian restaurant with a twist coming to Dayton

A new restaurant specializing in Indian food, but with a twist is coming to Dayton.

“You see a lot of Indian restaurants in Dayton,” Maulin Patel, owner of The Twist Indian Grill said. “This is not the typical Indian restaurant.”

The Twist Indian Grill, located at 2627 S. Smithville Road, is expected to open in August as a fast-casual Indian restaurant where customers can create their own bowls and burritos

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Patel, who also owns Bubbakoo’s Burritos in Centerville, told Dayton.com this concept is similar to Bubbakoo’s Burritos, Chipotle and Hot Head Burritos, but they specialize in Indian food instead.

Customers at The Twist Indian Grill will be able to create their own entrée from four different types of Indian rice, at least four different options of curry, and five meats, including different varieties of chicken.

The Twist Indian Grill will also have Indian-infused chicken wings, Indian Street food and six to eight fresh fruit lassis.

- City Barbeque to open in Kettering

Plans are in the works for a City Barbeque restaurant at the former Rapid Fired Pizza location at 2001 E. Dorothy Lane.

City of Kettering records show the popular Ohio-based restaurant chain intends to renovate the vacant 3,460-square-foot building next to Delco Park.

An outdoor patio will be added with capacity of the restaurant expected to be about 60-70, a project official said.

City Barbeque offers a full array of smoked meats, including ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken breast, pulled chicken, turkey breast and sausage. The restaurant chain also has a range of side items and desserts. Sides include baked beans, collard greens, green beans, three-cheese mac-and-cheese, vinegar slaw and fries. Dessert options include peach cobbler, banana pudding and triple chocolate cake.

The Dorothy Lane building has been vacant for about a year after Rapid Fired Pizza closed that business, along with a restaurant on Brown Street near the University of Dayton’s campus.

- New restaurant opening in Clayton to bring diversity for foodies

Two Dayton-area foodies are planning to bring their own take on soul food to the Miami Valley by opening a family-style restaurant.

Laquita Alexander and her fiancé, Dlaquan Pollard, are opening Main Course at 6556 N. Union Road in Clayton. The restaurant is located in the Meadowbrook Crossing Shopping Center behind United Dairy Farmers at the corner of North Union Road and Salem Avenue



“We just thought it would be a great idea to bring something new to the city, something we’re both interested in and love,” Alexander said.

The couple plans to bring their favorite foods they’ve found when traveling, combine a few things and make it their own, she explained.

Alexander said they hope to add some diversity to the menu for the community. Customers can expect lobster tails, stuffed egg rolls, creole seasonings and traditional sides like macaroni and cheese and collard greens.

- Chipotle to open first location in Wilmington this fall

Chipotle Mexican Grill has confirmed it is opening its first location in Wilmington this fall.

“We’re always looking for communities where we can serve responsibly sourced, classically-cooked, real food and establish new local partnerships, and the Wilmington area is a great fit,” said Sally Evans, a Chipotle spokeswoman.

The new restaurant will be located at 2816 Rombach Avenue, less than three miles from Wilmington College.

Evans said the restaurant will feature a Chipotlane digital drive thru pickup lane.

- Butter Cafe, Glo Juice Bar to open in new Dayton space

Butter Cafe and Glo Juice Bar are moving to a new location in Dayton, less than half a mile from their current buildings on Brown Street.

“For 12 loyal years, we’ve created the most meaningful memories sharing breakfast, brunch, coffee and smoothies with friends, family, and neighbors,” said Amy Beaver, owner of Butter Cafe and Glo Juice Bar. “We are so grateful to our customers and staff for making Butter Cafe and Glo Juice Bar so successful.”

The two businesses will combine concepts into one space at The Flats at South Park, located at 619 Nathan Place in Dayton.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Beaver told Dayton.com that it was time for a change of location because they had outgrown their current spaces.

“This expansion will allow us to increase seating capacity, expand the kitchen, increase our parking capacity and provide the opportunity to blend Butter Cafe and Glo under the same roof, serving up creative breakfast and brunch classics for all dietary considerations,” Beaver said.

She said they are planning to have a fully stocked cocktail, coffee, smoothie and cold-pressed juice bar as well as outdoor seating.


- Jason’s Deli to close Beavercreek location

Jason’s Deli, a Texas-based sandwich chain, is closing its first Dayton-area restaurant location effective Monday, Aug. 1, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

The deli, at 2819 Centre Drive beside Giordano’s Pizza, opened in April 2019.

“We are extremely grateful that we had the opportunity to serve the Beavercreek community and we cherish our time spent here,” the post said.

The sandwich shop’s menu features a variety of specialty sandwiches, salads, soups, wraps, paninis, muffalettas, pasta and potato dishes. A vegetarian menu and a gluten-sensitive menu also are offered.

- Bellbrook wine cellar and bistro closes

Zemore’s Wine Cellar and Bistro, a boutique establishment in Bellbrook featuring wines not typically found in your local grocery store, has closed.

Owners Greg and Melanie Zemore previously told Dayton.com they are ready to retire.

“We love this restaurant and the friends we have made since owning it. However, we are ready to slow down now, and we are ready to spend more time with each other and our families,” they previously said.

The Zemores purchased the business in 2016 because of Greg’s love for wine and his passion for expressing creativity with the food he presents. He explained he wanted to open a restaurant where he could create his own vision rather than follow someone else’s vision.

Maria Taylor, real estate consultant at Keller Williams Realty Advisors, confirmed the business, located at 4457 State Route 725, and its assets are still for sale.


- Yellow Springs chef now co-owner of popular farm-to-table restaurant

After serving as chef for five years at the Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs, Roland Eliason is taking on another role at the restaurant. He is now co-owner with longtime owner Mary Kay Smith.

“He’s an incredible chef and great leader,” Smith said.

She explained he was the perfect fit because they both want to be a team and be present in the restaurant. His great dishes and ideas are also a plus.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Eliason told Dayton.com he grew up in a southern kitchen surrounded by great cooks. He went on to study culinary arts in school and from there worked in many different country clubs, banquet halls, hotels, small restaurants and high-end restaurants before making his way back to the Miami Valley.

The partnership was intended to happen prior to the pandemic, but was put on hold due to the unknown, Smith said.

- Lock 27 Brewing announces changes in operations at Centerville, Dayton locations

Lock 27 Brewing is announcing changes in operations at its Centerville and Dayton locations.

The Centerville space, located at 1035 S. Main Street, will now be known as Lock 27 Brewing Restaurant. The restaurant will focus on food and cocktails. The Dayton space, located at 329 E. First Street, will move forward as Lock 27 Brewing Taproom, emphasizing craft beer service.

Lock 27 has decided to put different operating models and organizational structures in place to meet the needs best suited to the business and customers in each area.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The restaurant will feature weekly food specials, cocktail specials and Burger of the Week specials as well as a brand-new menu launching in the fall. Some fan-favorite dishes may also make appearances back on the menu or as weekly special offerings.

“We’re focused on getting the Lock 27 Brewing Restaurant back to our roots in developing wonderful food and beverages for our guests,” said Jennifer Dietrich, executive general manager of Lock 27 Brewing Restaurant. “We have been fortunate to work with several culinary experts over the years, so we’re taking that knowledge and creating new and original food offerings catered to the liking of our loyal guests in Centerville.”

The Dayton space will be the main hub for all brewing activities.