Two long-dormant local Steak ‘n’ Shakes meet two very different fates

Some Dayton-area Steak ‘n’ Shake locations encountered turbulence and uncertainty even before the coronavirus pandemic struck earlier this year, but now, company officials are confirming that one Miami Valley restaurant that has been closed for months is gearing up to reopen, while another that had been listed as “temporarily closed” for 15 months has now been declared shut down for good.

A worker who was helping to spruce up the Steak ‘n’ Shake restaurant at 1779 W. Main St. in Troy last week told a visitor that the store was gearing up to reopen. A Steak ‘n’ Shake spokeswoman has now confirmed the reopening, and says more may be on the way.

“That (Troy) location is scheduled to reopen this fall,” the spokeswoman told this news outlet. “Unfortunately, I don’t have a set date” for the reopening.

The news was less promising for a second Steak ‘n’ Shake location at 1925 W. Dorothy Lane in Moraine, which has not served any Steakburgers or milkshakes or shoestring fries since May 2019. Three weeks ago, that location was still listed on the Steak ‘n’ Shake web site as “temporarily closed,” but a Steak ‘n’ Shake spokeswoman confirmed in an email late Monday that the Moraine restaurant now “is permanently closed.”

One Dayton-area Steak ‘n’ Shake, at 9150 N. Main St. in Englewood, has been listed as “temporarily closed” on the company’s web site for nearly a year and a half, even longer than the Moraine location was. Asked whether more reopenings may be in the works, the company’s spokeswoman responded via email, “We expect a few more to reopen in the state this year, but unfortunately, we don’t have a confirmed list of locations yet.”

In March 2019, when the Englewood store and a second Steak ‘n’ Shake location on Miller Lane at Benchwood Road in Butler Twp. closed, a previous Steak ‘n’ Shake spokeswoman said the closures were temporary as the company transitioned from corporate-operated to franchisee-operated restaurants. But eight months later, in November 2019, the Miller Lane Steak ‘n’ Shake property and building were sold to a new buyer who signed a contract for a City Barbeque to open at that location.

Steak ‘n’ Shake still has an active footprint in the region. There are several locations open and operating in the Dayton area, including 6380 Wilmington Pike in the Centerville-Sugarcreek Twp. area, 2856 Center Drive at the I-675/North Fairfield Road interchange in Fairborn, at 8311 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights, at 8420 Springboro Pike at Lyons Road south of the Dayton Mall, and at 1741 Bechtle Ave. in Springfield.

Earlier this month, officials with the Indianapolis-based chain announced that hundreds of its restaurants throughout the country — including the aforementioned five locations in the Dayton region — have resurrected drive-in service by carhops, which they called “a perfect way to enjoy some old-fashioned fun while staying socially-distant” during the coronavirus pandemic.

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