Next generation takes the reins at Dayton restaurant

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

After working in the restaurant industry for 50 years, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 founder Jimmie Brandell is ready to retire as his son, Nick, takes the reins.

“It’s what I’ve been working almost 20 years for — learning every aspect of it,” Nick said. “There’s not a job in here I haven’t done.”

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Jimmie’s Ladder 11 opened on Nov. 11, 2011 in an 1892 building that used to be Firehouse #11. Brandell previously owned Jimmie’s Cornerstone Bar & Grille right across the street before moving to 936 Brown St.

Nick started working at Jimmie’s Cornerstone Bar & Grille in 2006 cleaning the restaurant and doing dishes. He recalled making $5 per hour at 18 years old.

“We’ve been doing it for 16 years now, working together, and there’s a lot of bumps and bruises, scrapes and cuts, and ups and downs along that path,” Nick said. “I just think being able to come out of it still loving each other and having respect for each other (is) the biggest achievement we could ask for.”

For quite some time, Brandell hasn’t been coming into the restaurant daily to cook. “He pretty much just comes in and tells me what I’m doing wrong,” Nick said as he grinned.

In all seriousness, he said his dad offers great advice and has a plethora of knowledge on the restaurant industry. Brandell started in the restaurant business at age 16 working his way up to manager of the Upper Krust Restaurant.

As Nick takes the reigns, he’s looking forward to “continuing to work with great, skilled people. To hone our craft even more so. To upgrade, update, but never lose sight of where we were and where we’ve come from.”

Nick grew up in the Five Oaks neighborhood in Dayton until the family moved to Centerville when he was 13. He graduated from Centerville High School in 2006 and started working with his dad. He currently lives in Troy with his wife, Megan, 2-year-old son, Leon, and 4-month-old daughter, Lucy.

He said he’s passionate about expressing their artistic knowledge through food and working with people in the community.

“It’s something I am able to do in a city I love,” Nick said.

For more information about Jimmie’s Ladder 11, located at 936 Brown St. in Dayton, visit or the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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