YEAR IN REVIEW: Most-read food stories of 2022

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Each year takes a look back at our most-read stories on our website. From longtime restaurants being sold or closing to new restaurants opening, there’s been a lot of food news in 2022.

Here is a list of’s most-read food and dining stories:

1. Longtime neighborhood restaurant for sale in Dayton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A neighborhood restaurant brought back to life in 2010 by a retired Dayton fire captain was listed for sale in June.

Patrick Reed, owner of Angie’s Firehouse Tavern in Dayton, said he was looking for the “right person” to bring creative ideas into the restaurant.

The neighborhood-friendly restaurant where everybody knows everybody has been a spot for decades where generations of families could come to get a home-cooked meal.

The restaurant dates back to 1938 when it was called Angi’s. Reed explained that back then the locals were unable to pronounce the name of the restaurant, so they simply called it Angie’s. The Angi family primarily served Hungarian-style food and had a reputation of having the best cabbage rolls in town. Reed said the restaurant is still known for its cabbage rolls and he has been told the cabbage rolls are “spot on” compared to decades ago.

Reed said he decided it was time for him to sell the restaurant after dealing with staffing shortages, price increases due to inflation and utility and insurance bills doubling.

In mid-August, Reed announced the kitchen was closing. By mid-October it reopened.

“My intent was never really to close permanently,” Reed said. “It was to figure out what we were doing wrong and make some changes.”

Angie’s Firehouse Tavern is open and remains owned by Reed.


2. Shaq’s Big Chicken now set to open 3 locations in region, including Beavercreek

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A fast-casual chicken concept founded by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal will be landing at not one but three locations in the region.

Big Chicken opened in August at 10655 Innovation Drive in Miami Twp.’s Austin Landing. The restaurant is looking to open restaurants in Beavercreek and West Chester Twp. in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

The three locations are part of an agreement inked by franchisees Steve Christensen and Reid Richards, and Ohio restaurateur Mike Craddick, whom they met eight years ago through his ownership of several Five Guys and Another Broken Egg locations in Ohio.

Big Chicken offers crispy chicken sandwiches, popcorn chicken, chicken tenders, salads and “sidekick” side dishes, including Lucille’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese with a Cheez-It crust. They also have ice cream sandwiches and shakes.

The Miami Twp. Big Chicken location was the brand’s first location in Ohio and the Midwest, as well as its first franchise.


3. Longtime Oakwood restaurant sold after 60 years



A longtime Dayton-area restaurant has been sold after 60 years of being independently owned by the Stewart family, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

The Oakwood Club, located at 2414 Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood, was purchased June 10 by The One Esca Group, a restaurant management group based in Dallas, Texas.

“When I visited The Oakwood Club for the first time, I absolutely fell in love with the restaurant and the people. Now, as the new owner, I am so proud to be a small part of the continuation of this legacy that has spanned more than half a century in the Dayton community,” said Michael Kim, president of The One Esca Group.

The One Esca Group also owns Corner Kitchen in the Oregon District and Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Dayton.


4. Twin Peaks opens in Beavercreek

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A sports bar chain with made-from-scratch food opened its first Dayton-area location near The Mall at Fairfield Commons on Monday, June 27.

Twin Peaks, launched in suburban Dallas in 2005, describes its restaurants as much more than a typical sports bar.

“Our lodge welcomes every guest with World Series walk offs and barrel-aged whiskey,” the restaurant’s website says. “The second you step inside, you’re surrounded by a lodge full of friendly and attentive Twin Peaks Girls serving up scratch food and our signature 29-degree beers.”

The 29-degree draft beer is served in a frosted 22-ounce mug. The restaurant’s menu includes wings, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, salads, soups and much more.

In August 2018, Twin Peaks announced it signed a franchise agreement to add as many as seven new locations in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus.


5. Local chicken spot permanently closes

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Almost exactly one year after its debut, Wiley’s Wings Tenders Fries in Huber Heights closed its doors for the last time.

Wiley’s co-founder, Kelly Gray, along with her partner, Ray Wiley, confirmed the restaurant at 6315 Brandt Pike (Ohio 201) closed for the last time on Jan. 28. The restaurant opened in 2021 on Jan. 27.

Soon after Wiley’s closure in Huber Heights, Gray and Wiley sold the space to the co-founders of a brand new fast-casual, chicken restaurant concept, Chicka Wing.

Chicka Wing opened at the end of May and closed its doors in mid-September.

Adam Price, founder of Chicka Wing, told the restaurant was closed Sept. 17 and 18 due to electrical issues with the hood and ventilation system. After he couldn’t find someone to fix the issues, he said he decided to call it quits.

“We were already in negotiation with the landlord - letting him know that we were closing down by the end of the month anyway,” Price said.

Cassano’s Pizza King now has plans to relocate its restaurant at 5118 Brandt Pike in Huber Heights to the former spot of Chicka Wing.


6. El Toro on Indian Ripple Rd. in Beavercreek to relocate to The Greene

El Toro Mexican Bar & Grill is planning to close its location at 4448 Indian Ripple Road in Beavercreek to move across the street into the former space of Mimi’s Bistro & Bakery.

El Toro’s district manager, Enrique Alvarez, told in October that he was hoping the new location would open in one to two months as they wait on inspections.

Mimi’s Bistro & Bakery, previously located at 4402 Walnut St, operated for 14 years before closing in February 2021.

Other projects El Toro is working on in the Dayton area include El Toro Express, a new, fast-casual restaurant concept that’s coming to North Springboro Pike in Miamisburg, and a new sit-down restaurant on East Dayton Yellow Springs Road in Fairborn.

El Toro Mexican Bar & Grill currently has 14 Dayton-area locations.


7. Basil’s on Market Dayton closes: ‘We’re completely heartbroken,’ says owner



A downtown Dayton restaurant overlooking the Great Miami River that was known for its all-you-can-eat Friday night crab special has closed its doors.

Basil’s on Market, at 312 N. Patterson Blvd., closed for a variety of reasons Aug. 20 including short-staffing and rising costs, according to co-owner Jeff Finkelstein.

“When the pandemic hit, we were never able to recover,” Finkelstein said. “We couldn’t staff the place. Nobody wanted to work.”

Another contributing factor included some area businesses never returning to in-person work after the coronavirus pandemic.

“We held on for as long as we could hold on for and it’s just not worth it,” Finkelstein said. “We’re completely heartbroken that we had to close.”

When the restaurant closed its doors, they had six people on payroll, Finkelstein said. Those employees were offered jobs at the Basil’s on Market locations in Beavercreek and Troy.


8. Clark County restaurant owners ‘broken up’ about having to close permanently

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Matt Warner and his wife, Mandie, have permanently closed the doors to Sis’s Restaurant, located at 2 W. Pleasant St. in Catawba, due to rising costs.

“We’re both really broken up... it’s killing us,” owner Matt Warner said.

Sis’s was a mom-and-pop breakfast and lunch place with its own sausage gravy made from scratch, hand patted burgers, fresh cheesesteaks, and hand-cut meat and vegetables, Warner said.

The couple took over the business July 1, 2017. Before Warner took over ownership, the location was the Time of Day Café operated by Roberta Stonerock, also known as Sis. The Time of Day Café closed June 30, 2017.

Warner and his wife had a friend who worked for Sis who mentioned she was closing her doors, so they offered to help. They went in and cleaned the place one weekend and that’s when Sis said she’d sell the business to them.

“So, we bought it and opened up July 1,” he said. “My wife and I had three basic things: One, we were going to sell the food at a reasonable price. Two, we were going to make sure people had enough to eat and when they got up, they weren’t going to be hungry. Three, we were going to be good homestyle cooking.”

Warner cites the rise in costs and supply chain issues as the reasons for closing.


9. Dayton, Bellefontaine restaurants recognized as Ohio’s Best

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) has announced the winners of its annual Industry Awards Celebration, highlighting the best and brightest in the state’s restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry.

Amar India Restaurant, located at 2751 Miamisburg Centerville Road in Dayton, was recognized as Best Restaurant South, and Iron City Sports Bar, located at 1125 S. Main Street in Bellefontaine, was recognized as Best Community Partner, among other winners.

Both restaurants were selected by public vote.

For the first time in ORA history, the organization asked the public to select six award winners in the categories of Ohio’s Best Restaurants in the north, central and south, Best Guest Experience Provider (front of house), Best Behind the Scenes Employee (back of house) and Best Community Partner.

All winners were recognized at the Industry Awards Celebration on Dec. 6 in New Albany.


10. Miamisburg diner closes due to rise in cost of goods

A Miamisburg diner known for their homemade breakfast and lunch that included several authentic Tex-Mex offerings has permanently closed due to the rise in the cost of goods, the restaurant said in a post on their Facebook page.

“Well it is with a heavy heart that I must inform everyone that due to the rise in the cost of goods we are permanently closed as of today 6/9/22! I am very saddened by this and it has been an awesome time getting to know so many wonderful people,” the post said.

Chef Tom Tiner of Butler County opened Rye Toast in April 2021 after 36 years in the food service industry. His stints included restaurants, hotels, hospitals and senior living facilities, along with some on-the-side gigs as a private chef and caterer.

He previously told this news outlet that setting out on his own had given him the freedom to craft his own menu without being hampered by the dietary restrictions of a senior living facility or the conflicting culinary visions of a corporate entity.

Rye Toast was located in the previous location of Star City BBQ at 1015 S. Main Street. The space now houses More Than A Apron LLC.


Runner-up for the top 10 most-read food stories: More Dayton-area Burger King restaurants have closed

At least six more Dayton-area Burger King locations have closed, according to signs posted on the doors of the restaurants.

The Burger King restaurants located at 7151 Hoke Road in Clayton, 4465 Clyo Road in Sugarcreek Twp., 1401 N. Keowee Street in Dayton, 1420 Cincinnati Street in Dayton, 60 S. Broad Street in Fairborn and 352 E. National Road in Vandalia have closed.

The signs encouraged customers to go to other Dayton area locations such as 1231 Dayton-Yellow Springs Road in Fairborn, 3378 Pentagon Park Blvd. in Beavercreek, 7607 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights, 5341 Salem Ave. in Trotwood, 4380 Indian Ripple Road in Dayton and 1244 E. Central Ave. in Miamisburg.

The Fairborn and Clayton restaurant locations encouraged customers to visit the Vandalia location, but visited the restaurant and can confirm it is closed according to a sign.

The closures were confirmed after this new outlet reported the Nov. 4 closure of the Burger King at 9189 Dayton-Lebanon Pike in Washington Twp., which had been opened for less than five years.

All six restaurants appear to be owned by TOMS King (Ohio) LLC, according to the posted signs.


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