Jimmy’s Italian Cuisine and Bar to open in Dayton in May

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Mo Jusufi, owner of Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen in Kettering, is in the process of completing cosmetic updates to the former location of Franco’s Ristorante Italiano in Dayton’s Oregon District where he plans to open his second restaurant in May.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The Dayton restaurant will be called Jimmy’s Italian Cuisine and Bar.

Customers can expect Kettering favorites like chicken parmigiana, lasagna and pepperoni rolls in addition to some new offerings. All pasta is fresh and made-to-order. The restaurant will also serve pizza and seafood.

Jusufi is looking forward to optimizing the bar area with TVs for customers to watch sports. His plans include a lunch menu and happy hour.

A grateful journey

Jusufi is originally from Kosovo. He moved to Dayton in 2002 and did not speak English. His first job was washing cars at BMW of Dayton; and over the last 22 years, he worked his way up to customer service manager. With the addition of the second restaurant, he decided to resign from BMW.

“It was hard to leave because BMW was my first job when I came to the U.S.,” Jusufi said. “This dealership brought me where I am today.”

Over the past 10 years, he balanced working at BMW of Dayton and Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen. He said it wasn’t hard because he loved doing both.

“When you come here, you come with nothing. You start from zero,” Jusufi said. “You work hard and see that it’s paying off, (which) gives me more energy and more depth to do something.”

A promise to Jimmy

Jusufi became the owner of Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen in 2014. He was a friend of the late Jimmy Troni for around eight years before Troni decided to sell him the restaurant. One year later, Troni died.

He recalled a conversation with Troni who told him to “do like me.”

“I said, ‘No, I will do better than you. I will open a second one,’” Jusufi said. “That was what I promised Jimmy.”

Jusufi is eager to bring his food to downtown Dayton.

“I think I have a good opportunity to bring something new to Dayton,” he said. “I think people will love what we do.”

All in the family

Jusufi and his wife, Mira, will work in the kitchen and their 23-year-old son will work at the front of the house. They hope to hire 17 to 20 people. They also offered all former employees of Franco’s a job.

The Dayton restaurant is three times bigger than the Kettering restaurant, so hiring is a top priority.

Jusufi received the keys to the building on March 27. He has plans to paint the inside and outside, replace the carpet with tile floors and refresh the patio. They are also in the process of cleaning and preparing the kitchen.

Jimmy’s Italian Cuisine and Bar is hiring for all positions. Anyone interested can apply in person or call 937-903-7649.

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