Third-generation furniture store may be replaced by Sheetz in Washington Twp.

Ethan Allen store on Ohio 725 looking for new site, as company’s concept changes to design studio; Sheetz has preliminary OK

A furniture store that has operated for decades in Washington Twp. could close and be demolished to make way for a new Sheetz gas station, convenience store and restaurant chain.

Ryan Disher, whose family has been in the furniture business for more than 80 years, said they are looking to relocate Ethan Allen from 821 Miamisburg Centerville Road, at the intersection with Paragon Road.

“Ethan Allen kind of changed their business model,” Disher said. “It used to be big furniture stores; now it’s more of a design studio. I had this listed for a while just so we could move to that new concept, which is roughly, maybe 6,000 to 8,000 square feet, so that’s kind of the plan at this point. We’re actually just getting started looking for other locations.”

A conditional use request for an automobile service land use was recently approved at a public hearing by Washington Twp. Board of Zoning Appeals, according to township spokeswoman Kate Trangenstein. That request was made by commercial real estate development firm Skilken Gold, which has represented Sheetz in efforts to open several other stores in the Dayton market.

“Sheetz will still need to proceed with a conditional use review before the BZA for outdoor dining and possibly some sign variances, but we are waiting to hear from them,” Trangenstein said.

If plans move forward, it would mean the closure and demolition of the Ethan Allen store, she said.

“Sheetz has a contract to redevelop the site, should they receive all zoning approvals,” Trangenstein said.

The history of the Ethan Allen furniture store spans three generations of one local family. The local store’s roots stretch back to 1941, when Louis Day and his friend, Bob Brand, opened Northside Furniture on Valley Street in Dayton. They later added additional locations in Belmont, Oakwood, Kettering and Washington Twp. As the Ethan Allen Furniture stores became popular, the Day brothers opened a gallery in Kettering in 1969.

To be able to sell Ethan Allen furniture, the Day brothers had to discontinue selling all other brands. The concept and brand became popular, and they soon transitioned away from the Northside store.

They opened the current furniture store on Miamisburg Centerville Road in 1979. The late Mike Disher purchased the store from Day — his father-in-law — in 1995. His son, Ryan Disher, has owned and operated the business since 2002.

“I’d like to stay in the Washington Twp. area,” Ryan Disher said. “I’ve been born and raised in this area, so I want to stay in this area.”

He said he opened a second Ethan Allen in Destin, Florida in 2012.

Skilken Gold did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the Washington Twp. project. The application to the township’s board of zoning appeals shows a 6,139-square-foot Sheetz at 821 Miamisburg Centerville Road and a 515-square-foot outdoor dining area. Sheetz’s business model includes a restaurant combined with a convenience store and gas station.

The company announced in 2022 that it planned a significant expansion here, opening about 20 locations in the Dayton area in five years. It has already begun plans for stores in Springboro, Centerville, Vandalia and Fairborn.

Sheetz operates 56 locations in Ohio and 647 total across Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. All locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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