Business roundup: Honda agreest to pay $85M in lawsuit

American Honda Motor Co. and Honda of American Manufacturing Inc. agreed to pay a total of $85.1 million, of which Ohio’s share is more than $2.3 million, in a multi-state settlement over charges the automaker concealed safety issues tied to defective airbag systems that resulted in 14 American deaths.

The systems were designed and manufactured by Takata Corp., a longtime Honda supplier, and were first installed in vehicles sold in the United States in the 2001 model year, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Wednesday.

The settlement, reached between Honda and the attorneys general of 48 states, territories and the District of Columbia, caps an investigation into Honda’s “failure to inform regulators and consumers that the frontal airbags posed a significant risk of rupture, which could cause metal fragments to fly into the passenger compartments of vehicles,” Yost’s office said. “The ruptures resulted in at least 14 deaths and 200 injuries in the U.S. alone.”

The states made the case that Honda engineers suspected that the airbags’ propellant, ammonium nitrate, could burn aggressively and cause the inflator to burst. States contended that Honda “delayed warning consumers and safety officials, even as it began partial recalls in 2008 and 2009.”

Marriott lays off workers

The Dayton Marriott at the University of Dayton is laying off workers, Concord Hospitality Enterprises is warning Ohio government.

The layoffs at the 1414 South Patterson Blvd. hotel will be effective Sept. 18, Crystal Thrasher, director of human resources for Concord, said in a letter to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

“This will result in the layoff of 117 employees (including full and part time),” Thrasher said in the letter, which the state received Monday.

“This layoff is due to the significant financial impact on the travel and tourism industry caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” she added. “All affected employees are currently being notified. Bumping rights do not exist.”

In 2017, the hotel and its owner completed a $23 million renovation of its 399 rooms, restaurant and conference room, adding numerous modern conveniences.

L Brands looking for workers for call center

The parking lot of the L Brands Inc. call center off Bigger Road in Kettering has been empty in recent months as employees have worked remotely.

But a company spokeswoman said the center is gearing up for what is hoped to be a holiday boost in business.

“Our Customer Care associates are working remotely through the end of the year,” the spokeswoman said in an email to the Dayton Daily News. “We are working to hire 1,000 additional virtual associates as we ramp up to holiday.”

Once known as Limited Brands, the Columbus-based company’s most famous brands include Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.

The spokeswoman declined to comment at length. Messages seeking comment were also sent to Kettering city officials.

Along with nearly every other business, the company has found itself challenged during the global pandemic. A possible deal to sell a majority stake in the Victoria’s Secret/PINK business to a private equity firm was derailed earlier this year.

Those interested in applying for Kettering or other openings may go to

The customer care center at 5959 Bigger Road in Kettering has operated for more than 25 years.

Huber restaurant wants to serve alcohol

The La Michoacana Mexican Market & Restaurant that opened in May at 6220 Chambersburg Road in the Huber Plaza is seeking a license to serve alcohol in its restaurant and to sell beer and wine from its grocery aisles.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

La Michoacana, which also operates several Columbus-area stores, offers fresh fruits and vegetables, an extensive selection of meats, Latin-American groceries, money transfers, bill payments, authentic Mexican dishes and fresh bread.

The 20,000-square-foot grocery store and restaurant was a result of the community support shown for the first Dayton-area La Michoacana store at 748 Troy St. in Dayton, according to manager Jose A. Gomez, who oversees both stores.

“We want to make sure we continue to meet demands and are also wanting to reach out to more people,” Gomez said in late 2019, when the project was unveiled. The Troy Street location “will remain open, and we wanted to expand and have more to offer” by opening the Huber Heights store and restaurant, the store manager said.

Old Dayton Pizza to open this week

A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 3 for Old Dayton Pizza at Riverside Hideaway, which has opened in the building that formerly housed the Green Lantern bar at 3490 Old Troy Pike in Riverside.

The Riverside Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event.

The husband-and-wife team of Steve and Sherri Zelen purchased the Green Lantern and the surrounding three-acre property in 2019. The business had its “soft opening” in July.

“We’re getting such a great, warm reception from the community,” Sherri Zelen said when the bar and restaurant first opened its doors. “Everyone is so happy we opened this place back up. One man was in tears because he remembered his parents used to bring him here to the Green Lantern when he was a child.”

The former Green Lantern traces its history back more than a century, and it has served as a local watering hole for many decades just north of the Dayton city limits. Its former owner, Marge Belme, died in April 2018, and the bar had been shuttered for several months when the Zelens purchased it.

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

The new restaurant’s sales are equally split between the bar and the pizza-making operation, Sherri Zelen said. The bar has 12 taps, including domestic and craft brews. Signature cocktails, spirits and wine are available. Patio seating also is available, as are outdoor cornhole games. There are dart boards inside.

New vegan restaurant to open

A vegan restaurant that will specialize primarily on breakfast, brunch and lunch — plus a “guest-chef” dinner service every Sunday — is poised to open Labor Day weekend in Dayton.

“Cafe 1610,″ located in the District Provisions building at 521 Wayne Ave., is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. Its three founders are Xtine Brean, who has operated the vegan food truck Om Nom Mobile Cafe and has served as food-services coordinator at Central State University, who will oversee the restaurant’s kitchen; Molly Blackshear, a Dayton native who will oversee the restaurant’s front-of-the-house operations; and Blackshear’s mother, Cathy Mong, a former Dayton Daily News reporter who retired from the newspaper in 2006 after 26 years, who will coordinate an in-house delivery service.

“We are all enthusiastic vegans, but that’s not what this cafe is all about,” Brean told this news outlet. “Our target market is people who are not vegan. We will show them that vegan food is not flavorless, and it is not boring.”

The menu includes Jelly Donut Pancakes; Churro French Toast; a “Grits Bowl,” with barbecue soy curls, braised mixed baby greens and carrot bacon atop creamy grits; “Cactus Tofu Scramble” with nopales and sauteed onions with seasoned tofu, served with roasted potatoes and guacamole; Breakfast Tacos with tofu scramble, “soyrizo” and roasted potatoes topped with shredded vegan cheese in a grilled corn tortilla; and Bionico Fruit Salad, with apple, pear, papaya, bananas, strawberry and cantaloupe swirled with crema topped with granola, coconut and walnuts.

All items are packaged to go. Delivery service within a 12-mile radius of the restaurant is available for a $5 fee.

Blackshear, 34, said she joined the venture in part because, “During the pandemic, those who are in my age group have had time to sit and think and reflect on what’s important and what we should be doing with our lives. We know now that life is short. You have to go after what you want and what makes you happy.”

Cafe 1610 will operate out of the market-style space in the northwest portion of the District Provisions building, also known as the Dietz Block building, built in 1886 at Wayne Avenue and Jones Street. The building has housed Crafted & Cured, Grist Provisions and Glasz Bleu Oven. The founders of Cafe 1610 said they signed an initial four-month lease that will help them gauge the community’s interest in supporting a vegan restaurant at the site.

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