This popular restaurant you drove miles for is closing this weekend

A locally-owned restaurant with a craveworthy menu that drew fans from miles away and excited travel writers is closing for good.

>> This sandwich is worth driving 40 miles for

The Old Arcana at 109 W. George St. in the Darke County village of Arcanum will shut down this Sunday, July 16.

The business itself is up for sale. 

>> MORE: 8 things you've got to try at brunch at the Old Arcana

Leslie Handshoe-Suter who opened the 125 seat restaurant 3 years ago with Jeff Besecker, the restaurant’s chef, said the building is being sold by its current owner, Tim Shellabarger.

A message was left for Shellabarger at his office.

His building has housed a variety of businesses since The John Smith Company General Store started occupying it in 1851.

Suter and Besecker are looking for a buyer for The Old Arcana concept, recipes, decor, social media following, cooking class program, equipment and bar.

“They can take it to a new location and put it back down,” Suter said.

Recipes include the restaurant's savory and sweet Bourbon Praline French Toast, which Ohio Magazine praised in its Best of Ohio 2016 article.

Suter, the co-owner of the HANDSHOE strategic brand + design agency with her sister, said she’d also offer a period of free marketing service to the new buyer.

Besecker would provide assistance in the kitchen through the transition to the new owner.

Suter said she is confident the business will sell, noting it would do better in Troy or Dayton where there are more foodies.

“They need to have a lot of big passion for food to have it happen and have it happen successfully,” she said of business’ next owner.

The couple was planning to transition out of the restaurant business even before learning about the building’s sales.

“We are sad to see it go. We love our location, but after three years being on our feet, it is time to send it on to someone else,” Suter said.

She will concentrate on her marketing business. Besecker is considering his next move.

The location in Arcanum was a challenge, Suter, a Greenville resident said.

Despite that, she said the restaurant attracted customers up to 60 minutes away.

Here is the message posted on the restaurant’s website:

It is a fundamental truth that all good things
must eventually come to an end. 

This message is to announce to all of our faithful guests that Sunday, July 16th will be our final day in business in our Arcanum location.

Our beautiful historic building has recently been sold and will soon have a brand new use. We'd like to send a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have visited with us, championed us and allowed us to feed you. Your patronage and friendship has been greatly appreciated. 

Don't be sad though, because we'll still be serving up some amazing food and recipes ONLINE.. (watch this space for more information soon). 


AND... many of you have asked us in the past if we'd be open to
shifting The Old Arcana to a new location. 

You wouldnt believe how many people have said "if this place were only in (Dayton, Troy, Cinci, Columbus, Pheonix, insert your more urban, traffic-heavy foodie location here), it would be KILLING IT!" We agree.

So this is your chance!

If you are one of these people who loved our food and have always wanted to open a restaurant (or know someone who does), reach out to us today at We have an amazing business opportunity available for a future restauranteur. 

Come visit The Old Building this final week. And thank you everyone!

Many local residents routinely made the trek to the Old Arcana, which is about 40 miles or so northwest of Dayton.

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

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