Zombie Dogz to expand menu at new restaurant

The co-founders of Zombie Dogz food truck will expand their menu and concept when they open their first bricks-and-mortar restaurant this fall at 1200 Brown St. near the University of Dayton.

Dave VanArtsdalen, who co-founded Zombie Dogz with his wife Lee VanArtsdalen, said the restaurant will offer weekend brunch, craft beers and cupcakes from Cake, Hope and Love bakery in Beavercreek.

“We’ve had an idea for a brunch line for a long time, but haven’t been able to do it with the food truck,” VanArtsdalen said. At brunch, Zombie Dogz will offer a variety of sausages, and a choice of buns that will include French Toast and waffle buns. The brunch service will start on Sundays, and if it proves popular, will expand to Saturdays as well, Vanartsdalen said.

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The Zombie Dogz co-owner said he will work with Dayton-area breweries to assemble a draft beer list.

And Zombie Dogz has entered into a collaboration with Cake Hope & Love and will sell the bakery’s cupcakes in the new restaurant, VanArtsdalen said.

VanArtsdalen said he and his wife — who is expecting the couple’s second child — are looking forward to establishing a permanent restaurant. They had looked to lease space in Dayton’s Oregon District before deciding to launch the food truck instead, and subsequently considered other space along the Brown Street corridor.

But they aren’t parking the food truck permanently. Zombie Dogz will still appear at the Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest and other major events, and it also will be used for catering projects, VanArtsdalen said.

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The restaurant, which could open as early as September, will occupy about 2,000 square feet of space that previously housed Shish Wraps restaurant. Shish Wraps had operated in the Brown Street space near Stewart Street for three years before shutting down in April.

Zombie Dogz was named “Best Food Truck in Ohio” in Ohio Magazine’s 2016 Best of Ohio Readers’ Ballot, and finished second in national online voting for Mobile Cuisine’s 2016 Hot Dog Vendor of the Year.