readers decided who makes the best late-night grub with the 2017 Best of Dayton poll. Video by Amelia Robinson

Tank’s owner sheds light on recent changes: ‘Calm down. Don’t panic.’ 

The owner of an iconic Dayton restaurant said she wants everyone to take a breath. 

Debra Tankersley said she is not closing Tank’s Bar and Grill despite public speculation sparked by newly reduced hours. 

MORE: Tank’s Bar and Grill slashing some late-night hours; customers react

In fact, Tankersley, the widow of Tank’s founder Dan “Tank” Tankersley, said she has spent $25,000 on improvements over the last two years and plans to make more including a new front door in the style of the existing one. 

 “I want Dayton to calm down. Don’t panic,” she said.

Tankersley said Tank’s will be around for years and years and years to come and appreciates her customers’ passion. 

Tanks a lot! The Tankburger at Tank’s in Dayton features a half-pound beef patty that’s more than three-quarters of an inch thick. We selected Pepper Jack cheese and a kaiser roll to make ours extra good. CONNIE POST/STAFF
Photo: Connie Post


The restaurant just launched a new interactive website to replace its old antiquated  one and will soon roll out a mobile app that will allow customers to place orders. 

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“I am hoping it makes it easy for people to get on our website and see our real menu,” she said. 

Since it opened in 1987 in the former home of Walnut Hills Bar, Tank’s has become an iconic Dayton institution.

Tankersley announced on Facebook Saturday that the restaurant is reducing the hours it is open. 


Some took it as a sign that the restaurant would close. 

Tankersley said nothing could be farther from the truth. 

She said she simply could not justify keeping the restaurant open late nights every night because business is often too slow.  

Tank’s Award Winning “Road Kill” chili is sweet with a spicy kick. It’s very thick, and packed with meat and potpourri of delicious spices including cumin, white pepper and paprika, among others. You can add cheese and onion if you so choose for an additional 89 cents). We added just cheese. Available by the cup ($3.69) or bowl ($4.69). MICHELLE FONG/STAFF

The restaurant — which serves dinner, lunch and all-day breakfast — had been open 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily for many years. 

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 In October, Tank’s announced it would close at 1 a.m., and its kitchen would close at midnight on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Its hours Wednesday through Saturday remained the same, with the bar closing at 2:30 a.m. and the kitchen at 2 a.m. 

Starting Monday, the hours were changed to the following:  

Sunday through Thursday — 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (the bar will close at 11 p.m.) 

Friday and Saturday — 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday (the bar will close at 2 a.m.)

Tankersley said she is sensitive to the needs of customers who would eat at the restaurant late nights, including those who work in the theater community, second shift workers  and restaurant workers. 

She and her 48-member staff are planning to hold special late nights to help accommodate their needs. 

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The reduced hours were out of necessity, Tankersley said. 

“They (customers) can still can get their Tank’s fix,” she said.  But I can’t stay open every day hoping they will be coming in to get their Tank’s fix.”