DAYTON RESTAURANT NEWS: A Mexican favorite adds a 6th location; food truck to open in mall’s food court; and more

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers has opened its fourth Dayton-area restaurant, and its second Beavercreek location, at the Mall at Fairfield Commons, but it is serving only carryout and drive-through service for now. CONTRIBUTED
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers has opened its fourth Dayton-area restaurant, and its second Beavercreek location, at the Mall at Fairfield Commons, but it is serving only carryout and drive-through service for now. CONTRIBUTED

December brought the Miami Valley multiple new eateries despite pandemic

The final month of 2020 — an unprecedented year by any standard — brought some surprisingly encouraging restaurant news to the Dayton area.

Third Perk, the downtown coffee house and wine bar that shut down its downtown Dayton location at the start of the year, has a new home in the Fire Blocks District of downtown, while Elsa’s, the popular Dayton-based Mexican restaurant chain, opened a sixth location.

Arepas & Co. Columbian Comfort Food closed its downtown Dayton location, but keep an eye out: its owners promise to reopen in a new location in 2021. Also on the horizon, Culver’s, known for frozen custard and ButterBurgers, plans to start construction on its first Montgomery County restaurant in the spring.

Here’s a look at some tasty restaurant news for December.

OPEN

Third Perk

A relocated Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar will open Dec. 30, 2020 in downtown Dayton's Fire Blocks District. CONTRIBUTED
A relocated Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar will open Dec. 30, 2020 in downtown Dayton's Fire Blocks District. CONTRIBUTED

Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar opened Dec. 30, 2020 at 146 E. Third St. in the Fire Blocks District of downtown Dayton.

The coffee shop, restaurant and wine bar previously operated at 46 W. Fifth St., but shut its doors on Feb. 24, 2020.

The new Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar will offer a similar menu, including sandwiches and chili, as her shop at Fifth and Ludlow.

ExploreThird Perk opens its new coffee shop in downtown Dayton

Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant

Elsa’s Corner Cantina is gearing up to open in Springboro.  Photo from Elsa’s Facebook page
Elsa’s Corner Cantina is gearing up to open in Springboro. Photo from Elsa’s Facebook page

Elsa’s Mexican Restaurants, the locally owned and Dayton-based chain that was already operating five locations in the Miami Valley, added a sixth eatery on Dec. 16 in Springboro.

The region’s newest Elsa’s is located in a 4,500-square-foot space (and a 1,200-square-foot patio) at 774 N. Main St. in the Settler’s Walk retail center in Springboro.

A year ago, when plans for the new restaurant were first revealed, Jason Hemmert, a co-founder of the new Elsa’s, said, “We have, for a long, long time, wanted to get down into the Springboro area, and more specifically, we really wanted to get into the city of Springboro.

ExploreDayton area’s 6th Elsa’s Mexican restaurant is now open in Springboro

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers has opened its fourth Dayton-area restaurant, and its second Beavercreek location, at the Mall at Fairfield Commons, but it is serving only carryout and drive-through service for now. CONTRIBUTED
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers has opened its fourth Dayton-area restaurant, and its second Beavercreek location, at the Mall at Fairfield Commons, but it is serving only carryout and drive-through service for now. CONTRIBUTED

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has opened its fourth Dayton-area location, and its second in Beavercreek, as it gears up to open another Miami Valley location in 2021.

The newest Raising Cane’s is located at 2755 Fairfield Commons Blvd., in space that previously housed a Verizon store near outside the Mall at Fairfield Commons.

The chain prides itself on a limited menu and a simple concept, focused on chicken fingers, made “fresh, never frozen,” marinated for 24 hours, then hand-battered and cooked to order. Also featured on the menu are crinkle-cut fries, cole slaw, Texas Toast and sauces that are made in-house every day.

ExploreRaising Cane’s Chicken Fingers opens 2nd Beavercreek restaurant

Venecia Italian Restaurant

Venecia Italian Restaurant is gearing up to open in the former McGuillicutty's Pub space at 1980 E. Whipp Road in Kettering. MARK FISHER/STAFF
Venecia Italian Restaurant is gearing up to open in the former McGuillicutty's Pub space at 1980 E. Whipp Road in Kettering. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Credit: MARK FISHER/STAFF

Credit: MARK FISHER/STAFF

The new eatery called Venecia Italian Restaurant in south Kettering opened just as December was giving way to the new year.

The restaurant is located at 1980 E. Whipp Road just west of Bigger Road, in the building that previously housed McGillicutty’s Pub. Venecia is open for lunch and dinner six days a week. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed on Mondays.

The menu includes a wide variety of pizzas and pasta dishes, as well as sub sandwiches, calzones/stromboli, New York-style rolls, salads, appetizers and desserts. Interior seating is available, as is carryout.

ExploreNew Italian restaurant now open in Kettering

Sbarro

During a time of many businesses being forced to shrink due the coronavirus’ impact on the economy, officials with the Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe are announcing an expansion.

The outdoor retail mall and its eateries, visible from Interstate 75 and near the border of Warren and Butler counties, recently welcomed two new stores and a Sbarro pizza outlet.

The mall, located on a 117-acre site near the southeast corner of the I-75 and Ohio 63 interchange, includes more than 100 stores and 400,000 square feet of leasable space.

ExploreNew stores including eatery open at Cincinnati Premium Outlets

COMING SOON

Culver’s

Culver's has submitted a preliminary site plan for a new restaurant to be built in Vandalia near Miller Lane and Benchwood Road. 2015 file photo by ED RICHTER/STAFF
Culver's has submitted a preliminary site plan for a new restaurant to be built in Vandalia near Miller Lane and Benchwood Road. 2015 file photo by ED RICHTER/STAFF

Culver’s — which operates restaurants in the northern Miami Valley in Sidney and in Troy as well as four locations south of Dayton in the Hamilton-Mason area — plans to start construction as early as this spring on its first Montgomery County location after purchasing a former Ruby Tuesday restaurant as part of the expanding project.

David Potts, a Miami County native who launched the Culver’s restaurant in Troy in 2004 and added the Sidney location in 2007, confirmed that his partnership has closed on its purchase of the former Ruby Tuesday at 6425 Miller Lane.

The Miller Lane Culver’s will be the closest to Dayton for the Wisconsin-based restaurant chain, known for its ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard. The chain operates more than 700 restaurants in 25 states, and has a significant presence in Indiana.

ExploreLOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS: Culver’s confirms purchase of former Ruby Tuesday, to start construction this spring

Pettibone Coffee

Jonathan Purcey works the roaster at Pettibone Coffee, a roastery in the Dayton area. Purcey and his mother, Marci Purcey, are planning to open a coffee shop in Riverside in February. CONTRIBUTED
Jonathan Purcey works the roaster at Pettibone Coffee, a roastery in the Dayton area. Purcey and his mother, Marci Purcey, are planning to open a coffee shop in Riverside in February. CONTRIBUTED

Riverside is set to get a new coffee shop in February.

Jonathan and Marci Purcey, the respective general manager and owner of Pettibone Coffee, a coffee roastery currently housed in northwest Dayton, plan to open a combined coffee shop and roastery under the same name at 215 Woodman Drive in Riverside once construction is done.

The Purceys, a mother and son, said the coffee shop is meant to be big and open, with lots of seating, a large coffee bar in the center of their coffee shop, and a focus on “really good coffee.”

Jonathan Purcey said they will also sell tea and baked goods at the coffee shop.

ExploreMom and son duo plan to open Riverside coffee shop, roastery

Taco Street Co.

Taco Street Co. will make the jump from food truck to bricks-and-mortar restaurant at the Mall at Fairfield Commons. CONTRIBUTED
Taco Street Co. will make the jump from food truck to bricks-and-mortar restaurant at the Mall at Fairfield Commons. CONTRIBUTED

Taco Street Co., which has operated as a food truck in the Dayton area for three years, is putting the finishing touches on a bricks-and-mortar restaurant at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.

The new taco shop will be located in the mall’s food court, in space vacated earlier this year by Wayback Burgers.

Taco Street Co.’s menu includes shrimp, chicken and barbacoa beef tacos and taco salads, as well as its signature taco, the Taco Street Classic, which consists of ground turkey, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato and house-made Taco Street sauce in a fresh-made crunchy taco shell.

The restaurant’s web site says Taco Street could open as soon as January. The Mall at Fairfield Commons web site already lists Taco Street Co. as “coming soon.”

ExploreNew taco restaurant gears up to open at the Mall at Fairfield Commons

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill FILE
Chipotle Mexican Grill FILE

For more than half a century, hot meals have been served at 275 E. National Road in Vandalia, first as a Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant, then during a 38-year run as the Original Rib House.

When that barbecue restaurant shut down in July 2019, its co-owner, Bill Brusman, called the closure “the end of an era.”

But a new era is poised to begin for the space. The Original Rib House property has been sold to a Cincinnati-based real-estate developer who is working with Chipotle officials to put in a Chipotle Mexican Grill at the site, according to Robert Zavakos, senior vice president of the commercial real estate firm NAI Bergman, who represented the seller in the transaction.

ExploreOriginal Rib House property sold; new restaurant planned

CLOSED

Arepas & Co Colombian Comfort Food

Arepas & Co Colombian Comfort Food will shut down its lone remaining location in downtown Dayton on Dec. 31, then will look for a new location in the spring of 2021, its owners announced on Facebook. CONTRIBUTED
Arepas & Co Colombian Comfort Food will shut down its lone remaining location in downtown Dayton on Dec. 31, then will look for a new location in the spring of 2021, its owners announced on Facebook. CONTRIBUTED

Arepas & Co Colombian Comfort Food, which got its start in downtown Dayton in 2012, will shut down its last remaining location in the former Wympee building on East Third Street at Wayne Avenue on Dec. 31, but will look to find a new home in the spring of 2021, a co-owner announced on Facebook.

“We wanted to let you all know December 31st will be our last day downtown and we will be closing, so please come support us this week!” co-owner Rene Bostick wrote. “Please keep your eyes open, because this isn’t the last of Arepas! We will be looking for another location come spring!”

Bostick said those who would like to order sauces, Arepas, Tres Leches Cake, Cabbage rolls or other items should contact her at bostickrene@gmail.com.

ExploreDowntown Dayton restaurant to shut down, then seek to relocate in the spring

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