This year has been filled with lots of new restaurant and business news with several stories focusing on the Dayton Arcade.
Megan Dunn Peters, arcade community manager for Cross Street Partners, said in November they have leased the vast majority of the South Arcade, which includes first floor restaurant and food-based retail space. She said this totals around 20,000-square-feet with more operators to be announced.
Cross Street Partners, lead developer on the Arcade renovation, announced in May it planned to invest about $35 million in the North Arcade and was working on financing for a 91-room hotel. A state grant announcement in June revealed the Hilton Garden Inn is expected to go into the north wing of the historic Arcade.
The brand of hotel emerged in documentation for an $823,624 grant for cleanup, including asbestos removal, in the second phase of the long-vacant landmark’s revitalization. The nine buildings of the South Arcade are being redeveloped as a mix of housing, commercial space and event space. The two buildings of the North Arcade, totaling 87,000-square-feet, are expected to house a marketplace, restaurants and “micro-lofts” or hospitality space, according to developers.
Built between 1902 and 1904, with more buildings added later, the Arcade complex housed a variety of merchants for decades, according to developers. It slowly declined, despite redevelopment efforts around 1980, and closed in the early 1990s. But redevelopment plans have been underway since 2007, with a development partnership putting together a nearly $100 million capital effort. The Arcade partially reopened in 2020 with the Arcade Innovation Hub as its first tenant
Here is a list of the four food-based tenants that have plans to open at the Arcade:
1. Gather by Ghostlight
Gather by Ghostlight is expected to open in the Arcade’s Fourth St. building on the first floor in late quarter one of 2023, Peters confirmed.
“We are excited to bring a new concept to Dayton that aligns with the culture Ghostlight is known for,” Shane Anderson, founder of Ghostlight Coffee, previously said. “The tradition of apéro is as much a state of mind as a time of day. It is a celebration of those blissful hours between work and personal time, and sharing these moments over a drink and a bite in good company.”
Two entrances will open to the café — at the Fourth Street and Arcade Rotunda entrances, as well as exterior and interior patios.
The new concept will offer both regular and zero-proof beer, wines and spirits, with an added focus on aperitifs, spritzes and digestifs. Ghostlight customers can expect to find a few of the coffeehouse and eatery’s existing breakfast and pastry items alongside new brunch, lunch and small plate creations from the culinary leadership of Dayton Chef Jenn DiSanto, according to Anderson.
“An inclusive beverage program designed for all lifestyles is important as we refine the concept,” Anderson said. “It is our intention to combine the social and community spirit of the morning coffeehouse with a later afternoon apéro, into one gathering space.”
Ghostlight Coffee won “Best Coffee Shop” in our 2022 Best of Dayton contest.
2. Table 33
Table 33, a Dayton restaurant located near the Schuster Center, is moving its current operation to the Dayton Arcade.
According to a press release from Cross Street Partners, Table 33 is relocating to the first floor of the Arcade’s Kuhns Building, located at the corner of Fourth and Main Streets.
“This is an opportunity our parents and grandparents dreamed about, and we are honored to be a part of it,” Charlie Carroll, owner of Table 33, previously said.
Construction on the 5,250-square-foot space at the Arcade was expected to begin soon when the announcement came in October. According to the press release, the restaurant has an anticipated opening date of spring 2023.
“We are excited about filling an important first floor retail space at the high-traffic corner of Fourth and Main Streets,” said David Williams, senior director of development for Cross Street Partners. “Table 33 will be an anchor restaurant, with a great patio overlooking the Levitt Pavilion and its numerous free concerts throughout the spring and summer. We are looking forward to having another great food and beverage option create more first floor vibrancy around the Arcade complex.”
The press release said Table 33′s current space in the 130 W. Second Street Building will house another concept developed by its owners.
3. Est! Est!! Est!!!
Est! Est!! Est!!!, a restaurant with authentic Italian food and an extensive wine selection, is coming to 45 W. Fourth St. in the Arcade’s Commercial and Fourth Street buildings, according to a press release from Cross Street Partners.
Construction on the 5,520-square-foot space was set to begin in the next few weeks, according to the November announcement.
Est! Est!! Est!!! will serve an array of appetizers, brick oven pizzas, handmade pasta, gelato, and other authentic Italian dishes, the press release said. Guests will be able to enjoy a variety of cocktails and wines as well.
The restaurant at the corner of Fourth and Ludlow Streets will have an intimate feel with exterior and interior patio dining, the press release said. An expected opening date is slated for late quarter one of 2023, Peters confirmed.
Est! Est!! Est!!! is an extension of Mayfair Hospitality’s flagship restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina that has been in operation since early 2022, the press release said.
According to Mayfair Hospitality, Est! Est!! Est!!! is the name of a famous Italian white wine, but the phrase’s origin comes from an old story about a German bishop on his travels.
4. 6888 Kitchen
Three Dayton women are turning a vacant storefront in the Dayton Arcade into a 10,000-square-foot commercial kitchen and business incubation facility called 6888 Kitchen.
Jamaica White is spearheading this new venture with two other Dayton food and restaurant professionals, Dabriah Rice and Charlynda Scales. Rice and White are co-owners of Divine Catering & Events. Scales is an Air Force veteran and owner of Mutt’s Sauce.
“Dayton has tons of food entrepreneurs, not just here in Dayton but in the surrounding areas, and there was not a place for them to go,” White previously said. “We wanted to provide a resource for entrepreneurs, not only to help their families but the community too.”
Construction began on 6888 Kitchen at 32 S. Ludlow Street in early December and has plans to open around that time in 2023.
The kitchen incubator has been three years in the making. The facility will include a classroom and event space, a large training and community-use kitchen and bakery. The space also includes four cooking “pods,” or rentable spaces for mid to large-size companies, and retail space for vendors to sell their products.
The kitchen is named for the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion (nicknamed “Six Triple Eight”), a battalion of 855 Black women sent to Europe during World War II to solve the problem of the army’s mail. In February 1945, millions of pieces of unsorted mail intended for American servicemen in Europe sat undelivered in British warehouses, which Army officials at the time said was sapping American morale. The 6888th battalion sorted as many as 65,000 packages and letters daily, according to womenshistory.org, clearing a six-month backlog of mail in three months.
The commander of the 6888th, Charity Adams Early, is also a part of Dayton history. She attended Wilberforce University, was the first Black woman to be an officer in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, and after retiring from the military, was a longtime Dayton resident and active member in the community until her death in 2002.