February restaurant recap: 7 open, 4 coming soon, 3 closing, 1 for sale

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

As two longtime restaurants announced they were closing their doors, many other Dayton staples like The Blue Berry Cafe or The Ugly Duckling are expanding.

In our February restaurant roundup, we report seven restaurants now open, four coming soon, three closing and one for sale.

If you know of a new restaurant coming to the Dayton area, email Natalie.Jones@coxinc.com with details.


Tokyo Grill & Sushi Buffet opens in Beavercreek

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Tokyo Grill & Sushi Buffet, an all-you-can-eat sushi bar and hibachi grill, is open in Beavercreek near the main entrance of The Mall at Fairfield Commons.

The restaurant offers a large variety of Japanese-style dishes featuring raw and fresh seafood in the former space of Bravo.

Customers can start by choosing ingredients such as vegetables and meats to build their own hibachi bowl. While the chef cooks the dish, customers may get items from the sushi bar and hot bar. The restaurant also offers a dessert bar.

Blue Berry Cafe opens Kettering restaurant

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The Blue Berry Cafe has officially opened the doors to its new restaurant location at 2932 S. Dixie Drive in Kettering in the former space of the Golden Nugget Pancake House.

Winsupply Inc., a Moraine-based company, purchased the site of the shuttered Golden Nugget Pancake House in October 2023.

Customers can expect a menu focusing on breakfast staples that they have grown to love over the past several years. The Blue Berry Cafe does have plans to add soups, salads and other creative items, but they are starting off with what they know — massive pancakes, homemade omelets and Tony Darden aka the “Muffin Man.”

The Blue Berry Cafe still has plans to reopen in Bellbrook at 129 W. Franklin St., across from Dot’s Market, in the spring, Andary confirmed.

Izakaya opens in Beavercreek

Izakaya, an anime-themed restaurant and bar at The Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek, was met with “overwhelming support” during opening weekend and reopened Thursday, Feb. 15 with reservations only.

The restaurant is located on the upper level of the mall near Morris Furniture in the space that previously housed Spinoza’s Pizza and Good Spirits.

Customers can expect pizza, spirits, Korean corn dogs and Japanese pop culture, a press release from the mall previously stated. There will also be karaoke nights and anime watch parties.

New restaurant known for street tacos opens in Riverside

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

El Taco Veloz Mexican Street Tacos is now open in the former location of Salsas Mexican Restaurant in the Airway Shopping Center near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Owner Roberto Vargas said they opened their doors for a soft opening on Jan. 31. He is working on coordinating a grand opening and ribbon cutting for next month.

This is the third El Taco Veloz restaurant location in Ohio. Nearly five years ago, Vargas opened his first location near the University of Cincinnati. This was followed by a second location in Milford.

Vargas said they are known for their street tacos and margaritas. Their menu also features appetizers like corn on the cob, nachos, soups, salads, tortas, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas and much more.

Chiapas Mexican Grill opens third restaurant location in the Dayton area

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Chiapas Mexican Grill is now open in the former home of Thai Kitchen at 8971 Kingsridge Drive in Miami Twp., near the Dayton Mall.

Jairo Ramirez, the manager of the new location, said the owners want to continue expansion and share the cuisine of Chiapas, a state in Southern Mexico where they are from. Customer favorites at the restaurant include the street tacos featuring meats such as seasoned chopped steak, grilled chicken, al pastor, chorizo, carnitas or cow tongue, tamales, soups and the Mole del Sur, a grilled chicken breast topped with mole sauce.

Chiapas Mexican Grill’s other locations in the Dayton area include 298 N. Main St. (Ohio 48) in Centerville and 2733 West Alex-Bell Road near Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) in Moraine.

El Toro opens Vallarta, a new Mexican seafood restaurant, in Beavercreek

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The owners of El Toro have opened Vallarta, a new restaurant concept featuring Mexican seafood, across from The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek.

The restaurant’s name, Vallarta, comes from the Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta that’s known for its rich and flavorful seafood, said Enrique Alvarez, El Toro’s district manager. The owners realized most people weren’t familiar with this type of seafood cuisine, so they wanted to share it with people in the Dayton area.

For those who don’t like seafood, Vallarta offers several traditional Mexican dishes that customers have grown to love like Carne Asada, Pollo Feliz, birria tacos, taco salads and much more.

Centerville Dunkin’ holds grand reopening

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The Centerville Dunkin’ store at 9010 S. Main St. near Spring Valley Pike has reopened after a remodel.

This location had temporarily closed in November for a refresh and reopened to the public on Jan. 22, according to Julea Schuh Remke, a spokeswoman for Dunkin’ franchisee Gilligan Company.

“The newly remodeled Next Gen restaurant offers Centerville a first-hand look at Dunkin’s enhanced store experience, with a modern look that provides a fresh, friendly, vibrant, and engaging environment,” a press release from the company said.


Outback Steakhouse to open in March in Centerville

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Outback Steakhouse’s new location near Interstate 675 and Wilmington Pike in Centerville is set to open on March 12, despite the chain’s parent company shutting down dozens of “underperforming locations.”

Bloomin’ Brands revealed in an earnings call Friday that it closed 41 “underperforming locations” across the brands it owns. That includes Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s.

There are no closures in the Dayton area, confirmed Elizabeth Daly, director of media and community relations for Bloomin’ Brands.

The Centerville Outback Steakhouse is one of many new restaurants the brand plans to open this year.

Legacy Pancake House owners to purchase Holly’s Home Cooking in West Carrollton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Nancy Maybury and Mary Teegarden, the mother-daughter duo that own Legacy Pancake House, are purchasing Holly’s Home Cooking, located at 489 E Dixie Drive in West Carrollton.

“We are very excited to reopen Legacy Pancake House in West Carrollton,” said Maybury. “Our customers and staff have been waiting for this moment and we are excited to see some old faces and meet new ones.”

Legacy Pancake House was located at 1510 N. Keowee St. in Dayton for nearly 16 years until it was destroyed by a fire in October 2023. The restaurant was a total loss and has since been demolished.

Maybury and Teegarden will open the restaurant in April.

Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen to open second location in Dayton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Mo Jusufi, the owner of Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen located at 3002 Woodman Dr. in Kettering, is buying the property of Franco’s Ristorante Italiano in Dayton.

Franco’s Ristorante Italiano is closing its doors after business on March 16.

Jusufi does not have plans to close his Kettering restaurant. He is opening a second location after providing great food and service in Kettering for the past 10 years.

They are hoping to do a soft opening in May after completing cosmetic updates.

The Ugly Duckling restaurant moving to St. Anne’s neighborhood in Dayton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The Ugly Duckling has plans to reopen in April at 1430 E. Fifth St., where New York Pizzeria Restaurant was previously located in the St. Anne’s Hill Historic District.

The restaurant, a collaboration between Blazin’ Dayton Spice Co. and Uncle Boof’s World Famous Pancake Mix, will be located across the street from The Local 937, a sandwich shop and carry out that opened in October 2023.

The owners are looking forward to having a space two to three times bigger than their original location. They have plans to do cosmetic updates.

The restaurant offers pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage patties, vegan sausage, tater tots, a chicken sandwich and much more.

The World Famous Breakfast, which is the most popular item, features two of Uncle Boof’s World Famous Pancakes, two eggs, choice of meat and tater tots. Other unique menu items include the Bill’s Breakfast Sammy featuring a Bill’s Donut bun, Cheesy Bacon Tots, Tater Hash and a Breakfast Burrito.

Chick-fil-A in Beavercreek to close for renovations

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Beavercreek will close this week to begin four months of renovations.

“This store is 17 years old and we are doing considerably more business than was ever projected,” franchise owner Rex Brooking said. “It is going to be a major reinvestment. About the only thing that will not be touched in the store are the four outside walls.”

In the meantime, the restaurant at 2360 N. Fairfield Road plans to partner with their sister store at The Mall at Fairfield Commons to develop a new drive-thru experience.

Dayton Italian restaurant to close in March

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Franco’s Ristorante Italiano in Dayton’s Oregon District is closing its doors after business on March 16.

General manager Nick Germano, his mother Barbara, and his sister Gina, started working with a realtor to sell the property five to six months ago.

He said it’s time for his mom, who is now 75, to retire since she has been working at the restaurant since his late-father, Franco, opened it 47 years ago. In addition, Germano could not commit to being at the restaurant all the time because he wants to spend time with his wife and two boys.

The family is selling the Fifth Street property to Mo Jusufi, the owner of Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen located at 3002 Woodman Dr. in Kettering.

Holly’s Home Cooking to close in West Carrollton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Kevin and Kelly McClure, the owners of Holly’s, announced on Facebook Feb. 15 that they were closing their restaurant after business on Feb. 22.

“It has been a pleasure serving our customers, many that have become friends and family over the last 31 years, but it is time to say goodbye,” the post said. “We want to thank our employees for their hard work and help making Holly’s what it is. As well as our customers for their support over the years. We will cherish so many good memories of Holly’s and hope you will too.”

The couple is looking forward to retiring and taking some time for themselves. Holly’s Home Cooking was originally Kelly’s father’s restaurant.


Calypso Grill and Smokehouse in Yellow Springs is for sale

Credit: Facebook Photo

Credit: Facebook Photo

After running two restaurants for six years, owner Brian Rainey is ready to sell Calypso Grill and Smokehouse, located at 1535 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs.

Rainey had been thinking about putting the restaurant up for sale for about a year now, but “knew it was never going to start happening unless I put it on Facebook.” He officially made the post Feb. 19.

At 43-years old, Rainey said he wants to spend more time with his wife and four children. He also owns Sunrise Cafe in Yellow Springs and confirmed he has no plans to sell that restaurant.

Calypso opened in March 2018, nearly 14 years after Rainey took over Sunrise Cafe. He recalled at that time being obsessed with opening another restaurant, especially after a trip to the Caribbean triggered the idea to focus island-inspired cuisine and cocktails. The restaurant is known for its smoked meats such as jerk chicken, mojo pork and pork belly, as well as empanadas, fried plantains, fish dishes and much more.

About the Author