Mother, son open new Italian restaurant in former Palermo’s Restaurant

A mother and son duo with a history in the restaurant industry are opening a new Italian restaurant in the space that previously housed Palermo’s Restaurant at 2667 S. Dixie Drive in Kettering.

Ali Demnika, and his mother, Advije, are teaming up to bring their family’s recipes to the Kettering area once again.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The Demnika family previously owned Palermo’s Restaurant when Mefail “Meef,” Ali’s father, opened and operated the restaurant from 2007 to 2017. He currently owns Tuscany’s Grill & Market, located at 881 E. Franklin St. in Centerville.

Palermo’s Restaurant was ordered to close by Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County in April because the most recent owner failed to pay for their food service license. Randy Fontana, a U.S. Army veteran, bought the restaurant in July 2019.

“We were just waiting for it to pop up on the market,” Ali said. “Owning it for 10 years, we knew the ends and outs of it.”

Ali recalled going to the restaurant every single day after school when his dad was the owner. He said the space was essentially a second home.

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Demnika’s Italiano, a casual, family-friendly restaurant, is offering a variety of Italian dishes including meat lasagna, Bolognese with your choice of pasta, chicken or eggplant parmigiana, chicken marsala, pizza, calzones, salads and much more.

Ali said customers can expect the same recipes his father has used since 2001 at his other restaurants, in addition to some new offerings.

“My dad has owned an Italian restaurant since I was born, so I grew up in it,” Ali said.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

The restaurant will be family operated with the help of Ali’s brother, Alban, and his sister, Luna.

Ali said he is looking forward to providing a casual, fun experience for customers.

Demnika’s Italiano has applied for a liquor license, which is currently pending. Ali said customers are welcome to bring their own beverages.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday with lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about Demnika’s Italiano, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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