Oakwood chocolate shop Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier opened its second retail location this week and is planning further expansion.
The shop — which sells chocolates from the historic and highly acclaimed Brussels, Belgium-based chocolatier named “Mary” — opened a shop Thursday, Dec. 13 in the 900 North Michigan Shops retail center at 900 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.
RELATED: Magazine declares local shop’s chocolates 1 of 9 ‘best in the world’ (July 2016)
“We felt we were ready to branch out into a major market,” Madame Delluc co-founder Francoise Walusis told this news outlet today, Friday Dec. 14. “Our top three options were Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, 5th Avenue in New York City, and on North Michigan Avenue (Chicago).
“We were looking for one of the premiere shopping districts in a major market in the U.S. We chose Chicago for two reasons: It made the most sense geographically because it's close and because we have a large customer base in Chicago, based on our online sales.”
Walusis said there are plans to open additional shops, with the next one coming to either New York City or Los Angeles.
“We don't have any plans to expand into any other small or mid-market cities. From here on, it will be major markets. Oakwood will always be our headquarters/flagship location, because the Dayton area is home for us. Oakwood will also always be the first location to get new products and packaging.”
The new store is expected to boost online sales, which are fulfilled from the store at 2510 Far Hills Ave.
The Mary Chocolatier has been making chocolates for 99 years. Last year, CNN named Mary as one of the “15 Happiest Places in the World.” And in 2016, A Mary chocolate bar was lauded as one of the nine “Best Chocolates in the World” by a Conde Nast Traveler writer.
>> Oakwood chocolate shop part of the 15 ‘world’s happiest places.’ (March 2017)
Francoise Walusis is a native of Belgium who came to Ohio more than two decades ago to attend Wittenberg University.
For more information, check out the Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier web site.
The Asian restaurant bd’s Mongolian Grill will donate $5,000 in scholarship funds to a Beavercreek family for use by a U.S. Air Force veteran’s daughter who is a freshman at Ohio State University.
The check will be presented at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 at the bd’s Mongolian Grill at The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek.
The bd’s Mongolian Grill chain and its fellow Mongolian Concepts brands Genghis Grill and FlatTop Grill raises money for Folds of Honor, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled U.S. service-members.
Megan Kafka is the daughter of retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel Robert S. Kafka, who served for more than 20 years under Operation New Dawn, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Sea Signal, and Operation Support Justice IV.
“Folds of Honor wouldn’t be able to provide scholarships to these deserving families if it weren’t for the generous support of extraordinary companies like bd’s Mongolian Grill,” Chick Linski, senior vice president of the Folds of Honor Foundation, said in a release. “We are extremely excited with the outcome of this partnership. No one deserves this money more than the Kafka family.”
From Oct. 29 through Veterans Day on Nov. 11, guests at create-your-own-stir-fry bd’s Mongolian Grill locations supported Folds of Honor by purchasing $2 pin-ups to display in the restaurants. Guests were able to write-in who they “dedicated” the pin-up to (Active, Veteran or Family Member). And on Veterans Day, each bd’s location donated 10 percent of food sales to local Folds of Honor chapters. Mongolian Concepts raised more than $43,000 for Folds of Honor through this year’s campaign.
Folds of Honor’s scholarships support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard who served three tours of duty in Iraq, Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded more than 20,000 scholarships in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. For more information or to donate in support of a Folds of Honor scholarship, visit www.foldsofhonor.org.
Two southwest Ohio agency liquor stores will offer a limited number of all eight bottles of The Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection for sale at regular retail prices next Tuesday morning, Dec. 18.
Created to commemorate the eighth and final season of the HBO series Game of Thrones, The GOT Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection features eight limited-edition scotches that are all new to the U.S. Each scotch is paired with one of the Houses of Westeros, as well as the Night's Watch, “giving fans an authentic taste of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond,” according to a release.
The rare scotches will be sold starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 18 at Arrow Wine & Spirits’ Far Hills store at Far Hills Avenue and Dorothy Lane in Kettering, and at Jungle Jim’s Dixie Highway store in Fairfield. Those two stores are among a dozen statewide selling the special spirits (full list below). There will be no raffle or lottery for the scotch collection; the bottles will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
There will be a limit of one bottle per scotch house per person, or a total of eight bottles. But the number of bottles allocated to each liquor store varies per brand, which may make building a complete collection in one fell swoop problematic. Arrow Wine’s allocation, for example, ranges from 18 bottles of the House Tyrell Clynelish Reserve to 48 bottles of the House Lannister Lagavulin 9 Year Old.
The eight scotches and their price per bottle are:
The scotches will be available starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 18 at the following stores across Ohio:
The holiday season is a busy time of year for everybody, including scammers.
There is an email scam going around with a new twist that targets online shoppers.
This latest scam specifically goes after people who use Amazon.
While online shopping may be more convenient, it can also be riskier.
In the latest scam, an email that appears to be from Amazon says a user's password needs to be reset.
They are instructed to enter their username and password on a page that looks authentic.
The scammers have even figured out how to steal from customers immediately.
"They just write a program that, as soon as you submit that, they get it," said Adam Estes, a computer security engineer. "And it automatically logs in and starts buying things like that."
Experts said an account might be maxed out before users even know they were scammed, and it's impossible to trace.
"They can buy things like a Facebook gift card or an Amazon gift card or all kinds of things and have it sent straight to an email address, and it's an instant delivery," Estes said.
The scam might have dozens of different versions.
The emails might say there is a problem with an order or that a user must update shipping information.
Estes said customers should never do anything directly from an email.
"So if it says you need to reset your password, go directly to Amazon.com and log in," he said. "Similar scams target other online accounts and even your banking information."
If you live in California, you may soon have to pay a tax for your text messages.
According to the Mercury News and KGO, the state's Public Utilities Commission will vote Jan. 10 on the tax, which "likely would be billed as a flat surcharge per customer ... not a fee per text." Officials have not said how much that charge would be.
The money would be used "to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor," the Mercury News reported.
Opponents said the fees could cost California consumers more than $45 million annually.
"When hardworking Californians are already feeling taxed and 'feed' to death, not every new idea needs a new tax to fund it," Carl Guardino, Silicon Valley Leadership Group president and CEO, told KGO.
Meanwhile, the CTIA, a trade group that represents wireless carriers, is arguing that the PUC can't legally charge the fee because "texting is an information service like email, not a telecommunications service," the Mercury News reported.
Almost 100 Amazon packages were dumped on the side of the road Tuesday night in Georgia.
Pozen talked to a man and his wife who said they saw something off the side of the road that they initially thought was just trash.
Charles McIntyre said he saw about 20 or 25 Amazon packages stacked up neatly near a fire hydrant, some of them open. In an odd twist, it didn't look like anything had been stolen.
"You would think if somebody's stealing something, they would ransack and grab what they could," McIntyre said.
McIntyre called police, who came out to pick up the packages. Pozen spoke to Atlanta police, who said they will send those packages back to Amazon.
WSB-TV has reported on several incidents of "porch pirates" stealing packages off people's front porches, but that is not what happened here.
"Somebody took the time to open them neatly, not ripping anything, and as I opened it, the gift was still in there," McIntyre said.
McIntyre said the boxes were full of a variety of things, but at least one was full of golf balls.
Neighbors are still perplexed as to how the packages got there and who left them.
Pozen spoke with another neighbor whose mail was stolen last night, but it's unclear if there's any correlation with the dropped-off packages.
McIntyre jokes that maybe Christmas came too early.
"Maybe Santa dropped them off by mistake," McIntyre said. "He thought he had them at the right house, but Santa wouldn't open the gifts."
Amazon is advising customers who live in Buckhead and have ordered anything in recent days to report any issues with shipments.
A new bar and live-music venue called the Thirsty Frog Saloon is gearing up to open near the I-75/Ohio 725 interchange in a space that has housed a pub or tavern for more than 40 years.
The new pub will be located in the former Dark Horse Tavern space at 209 Byers Road in Miamisburg.
The saloon is the brainchild of Dave Sommers of Huber Heights, who also operates the Truckin’ Bozo’s Bar & Grill in Millbury, Ohio near Bowling Green. Sommers is the son of the late Dale Sommers, a radio personality who earned the nickname “The Truckin’ Bozo” while he hosted an overnight show on WLW-AM radio in Cincinnati from 1984 to 2004.
>> NEW TODAY: Baby born on I-75 in Dayton
Sommers said he does not yet have a firm opening date set, as workers correct some refrigeration issues. Although the Thirsty Frog has an event page promoting a grand opening on Dec. 15, Sommers said that event will be postponed, probably for one week.
>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Dark Horse Tavern owner on why his business closed: “People want new and shiny”
“We’re shooting for a soft opening on Friday, Dec. 21, and a grand opening the next day on Saturday, Dec. 22,” Sommers told this news outlet in a phone interview.
The Dark Horse Tavern shut down in April 2018 after a 12-year run. Its owner, Dennis Williams, blamed competition from nearby restaurants and bars. “People want new and shiny, and our business has fallen off,” he told this news outlet in June.
Williams is leasing the property to Sommers and a business partner, Sommers said.
The Thirsty Frog Saloon will feature live music on Saturday nights, including but not limited to Nashville-inspired country acts, Sommers said.
>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Why the Dark Horse Tavern reopened
The saloon will host a karaoke night, a trivia night, dart leagues and a Taco Tuesday night that will offer 50-cent tacos, Sommers said. In addition to traditional pub fare, the food menu will include specialty items such as frog legs, pickled pizza and a peanut-butter burger, the saloon owner said.
The initial response from potential customers to the renovations and to the creation of the saloon’s Facebook page has been very encouraging, Sommers said. “We are very much looking forward to opening.”
The Byers Road space has been a tavern for more than four decades. It originally held an Oregon Express location and later the Byers Inn Restaurant and Tavern.
Employees at multiple Circle K gas stations across the country are blaming a computer error for accidentally rolling their gas prices back – way back – to pennies per gallon Tuesday.
According to WAFB and WACH, two of the stations, located in West Columbia, South Carolina, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, temporarily sold regular unleaded gas for 1.9 cents per gallon Tuesday night, allowing some customers to fill up their tanks for less than 30 cents. Police came to the West Columbia station to stop customers from taking advantage of the glitch, which lasted about an hour, WACH reported.
Another Circle K station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, dropped its prices to 2.9 cents per gallon before the pumps were marked "out of order," KOB reported. Social media users also reported seeing cheap gas in California and Arizona.
It was not immediately known how many stations were affected. Circle K has not yet responded to messages seeking comment early Wednesday.
A bipartisan group of Ohio legislators has introduced a bill in the Ohio House of Representatives that would allow all bars, restaurants and liquor stores to treat Sundays just as they would any other day of the week when it comes to alcohol sales.
The "Sunday Alcohol, Liquor, and Especially Spirits (SALES) Act," House Bill 783, would “eliminate provisions of law governing local option elections for such Sunday sales,” according to a summary posted on the Ohio General Assembly’s web site.
The proposal was introduced last week by State Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) and State Rep. Anthony DeVitis, (R-Green, Summit County). One of the four co-sponsors of the bill is State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain).
Becker told this news outlet in a phone interview this morning that he introduced the bill in part to help a constituent who is gearing up to open an restaurant in his district east of Cincinnati and who was unaware the new establishment would not be allowed to serve alcohol on Sunday unless it successfully sought voter approval of a local liquor option on a precinct ballot.
Currently, the passage of a local liquor option for Sunday sales is required for many liquor, beer or wine license-holders to sell and serve alcohol on Sundays. These “local option” ballot issues show up on several precinct ballots throughout the state.
Becker said Ohio Division of Liquor Control officials told him the Sunday restrictions were put in place after Prohibition was repealed.
Becker said his proposal will not affect the ability of a precinct’s voters to ban alcohol sales altogether and make theirs a “dry precinct,” but would eliminate the hassle and expense of the “local option” elections and of treating Sunday alcohol sales differently from every other day of the week.
It’s not clear what chance the proposed legislation has of passing during this legislative term; the 132nd Ohio General Assembly is wrapping up its work in the coming days. Becker said there is a chance the proposal could be attached to an existing bill.
“The chances are slim, but it’s always possible,” he said.
The Clermont County legislator said he has every intention of re-introducing the bill next year if it is not passed in the current legislative session.
A spokeswoman for the Ohio Division of Liquor Control said this morning, Dec. 11, that division officials are aware of the proposal and “will work to uphold any changes the legislature decides to enact.”
*** UPDATE (Dec. 11, 2018***
An attorney for The Greene Town Center has asked a judge to dismiss a request by an attorney for evicted former restaurant tenant Choe's Asian Gourmet to reopen its civil lawsuit and reconsider the judge’s $384,000 default judgment against the former restaurant.
Susan Solle — an attorney in the Dayton office of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, representing The Greene — pointed out earlier missed deadlines by the restaurant and said there is no legal reason to reopen the “forced entry” eviction lawsuit that the retail center filed late last year against Choe’s Asian Gourmet. Greene County Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Buckwalter ruled against the restaurant on Nov. 5, granting a default judgment that ordered the former restaurant’s owners to pay $384,000.
Eugene Robinson, the Dayton attorney representing the corporate entity that owned Choe’s Asian Gourmet, has filed notice that he intends to appeal the judge’s decision to the Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals, and also has filed the motion for reconsideration asking the trial court judge to set aside his previous ruling and reopen the case.
Solle wrote that the former restaurant’s owner “has repeatedly ignored its duty to take legal steps to protect its interests and has not presented any basis to now be relieved of the default judgment entered as a result.”
*** PREVIOUS UPDATE*** (Dec. 6, 2018)
A restaurant that was evicted from The Greene Town Center late last year and slapped with a $384,000 default judgment a month ago wants to take its case to a higher court.
Eugene Robinson, attorney for the owners of the former Choe’s Asian Gourmet restaurant at The Greene, filed a notice of appeal to the Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals late Wednesday afternoon in Greene County Common Pleas Court. The notice indicates Robinson will challenge the Nov. 5 decision by Greene County Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Buckwalter that found in favor of The Greene in its lawsuit against the restaurant’s owners.
Robinson also had previously requested that Judge Buckwalter reconsider his decision. That motion for consideration, filed Nov. 19, is still pending.
Messages left this morning for Susan Solle, the Dayton attorney who has represented The Greene Town Center in the lawsuit, and for Steve Willshaw, general manager of the Greene, seeking comment on the notice of appeal, were not immediately returned.
***Original story*** (Nov. 27, 2018)
A restaurant that was evicted from The Greene Town Center nearly a year ago and slapped with a $384,000 default judgment just three weeks ago is not going down without a fight.
An attorney for the former Choe’s Asian Gourmet restaurant last week formally asked Greene County Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Buckwalter — who ruled against the restaurant and fully in favor of The Greene on Nov. 5 — to set aside that ruling and hold a hearing on the restaurant’s evidence.
A portion of the judge’s final decision “is not consistent with the facts,” Dayton attorney Eugene Robinson wrote in his motion for reconsideration.
Robinson attached multiple exhibits to his motion, including two affidavits by Ann Hiddens, former manager of Choe’s Asian Gourmet, and a printout of an email exchange between Hiddens and The Greene’s general manager, Steve Willshaw, along with an email exchange between Robinson himself and the retail center’s attorney, Susan Solle of the Dinsmore & Shohl law firm in Dayton.
“Under the circumstances, it would be an abuse of discretion to fail to permit a hearing” on his motion to reconsider, Robinson wrote.
It’s not clear how persuasive this most recent attempt to change Judge Buckwalter’s mind on the facts of the case will be. The judge already has rebuffed an attempt by Robinson and the restaurant’s LLC to reduce or eliminate a judgment that it owes the retail center $384,000 in back rent, fees, and other obligations under the lease it signed prior to opening at 4394 Juniper Way on the eastern side of The Greene.
>> SIMILAR CASE: Local retailer owes The Greene nearly $900K in rent, fees
Buckwalter ruled more than 11 months ago that the owners of Choe’s Asian Gourmet restaurant violated their lease agreement with The Greene and awarded the retail center full access to the property. The action was taken after the restaurant’s operators failed to respond in a timely manner to the lawsuit, according to court documents.
But four months later, in March, Robinson filed a vigorous challenge to The Greene’s claim that it was owed that amount of money. Robinson claimed in court documents that The Greene was way off on its calculations, and had in fact changed the locks and refused entry to the restaurant’s owners.
The restaurant’s former ownership team “had no opportunity to recover its property and equipment because it was locked out of the premises by (The Greene’s management) an hour after the decision of eviction was ordered by the court,” Robinson wrote In his most recent motion. The restaurant owners were “threatened by (The Greene’s management) with a criminal charge in the event of recovery and removal” of their own property, Robinson wrote.
>> EARLIER COVERAGE: The Greene evicts one of its own restaurants
That action blocked the owners’ access to several thousand dollars of their personal property, including $2,000 in cash and thousands more in inventory and equipment, Robinson argued. The court filing claimed it was the restaurant that was owed money — perhaps reaching more than $50,000 in the value of personal property appropriated by The Greene.
An attorney for The Greene scoffed at that notion in a subsequent legal response, saying The Greene had given plenty of warning to the owners of Choe’s and had “boxed up seven boxes of personal property” to return to the restaurant owners.
The lawsuit had remained dormant since the spirited legal exchange in March. But earlier this month, more than seven months since the latest formal activity on the lawsuit’s docket, Judge Buckwalter filed a decision siding squarely with The Greene’s attorneys and granting the $384,000 judgment against the restaurant’s LLC corporate owners.
The legal dispute started in November 2017 when attorneys for The Greene’s management filed a “forcible entry” lawsuit that led to the eviction of Choe’s Asian Gourmet. The original lawsuit claimed that the limited liability corporation that was operating Choe’s Asian Gourmet owed more than $49,000 in rent and utilities that had accumulated since July of 2017.
The final $383,973 tally that The Greene calculated that it was ultimately owed by the owners of Choe’s Asian Gourmet includes $68,600 in past-due rent and late fees, $56,500 to cover costs of preparing the property to re-lease, and $257,500 in “accelerated rent difference” — basically, the difference of the rent that had been due from the most recent owners through the lease term scheduled to end in September 2020 and the new tenant’s lease. Another $1,300 was tacked on for repairs and cleaning.
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the most recent manager of Choe’s Asian Gourmet told this news outlet that the restaurant’s business had been slow in late 2017 in part because foot traffic was down in the restaurant’s eastern section of The Greene. She said she attempted to re-negotiate the terms of her lease but instead was ordered to vacate. She said some of the restaurant’s problems stemmed from a disgruntled former employee.
A new restaurant called Ace Asian Cafe, operating with new ownership and management, opened in the former Choe’s space in April 2018.
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