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JUST IN: New cake shop/bakery to open between Dayton Mall and  Austin Landing

A new dessert option is coming this summer when the Dayton area’s first “Nothing Bundt Cake” shop opens between the Dayton Mall and Austin Landing in Miami Twp. 

Renee Hall told this news outlet that she became a fan of the Nothing Bundt Cakes concept — and its cakes — through frequent visits to a franchise-owned Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery on Mason-Montgomery Road in the Mason area. 

>> TODAY: Brand new IHOP has everything but employees, customers and an unlocked front door. What’s the holdup?

“I fell in love with the product,” Hall said. “And I love their business model and their culture.” 

>> Chicken chain opens first Southwest Ohio restaurant in Butler County

One thing led to another, and Hall this week signed a lease to open her own Nothing Bundt Cake franchise shop at 9632 Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) in the Shoppes at Exchange in Miami Twp. The 1,728-square-foot space previously housed Indian Rasoi restaurant, according to Danielle Kuehnle, commercial Realtor for Oberer Realty Services, who brokered the lease transaction on behalf of the retail center’s owner.

>> RELATED: New restaurant announced in first project of Dayton Mall plan

Hall said the area between the Dayton Mall and Austin Landing is growing and has strong visibility. She will attend a month-long training program prior to the build-out of the new bakery, which is projected to open as early as August.

>> TODAY: Kitchen fire will close Brunch Club restaurant until weekend, owner says

Nothing Bundt Cakes was founded in 1997 and is now headquartered in Addison, Texas, near Dallas. The company operates more than 200 bakeries in 32 states, offering bundt cakes in a variety of sizes and flavors.

The brand new IHOP that didn’t open. What’s the holdup?

The parking lot is striped, the brand-new chairs are neatly stacked atop the brand-new dining tables, the occupancy permit has been obtained. The only things missing are employees, customers, an unlocked front door — and a short stack of pancakes or two. 

>>GUIDE: 7 places to eat breakfast for dinner in Dayton

The IHOP restaurant that was built last fall and this winter at 3324 Benchwood Road near the Miller Lane/York Commons development in Vandalia is all revved up and ready to go, but it still has not opened. And no one is saying exactly why. 

>> Here’s a first look at the new Asian restaurant that opens Friday at The Greene

Messages were left with a spokeswoman for IHOP corporate, the CEO of the company that is acting as area developer for IHOP in the region and with a franchise owner-operator of the Dayton-area IHOP restaurants in Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Springfield. Those messages have not been returned. 

>> RELATED: IHOP restaurants returning to Dayton area (October 2014)

A spokeswoman for Las Cruces, New Mexico-based PDG/Prestige Development Group, the development company that has overseen development of the other three Dayton-Springfield IHOPs, told this news outlet in January that the restaurant was scheduled to open in early February. In late January, the spokeswoman revised the opening date to mid-March. Last week, on April 13, the same spokeswoman said, “I don’t yet have a date” for the restaurant’s opening.

>> ‘Too much competition’ forces Miamisburg restaurant to close

Rich Hopkins, a spokesman for the city of Vandalia, said there are no hangups from the city’s perspective, and city officials have not been notified of the reasons for the delay. In fact, the restaurant received its occupancy permit from the city — usually the final or nearly final bureaucratic step necessary before a retail establishment’s opening — on Feb. 2.

>>RELATED: You can now get Ohio’s favorite sweet treat in pancake form

Potential customers are getting curious and a bit impatient.

>>GUIDE: 6 must-try Dayton diners

“I get inquiries on it all the time by community members and business people,” said Will Roberts, president and CEO of the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce. An employee of the Frisch’s restaurant across the street said she is asked about the dormant-but-brand-new restaurant by many of her customers. 

>>RELATED: IHOP moves ahead with Dayton-area expansion plans (January 2016)

If or when the restaurant does open, IHOP will have doubled its Miami Valley footprint since last summer as part of the chain’s re-entry into the Dayton-area market. An IHOP opened Sept. 5, 2017 at 7611 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights.  

>>RELATED: New Dayton-area IHOP now open, another location on the way

IHOP opened the first of what had been projected to be as many as seven IHOP locations in the region in October 2015 on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, and the second one in October 2016 on Bechtle Avenue in Springfield.

>>RELATED: IHOP opening two more Dayton-area locations (December 2016)

The region had multiple IHOP locations in the 1970s and 1980s, including one near Ohio 725 and Ohio 741 near the Dayton Mall and one on Shiloh Springs Road near the former Salem Mall, but those restaurants closed nearly three decades ago.

A Dayton sandwich so good you’ll say: ‘Pork Lord, have mercy’

A Dayton restaurant has three little piggies you are going to want battling the wolf in your belly. 

Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood, might be best known for its beer. But the kitchen brews up some delicious grub, too.

>> Fifth Street Brewpub captures two golds in beer competition (July 11, 2016)

One particular sandwich stands out from the rest for a very piggy reason. 

>> 9 must-try sandwiches in Dayton

It is called the Pork Lord, and it had me at the words “pork” and “lord.” 

The sandwich is full of porky goodness, as you can imagine. But it will not leave you feeling like a pig. 

The $10 dish is a well-portioned combination of thin-ish sliced pork, bacon horseradish aioli and seasoned in-house pork rinds (called Crack–A–Lackin’s on the menu) on the side. 

Besides the ham and bacon, the anything but simple sandwich includes lettuce, tomato, onion, a fried egg and ghost pepper jack cheese on a telera roll. 

>> Fifth Street Brewpub release new menu (Feb. 9, 2018) 

>> Your ULTIMATE guide to the best burgers in Dayton

Don’t let the ghost pepper scare you off. 

The sandwich has just the right amount of heat for those of us who love a little kick with supper. 

The egg was cooked to perfection with plenty of delicious runny yolk to sop up. 

The yolk flowed like lava when I cut into my Pork Lord. 

The sandwich is cheesy, bacon-ey, eggy and spicy goodness. 

>> These beefy burgers are well worth the drive east on I-70

>>  Guess how much Fifth Street Brewpub’s weekly giveback night has raised for local charities? (July 31, 2017)

The Pork Lord was added to Fifth Street’s menu in February. 

Tanya Brock, Fifth Street’s manager, said the Pork Lord has become a customer favorite and will remain on the menu for a while going forward. 

An order of thick and crunchy Crack-A-Lackin’s are $6 as an appetizer if you don’t want to go all hog wild. 

WANT TO TRY IT?

What: The Pork Lord: lettuce, tomato, onion,  ham, fried egg, ghost pepper jack cheese, bacon horseradish aioli on a telera roll. The sandwich is served with Crack-A-Lackins, the brewpub’s house-made pork rinds. 

Where: Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood

Hours: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. 

Connect:  Facebook Website | Phone: (937) 443-0919

Cost: $10 

NEW DETAILS: Tudor’s Biscuit World to open 2nd Dayton-area restaurant, eyes further expansion

Plans are moving ahead for construction of the Dayton area’s second Tudor’s Biscuit World restaurant more than eight years after the first opened in Xenia — and the Tudor’s franchise owner says more are on the way. 

“It looks like we will break ground around the first part of May, with an opening sometime in the June/July time frame,” Tudor’s Biscuit World franchise owner Hank Roysden told this news outlet about his second restaurant coming to 124 N. Broad St. in Fairborn. 

>> TODAY: Bounce house, dunk tank and cornhole are all part of this restaurant’s Springboro ‘Community Day’

The 2,500-square-foot restaurant will seat 40 to 50 diners, Roysden has said. It will employ about 20.

>> Here’s a first look at the new Asian restaurant that opens Friday at The Greene

Roysden said late last year that he plans to expand the chain’s footprint across the Miami Valley. 

>> Fairborn working aggressively to clear blight, attract development

“I’d like to open several restaurants within a 30- to 35-mile radius,” Roysden said. 

>> ‘Too much competition’ forces Miamisburg restaurant to close

Tudor’s Biscuit World is based in Charleston, West Virginia, and operates about 70 restaurants in that state, along with a handful in southeast Ohio and eastern Kentucky.

The Xenia Tudor’s Biscuit World opened eight years ago. 

“The first couple years we were open, it was a struggle,” Roysden said. “We are doing much better now.”

>> Daytonian of the Week: Ray Wiley, co-founder of Rapid Fired & Hot Head 

The restaurant owner recently sold a handful of Dayton-area H&R Block franchise tax-preparation offices in order to focus his attention on expanding Tudor’s Biscuit World in the area, and he believes the time is right.

“The food is really good,” Roysden said. “The biscuits and gravy is our most popular dish, and we serve all-beef hot dogs and one-third-pound hamburgers. The sausage and bacon we get is top quality.”

He also likes the flexibility Tudor’s affords to its franchise owners as to menu items.

“On Fridays, we serve liver and onions, and we also have fried green tomatoes — those are things other Tudor’s don’t have,” Roysden said. 

>> Fairborn to buy, demolish Broad Street motel (November 2016)

Fairborn Assistant City Manager Mike Gebhart said last month that a Tudor’s Biscuit World will help solidify the rebirth of the Broad Street area on which the city has been focusing re-development efforts. And it will provide an attractive dining option for Fairborn residents and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base employees.

“This will help us continue the energy for those development efforts,” Gebhart said. “Plus, it’s great food.”

JUST IN: Here’s a first look at the new Asian restaurant that opens Friday at The Greene

A new restaurant is gearing up to open this week at The Greene Town Center, where it will replace a restaurant that was evicted late last year.

The new Pan-Asian restaurant is called Ace Asian Cafe, and it is scheduled to open Friday, April 20, according to its owners and to  The Greene’s web site

>> RELATED: New snack shop coming to The Greene, but it’s no stranger to Dayton area

Ace Asian Cafe will serve Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Thai dishes. Its Facebook page says the restaurant’s sushi will be prepared under the direction of a sushi chef “who has sharpened his skills for 25 years,” and also invites guests to try the restaurant’s authentic Korean barbecue.  A variety of wines, sake, and cocktails will be available, owners told Facebook followers.

>> TODAY: ‘Too much competition’ forces Miamisburg restaurant to close

Ace Asian Cafe is independently owned and operated. We’ve reached out to the owners of Ace Asian Cafe seeking additional details, and will update this story as we learn more.

>> White Castle wedding: Kettering couple wins contest, gets married

The new restaurant is located at 4394 Juniper Way, in space that most recently housed Choe’s Asian Gourmet.

>> 6 of the BEST places for Chinese food in Dayton

The Greene’s ownership filed a “forcible entry” lawsuit in Greene County Common Pleas Court in November 2017 against the current and former owners of Choe’s Asian Gourmet over missed rent and fee payments. Greene County Common Pleas Judge Michael Buckwalter ruled in December that the most recent owners of Choe’s Asian Gourmet restaurant had violated their lease agreement with The Greene and awarded the retail center full access to the property.

>> Raising Cane’s seeks to open restaurant across from The Greene

The action was taken after the restaurant’s operators failed to respond in a timely manner to the lawsuit, according to court documents. But after missing initial deadlines to respond to the lawsuit, the most recent owners of Choe’s in recent weeks have mounted a more robust defense. An attorney for the former owners is seeking to effectively reopen portions of the lawsuit, and challenging The Greene’s assertion that the owners owe nearly $400,000.

>> RELATED: Locally owned retailers helping attract shoppers to The Greene

The most recent manager of Choe’s Asian Gourmet told this news outlet earlier this year that business had been slow late last year in part because foot traffic was down in the restaurant’s 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.

>> 10 reasons we love spring in Dayton

JUST IN: New snack shop coming to The Greene, but it’s no stranger to Dayton area

A new snack shop that is no stranger to the Dayton area is coming to The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek, perhaps as early as this summer, a spokeswoman for The Greene said this afternoon.

>> TODAY: ‘Too much competition’ forces Miamisburg restaurant to close

Auntie Anne’s, an international pretzel-shop chain that operates a location in the Dayton Mall, has signed a lease and will move into the former Teavana space at 4450 Glengarry Drive on the development’s town square, the spokeswoman said. 

>> White Castle wedding: Kettering couple wins contest, gets married

The Dayton Mall Auntie Anne’s location opened in 2005, and plans to remain open, a manager of the store said today, April 16. 

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: New tenant found to replace store that closed at The Greene

Starbucks, which owns and operates the Teavana brand, is in the process of closing all 379 locations across the U.S., and shut down its store at The Greene about six weeks ago. 

>> Doordash responds after local restaurant owner slams the meal-delivery service

Auntie Anne’s was founded in Pennsylvania in 1988 and now operates more than 1,700 locations in 48 states and more than 25 countries.

JUST IN: Huge makeover for local McDonald’s restaurant includes table service

One of the Dayton area’s high-profile McDonald’s restaurants is poised to undergo a significant makeover — and will start offering table service — as part of the fast-food giant’s “Experience of the Future” initiative. 

>>GUIDE: The best burgers in Dayton 

>> 6 of the best places to get french fries in Dayton

The renovations are coming soon at the McDonald’s location at 9228 Dayton-Lebanon Pike (Ohio 48) in Washington Twp. just south of Centerville. The exact timetable for the project has not been set, and although the restaurant will remain open during the renovations, there will be a three-week period in which the restaurant’s dining room will close while drive-through service will still be available, Phil Saken, spokesman for Dayton-area McDonald’s franchisees, told this news outlet via email.

>>No more cheeseburgers? McDonald’s to change classic Happy Meals

>> Why this tavern just north of Dayton is a throwback favorite

“This project will bring the McDonald's ‘Experience of the Future’ to customers at the Dayton-Lebanon Pike restaurant,” Saken said. “It will include ordering kiosks and table service, complemented by mobile order and pay with the option of curbside service outside.” 

>>PHOTOS: Did we spot you at the Dayton Barbecue Rodeo? 

“What (McDonald’s franchise) owner/operator Debbie Wright is doing here is building a better McDonald's for her customers and investing in her community. These new features will enhance convenience and comfort for customers so that they can enjoy their McDonald's favorites on their terms. If all goes as planned (i.e. weather, etc.), customers should start enjoying these new features early this summer.”

>> Doordash responds after local restaurant owner slams the meal-delivery service

A building permit suggests the project could reach $500,000.  

>>New app lets you know if McDonald’s ice cream machine is working

Why this tavern just north of Dayton is a throwback favorite

When The Barnsider closed after a 41-year run in 2016, I was verklempt.

It was a destination that was an old-school part of the restaurant history of Dayton.

It was a supper club that served up succulent prime rib, chilled shrimp cocktail with a sauce that came out kicking like karate and martinis that were as stiff as they come. It was a spot that sat you down, made you comfortable and took you in the wayback machine for a time-traveling trip that only cost you the price of a reasonable meal.

>> Classic Dayton restaurants you have to try and love

Because I know that these places are harder and harder to come by with the continued chainification of pretty much everything these days, I have rekindled my love of several throwback spots that I hope never to take for granted again.

Treasure Island Supper Club, the Paragon, the Oakwood Club, the Pine Club, Joe Kiss Hickory Bar-B-Q and the Golden Lamb have all seen a little bit more of me and my money in the last six months.

One restaurant in particular that I have been frequenting of late is the Buckhorn Tavern. Located on the Stillwater River, not too far from Englewood MetroPark, this is a rustic steakhouse that has been serving hungry diners since 1943.

>> What’s on the menu at Kings Island this season

It’s a restaurant that you either know about or, more than likely, don’t. For those in the know, it’s quite a find — warm, comfortable and relaxed with no pretension, it’s WYSIWYG — what you see is what you get.

Best known for their flavorful ribs and grilled steaks, the Buckhorn Tavern menu offers plenty of other options as well. Most are priced at less than $15 a meal for dinner — a value for dinner anymore.

In addition to a full slate of succulent red meat, the menu features fresh seafood, shrimp, chicken, salads, homemade soups, sandwiches, burgers and my personal favorite — comfort foods.

If you are feeling famished before you arrive, start with the panko breaded fried green tomato appetizer ($5.99).

The ribs ($21.99 for a full slab, $15.99 for a half slab) are the restaurant’s bestseller for a reason — they fall off the bone and have flavor for days with a zingy sauce. The Prime Rib ($25.99 for a 16 oz. “buck cut” or $22.99 for a 12 oz. “doe cut”), New York Strip and Ribeye ($21.99 for a 12 oz. cut of either) are also a solid choice. Add blue cheese horseradish butter ($1.99) on top for a savory note with a pop.

Buckhorn Tavern’s homestyle favorites are also a solid option. The cabbage rolls ($15.99 for two) and beef hot shot ($12.99) are definitely worth ordering up. If you love liver and onions ($11.99), they have you covered with an option to add bacon on top for $1.50.

In terms of sandwiches, the Bistro Filet ($11.99) is a rich creation of sliced filet mignon, grilled peppers and onions, mushrooms, provolone cheese on a toasted deli roll with garlic butter and topped with crispy fried onions.

The burgers are beefy and robust and there is a nice selection of salad offerings on the “lighter side” including a turkey avocado salad ($8.99) and grilled fajita chicken salad ($7.99). The four-piece broasted chicken ($13.99) and fried pecan encrusted tilapia ($16.99) are two other dishes that did not disappoint.

But the lunch menu is the real deal of the day. Served from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., the majority of dishes cost $8.99-9.99 and are a tremendous value for what you get. And only eight miles from downtown, it’s a convenient spot off I-70 that’s easy to get to if you are looking for a change of scenery with your next meal.

Desserts change daily, so be sure to ask what’s being served. The restaurant has a full wine list, beers on draft and has all the ingredients to mix up whatever cocktail you are in search of.

No matter what night you go, regulars are always present chatting, with the restaurant’s trademark antler chandelier within sight.

I’m guessing they keep coming back because this rustic gem feels homey and is ready to serve up whatever you’re looking for, which would explain why Buckhorn Tavern has been in business for as long as they have.

WANT TO GO?

What: The Buckhorn Tavern

Where: 8800 Meeker Road, Butler Twp.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

More info: 937-890-3261 or buckhorntavern.biz

Buckhorn history: Located along the Stillwater River in Butler Twp., this original rustic hideaway has been in operation since 1943. Bob and Debbie Vanderhule purchased the property in 1981 and began a full-service restaurant. Now 37 years later, The Buckhorn Tavern is still serving lunch and dinner today.

Want free pizza? This restaurant is giving out free mini pizzas today

If you’re a pizza lover, you’re in luck.

In celebration of National Deep Dish Pizza Day on Thursday, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will dish out 30,000 free pizzas.

DINING OPTIONS: 7 places to eat near Austin Landing, from different chains to local favorites

The catch? You have to order using the delivery app DoorDash. Just enter the code “DEEPDISH” at checkout.

You can take your pick between mini cheese or pepperoni deep dish pizzas.

NEW PIZZA PLACE COMING: Giordano’s Pizza, Jason’s Deli to open first Dayton-area locations

The pizza and delivery are free, and orders must be placed between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

BJ’s has locations at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek and at Austin Landing in Miamisburg.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your free lunch, dinner, or even snack while the promotion lasts.

More information can be found on DoorDash’s website.

12 new foods available at Cincinnati Reds games this season

The culinary team at Great American Ball Park has released their new concessions for the 2018 baseball season. As you might expect given sports stadium trends around the country, the new items tend to be standard ballpark fare with a slight ethnic twist. 

 >> Budweiser Clydesdales to visit four Dayton restaurants this week

1. The Goetta Burger

This patty comprised of German ground meat and oats makes it a uniquely Cincinnati ballpark item. It comes topped with Swiss cheese and is served on a Servatii’s pretzel bun. 

>> 6 places you should visit in Cincinnati

2. Goetta Fry Box

Cincinnatians know that goetta is used to make and flavor all kinds of dishes. In this case, it’s a box filled with fries or tots (your choice) and topped with goetta gravy, bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and green onions. 

3. Queen City Wicked Sausages

Another spicy product of Cincinnati’s German heritage. Once you choose between a chipotle, ghost pepper, or jalapeno sausage, it comes topped with peppers and onions. 

4. Queen City Fried Garlic Bologna

This fried bologna sandwich is served on a three-meal bun and topped with spicy mustard. 

5. B.L.T. Dog

This variation on an American classic adds a juicy hot dog and Sriracha mayo. 

>> Zombie Dogz unveils a new menu

6. Street Tacos

GABP joins the rest of the restaurant industry in changing up this favorite dish. Choose between chicken and pork as your basic filling, and it’ll come topped with onion, cilantro, and queso, with a lime on the side. 

7. Smokehouse Bowl

Imagine a large, bowl-shaped tortilla shell packed with pulled pork, coleslaw, and mac and cheese, topped with Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce. 

>> 5 decadent food truck dishes we’ve missed and can’t wait to eat this spring

8. Smoked Bone-In Chop 

A 14-ounce porterhouse pork chop with coleslaw on the side. 

>> Where to eat and drink before or after a Reds game

9. The Triple Play

The trio in this baseball-themed dish is a smoked turkey wing, a pork wing, and a whole chicken wing. 

>> 3 Dayton dishes that will give you the meat sweats

10. Candy Cloud Waffle Cone

For dessert, try this waffle cone swathed in blue or pink cotton candy and filled with soft-serve ice cream and sprinkles. 

>> 3 things to know about Reds Opening Day history  

In addition to the above in-house creations, GABP is also adding Frisch’s hot fudge cakes and ice cream treats from Graeter’s.

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