Bibibop to double its restaurant footprint within months

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Odidi Odidi, Rachel Newbury and Stephanie Bleile of Bibibop Asian Grill discussed the restaurant ahead of opening at the Butler County Liberty Center development. NICK GRAHAM AND CHELSEY LEVINGSTON

Bibibop Asian Grill — which opened its first Dayton-area restaurant near the University of Dayton last year and is contemplating additional locations locally — is poised to more than double the number of restaurants it operates.

The Columbus-based Korean-inspired restaurant chain has announced that it has purchased the leases of 15 closed Chipotle-owned ShopHouse Asian Kitchen locations, in Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles, which will dramatically expand Bibibop’s footprint, according to the trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News. Bibibop currently operates 12 locations — all in Ohio — including the restaurant on Brown Street near UD’s campus.

RELATED: Bibibop sets opening date for its first Dayton-area restaurant

The deal with Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. for the shuttered ShopHouse locations will give the company 27 restaurants after the new locations are converted this summer, not including one more in Ohio that is in the works, NRN reported.

Bibibop spokeswoman Rachel Newbury told this news outlet earlier this month that while Bibibop does intend to add Dayton-area locations in the future, “there is nothing in the works for 2017” in this region.

Bibibop specializes in Korean dishes served in a fast-casual serving style that allows diners to customize their rice bowls. Photo from Bibibop Asian Grill Facebook page(Staff Writer)

Newbury’s comments came after documents filed with Washington Twp. suggested the Dayton area’s second Bibibop Asian Grill location was in the works on Ohio 725. An artist’s rendering, with Bibibop signage, was filed with the township for a stand-alone, 4,550-square-foot retail/restaurant building to be constructed at 1035 Miamisburg-Centerville Road on the northwest corner of McEwen Road and Ohio 725. The tract of land previously housed a bank that was recently demolished.

RELATED: New restaurant space in the works on SR 725 in Washington Twp.

But Bibibop officials said they’re not considering that Washington Twp. site at the moment — although they also didn’t rule out considering it in the future.

Bibibop’s restaurants operate with a fast-casual, build-your-own service concept similar to Subway or Chipotle. Diners choose from purple or white rice for their bowl, or have their dish prepared as a salad or wrap, then select from two types of chicken, beef or tofu, and then top their dish from a variety of vegetables and garnishes, from pickled daikon radish to carrots to kale.

Dayton’s top boss: Here’s why we spend millions on downtown projects

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 8:26 AM

Dayton’s new “downtown living room,” the Levitt Pavilion music venue site, is planned for a green space named after a former city mayor.

The city of Dayton’s top executive spent part of this week’s commission meeting defending the city’s spending on downtown redevelopment, evidently in an effort to quash criticism about the city’s financial priorities.

Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein gave a presentation intended to highlight the economic importance of downtown to the entire city and how the city invests a small fraction of its budget into downtown projects.

“There’s a lot of conversation about the city of Dayton putting too much money into downtown,” she said. “Let me be very clear that about 1 cent out of every dollar — or less than 1 percent of our annual general fund — is strategically invested in downtown economic development efforts.”

Some citizen activists have said the city is neglecting many of its neighborhoods by overly focusing on building up the center part of the city.

RELATED: Clean up deteriorating neighborhoods, residents tell Dayton officials

Downtown’s vitality and redevelopment is crucial to the entire city, because it generates more than half of the income taxes the city collects, which is about $70 million annually, Dickstein said.

Dickstein said that 75 cents of every dollar of income tax collected from downtown workers and businesses goes toward support services in Dayton’s neighborhoods.

City Manager Shelley Dickstein at Wednesday’s work session. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF(Staff Writer)

“Without the income tax earned from downtown jobs, $53 million annually in services to Dayton neighborhoods would be lost,” she said.

In the last six years, the money the city has spent downtown — about 1 percent of its annual general fund budget, which this year was $164 million — has leveraged $152 million in private investment, Dickstein said.

The greater downtown has about 51,000 employees and 20,000 residents, which increase the appeal and value of other neighborhoods, she said.

RELATED: 4 big questions facing downtown Dayton projects

Downtown has 1,400 housing units and 600 more in the pipeline, and the hot demand for housing is fueling consumer activities and growing jobs and wealth that support the city’s tax base, Dickstein said.

Downtown has 60 restaurants and 30 night clubs that make it the social epicenter of the region, which also drives new investments and activities, she said.

Each resident in Dayton “should be cheering for the investment” and for downtown to be as strong as possible because it drives investment into the neighborhoods, she said.

MORE: Million-dollar club: The most valuable homes in Montgomery County

Dayton City Commissioner Joey Williams said the city often has to leverage its dollars where the developers want to go, and they want to invest downtown.

“While we’ve tried to push them to other certain parts of the city, a lot of developers want to come downtown,” he said. “But we are starting to see more go into other parts of the city, which is a very positive development.”

Second Ward turnout sparse in meetings to plan Hamilton’s future

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 9:32 AM


            A corridor in Lindenwald. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
A corridor in Lindenwald. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

When residents participating in the Plan Hamilton effort to create a 10- to 15-year vision for the city’s future met in five areas of the city recently, they were asked to place dots on a city map to represent where they live.

As a neighborhood leader of the Lindenwald neighborhood looked at that map on Wednesday, he noted dots were notably sparse in some of the poorest areas of the city, including the East Side neighborhoods of the 2nd and 4th wards, Jefferson, the East End, and even northern Lindenwald.

MORE: 2 charged in Lindenwald shots fired incident

Those are some of the city’s areas most in need of help, noted Frank Downie, chairman of PROTOCOL (People Reaching Out To Others; Celebrate Our Lindenwald).

It’s especially surprising because city leaders had taken care to distribute the five meetings throughout Hamilton, including at Booker T. Washington Community in the 2nd Ward on July 22, a Saturday.

Wendy Moeller, owner and principal planner of Blue Ash-based Compass Point Planning, which is facilitating the comprehensive plan, said the East Side turnout was disappointing. The map’s dots make it easy to see the gaps.

“The main reason we did this map is we wanted to see if there were those big spots, and then we need to re-think how we need to get those folks engaged,” she said. “We will probably try to do some strategies to get them involved, but there’s other things we’re going to be doing …”

“We are trying to get any idea to go out there,” she added. “Sometimes it’s very engaging to go out to churches, or if they have local community events there.”

MORE: Hamilton block party shares healthy living tips

While the Lindenwald business district made both lists of things residents are proud of and want to see improved in coming years, not making either list was the 2nd Ward, which city officials have previously committed to work to revitalize along with Lindenwald in coming years.

“There were a number of places that called out the 2nd and 4th wards,” Moeller said. “People talked about neighborhoods, or even sub-neighborhoods that we didn’t try to identify individually. A lot of times they were identified in specific meetings, and didn’t necessarily cross all of them.”

“That’s why one of the things I continuously hounded on was ‘Just because you don’t see something specifically here does not mean it’s not important,’” she said. “This (series of lists of top issues raised) is where we’re just hearing repeated issues.”

MORE: 5 things to make Ohio 4 corridor in Hamilton better for businesses

Bob Harris, president of the South East Civic Association, which focuses its efforts on the 2nd and 4th wards, said he attended the BTW Center meeting.

“I don’t know where Hamilton’s going to be 10 years from now,” Harris said. “What I do know is you have to have your best minds at the table. You need those who will work hard, with sweat equity, to make a difference in your city. And you do need diversity on all of your committees and boards.”

“That may not be something I’ll see in my lifetime,” he said. “That’s what we should be looking for as a community and a city.”

RELATED: Hamilton term limits and wards: Petitioners short on signatures

Harris said the lack of diversity in city government, and on City Council, was one reason he supported a recent failed effort to place on the November ballot an issue that would change council’s elections to a ward system. Opponents have said a ward system could create infighting between parts of the city, and lead council members to represent parts of Hamilton, rather than the whole.

“I hope that what is being done this time (with Plan Hamilton), that we use that information to make a major difference,” Harris said.

Injured Kettering wrestling star 'had a great day’ back at school

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 12:42 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 6:55 PM

Injured Kettering wrestling star 'had a great day’ back at school

UPDATE @ 6:55 p.m.

Students were excited to see wrestling star Ahmad Doucet back at Fairmont High School today following an incapacitating injury on Father’s Day 2015.

“It’s great that he was back in school today,” said Frank Baxter, head wrestling coach. “His first class that he takes is my class, actually, it’s a social studies elective.”

Doucet’s stroke came just before his senior year when he was training for a national tournament that was not associated with Kettering schools. When word reached Baxter that Doucet suffered a debilitating stroke, the news was “crushing,” he said.

“There’s no coaching manual that explains how to deal with something like this,” Baxter said. “As unbelievably tragic as it was, it’s unbelievably positive that he’s back in school.”

>>2016: Former Fairmont wrestler ‘trapped inside his own body’

>>2015: Injured Fairmont wrestler communicating with family, doctors

Although many were not sure it was possible, Doucet persevered and was able to return today for his senior year, and is working to graduate in May.

Principal Tyler Alexander said his first day on the job was right after Doucet’s injury.

“One of the great things about Kettering is this community comes together and supports our school district, also supports our students. Ahmad is a perfect example of that,” Alexander said. “There are a lot of folks that didn’t know Ahmad prior to the accident that have stepped up and are trying to do everything in their power to make him feel comfortable whether it be in the community, whether it be home or whether it be at Fairmont.”

FIRST REPORT

A star Kettering Fairmont wrestler who suffered a debilitating stroke while practicing front headlocks nearly two years ago returned to school for his senior year today, his family said on a Facebook post today.

“Ahmad's first day of his senior year! I am so proud of my son. He has worked so hard to get back to this day, and here we are. I would like to thank everyone who helped make today possible,” his mother Angela Fisher wrote in the post.  “It's such an incredibly long list of amazing people who have loved and believed in Ahmad throughout this journey.”

>>2016: Former Fairmont wrestler ‘trapped inside his own body’

>>2015: Injured Fairmont wrestler communicating with family, doctors

 On Father's Day 2015, Ahmad Doucet was training at the Prodigy Fitness Center in Springboro as a national tournament approached in Tulsa, Okla. Initially, Doucet was thought to have suffered a concussion, but doctors later determined he had a stroke. 

He was treated at local hospitals then moved to the Cleveland Children's Clinic then Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center before eventually returning to his Kettering home, which was remodeled through community donations. 

Fisher  last year said, "Ahmad can't speak or purposefully move any of his limbs” and that he was "trapped inside his own body," aware of what has happened.

Less humid today; heating up for Monday’s solar eclipse

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 5:22 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at the chance for rain and how warm we get this weekend

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Wind shift will bring less humid air back
  • A few showers Saturday, but drying out quickly
  • Heating up for the solar eclipse Monday
Five Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

Today:  Despite a very warm and muggy start to the day, winds shifting to the west will help to bring in cooler, drier air for the rest of the day, said Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. A front will push through in the morning. Breezy at times this afternoon with highs in the low 80s. There will be sunshine and some scattered clouds.

>> County-by-county forecasts

Saturday: A few showers are possible during the day. Any rain should stay isolated, but you might want to keep some rain gear around for outdoor plans. Highs will be around 80 degrees. It will be dry in the evening.

WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Sunday: It will be a beautiful end to the weekend with highs in the upper 80s. It will be warm and muggy with sunshine.

Monday (Eclipse Day): It will be hot for the solar eclipse with highs in the upper 80s. It will be muggy with heat index values in the low 90s. Keep plenty of water around. There will be sunshine and some scattered clouds possible later in the afternoon. It will still be a good view for the eclipse.

>> Dew point and humidity: What’s the difference?

Tuesday: It will be dry early with highs in the upper 80s with showers and storms at night.