Dayton Mall-area restaurants that have shut their doors

Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

TGI FRIDAY'S at the Dayton Mall has closed

The Dayton Mall area has been a dining destination for decades, and many of the restaurants in and around the mall have been serving their customers for quite a while. The Ohio 725 corridor east of the mall has seen its share of turnover and changes over the years, but the area at or behind the Dayton Mall has been comparatively stable — with some notable exceptions.

Here are a few of those exceptions. 

The bar at the former Cena Brazilian Steakhouse, 2854 Miamisburg-Centerville Road. File photo by Jim Witmer(Staff Writer)

Cena Brazilian Steakhouse

It’s hard to imagine a restaurant closing under more bizarre circumstances than Cena Brazilian Steakhouse did.

The restaurant figured prominently in a criminal case that ultimately sent its founder and owner, Eva Christian, to prison for a nine-year sentence. Christian has served more than five years of that prison sentence, although she is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court in January 2018, and may have her sentenced reduced by a year at that hearing.

RELATED: Prosecutors appeal Eva Christian decision to Supreme Court

Cena’s unraveling started in earnest on Christmas Eve 2009, when Christian reported a vandalism incident and small fire at the restaurant. Investigators and prosecutors would later show that the damage to phones, computers, floors and furnishings was done by Christian herself, in an attempt to collect insurance money. That incident, along with a staged break-in at Christian’s home, prompted prosecutors to file five insurance fraud-related charges against the restaurant owner, and she was convicted in a jury trial and sentenced to prison.

Prior to her arrest, Christian emailed Cena’s customers lamenting the poor timing of the Christmas Eve fire and vandalism damage.

RELATED: 7 things to know about Eva Christian and why she’s in prison

“It is devastating and disappointing to have to deal with this at this time, especially (because) this was the busiest time of the year for us. … I am just glad that nobody (was) hurt; it could have been worse.”

The restaurant did not reopen.

Osaka Sushi & Hibachi Buffet/Hazel Grille & Tavern/Max & Erma’s

The restaurant space behind the Dayton Mall at 8901 Kingsridge Drive housed Max & Erma’s for decades, and in its heyday, it was one of the most popular hangouts in the Dayton area. But Max & Erma’s pulled out in 2009. Hazel Grille & Tavern operated in the space for 15 months before shutting down in October 2014. Osaka opened in September 2015, utilizing a distinctive “sushi conveyor” as part of its service concept.

Osaka shut down in December 2016.

TGI Fridays

The TGI Fridays at 2022 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Miami Twp. closed permanently on Sept. 6, two days after the Labor Day shutdown of the chain’s restaurant at 7777 Old Troy Pike (Ohio 202) in Huber Heights.

RELATED: TGI Fridays owner apologizes for Centerville waitress’ Facebook post

Among the chain’s Dayton-area restaurants, only the Beavercreek location near the Mall at Fairfield Commons remains open.

In both the Dayton Mall and Huber Heights cases, a spokeswoman for the Bistro Group — the Cincinnati-based franchise owner of TGI Fridays’ Dayton-area restaurants — said lease negotiations were the primary factor in the decision to shut down.

RELATED: Why did TGI Fridays shut down its Huber Heights, Dayton Mall locations?

“A very difficult decision and a sad day for our company,” she said.

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday had been a mainstay in the Dayton Mall for years before it shut down somewhat unexpectedly in January 2008.

A corporate spokeswoman offered no explanation for the closing, but did say that about half of its employees were able to transfer to other Ruby Tuesday locations in the Dayton area.

John Coleman, The Weather Channel founder, dead at 83

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 5:39 PM

CORRECTS THAT COLEMAN IS AT RIGHT, NOT LEFT - In this July 30, 1981 photo,  John Coleman, weather channel founder, right, and Frank Batten, publisher of the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, Inc., are seen during a news conference in New York. John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and longtime KUSI weatherman, died Saturdaty night, Jan. 20, 2018, at home in Las Vegas, said his wife Linda Coleman. He was 83.  (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)
Marty Lederhandler/AP
CORRECTS THAT COLEMAN IS AT RIGHT, NOT LEFT - In this July 30, 1981 photo, John Coleman, weather channel founder, right, and Frank Batten, publisher of the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, Inc., are seen during a news conference in New York. John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and longtime KUSI weatherman, died Saturdaty night, Jan. 20, 2018, at home in Las Vegas, said his wife Linda Coleman. He was 83. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)(Marty Lederhandler/AP)

John Coleman, who helped found and develop The Weather Channel, died Saturday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 83.

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Coleman, a longtime weatherman, innovated the position when he started at Good Morning America, according to the Washington Post. 

Coleman started The Weather Channel in 1981 with Joseph D’Aleo. Coleman left the network and continued forecasting on stations in New York and Chicago. He last worked in San Diego until he retired in 2014, according to the Washington Post

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Service dog, Pluto have magical meeting at Walt Disney World

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 5:41 PM

A service dog met Pluto recently. (Photo courtesy Julian Gavino)
A service dog met Pluto recently. (Photo courtesy Julian Gavino)

What happens when you meet your favorite Disney character for the first time?

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Check out what happened Friday night when Atlas, a service dog, saw Pluto for the very first time up close at Walt Disney World.

With his friend recording, Julian Gavino took his Golden Retriever to meet Pluto Friday night at Epcot.

Gavino told ABC News until this past week, Atlas only knew of Pluto as a giant stuffed doll, because he has one at home that "he loves so much."

But the two hit off when they met as real live dogs.

Gavino posted the video on Facebook and wrote "Atlas was more than excited to meet his best pal look alike."

Gavino, who lives in the Sarasota area, has taken his service dog to Disney about once a week since he got him from New Horizons Service Dogs in Orange City, Florida.

Dogs found in perfect condition in home where 13 siblings held captive

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 1:52 AM

13 Siblings Held Captive In California "House of Horrors"

A pair of well-kept dogs were taken from the Perris, California, house where 13 children were found shackled and severely malnourished last week.

>> Watch the news report here

David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, are facing a minimum of 94 years for charges including child neglect and torture after police said their children, ranging from ages 2 to 29, were discovered in their home severely malnourished.

>> Neighbors of parents accused of holding 13 kids captive describe family as odd, reclusive

In a statement on Wednesday, city spokesman Joe Vargo said authorities recovered two Maltese terrier dogs in far better condition than the Turpins’ children. The 1-year-old female puppies were reportedly healthy and were taught skills, People reported.

“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a press release from the city of Perris said.

>> Read more trending news 

The dogs — one was named Fluffy — were featured in photos from the city appearing well-groomed and in sweaters. An adoption raffle for the pups is being held through Jan. 26 to find them new homes.

Investigators said the children were only allowed showers a few times per year and were fed only once per day. In a press conference with reporters Thursday, District Attorney Mike Hestrin alleged that the last time any of the children had seen a doctor was four years ago and they had never been to a dentist. Police said the parents allegedly kept themselves well-fed and regularly ate pies in front of their children to taunt them, ABC News reported.

>> Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence

The 17-year-old who reportedly escaped the home through a bedroom window to alert authorities was initially believed to be just 10 years old due to the severity of her malnourishment, while the oldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82 pounds when the children were found. According to Hestrin, the children “lack a basic knowledge of life,” although they were allegedly homeschooled, KTLA reported.

According to the Daily Mail, the parents face a combined total of 75 charges, and each was being held on $12 million bond.

Deployed troops will be able to watch NFL playoff games

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:42 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

UPDATE, 10:03 a.m. 1/21/2018: Despite the shutdown of the United States government early Saturday, the NFL announced Sunday morning that the Armed Forces Network will  air the AFC and NFC Championship games.

>> Read more trending news 

The NFL also said it is providing free access to the games via NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

Meanwhile, Congress is back at work Sunday, attempting to create a deal to end the shutdown. 

ORIGINAL STORY: As a result of lawmakers failing to resolve a standoff over immigration and spending, the United States government has been shut down indefinitely – meaning everyone has been affected, including troops overseas.

>> Watch the news report here

There is a lot of fallout from the shutdown. From government employees who aren't being paid, including the Defense Department, to the Armed Forces Network being taken off the air, the effects of a standstill government can be felt across the board.

Since the AFN has been taken off the air, that means many of our troops overseas won't be able to watch the NFL playoffs Sunday

Surely it's not the biggest issue surrounding a government shutdown, but it's a big morale issue. 

>> Trump campaign ad calls Democrats 'complicit' in killings by undocumented immigrants

Watching the Patriots on the Armed Forces Network has been a comforting piece of home for army Sgt. Matt Connolly, who's serving in South Korea.

"It's kind of the only thing we can do for fun over here," Connolly told WFXT.

For the first time since he's been stationed in Korea, his family came to visit him for the AFC Championship game.

"I'm actually on leave right now. My family from Boston is here right now and we were looking forward to watching the game," Connolly said.

With no one to run it, AFN is off the air. 

>> John Legend blames Trump for government shutdown, calls him racist

The NFL says it is providing free access to Sunday's Championships via the NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

"No matter what, I'm going to watch them," Connolly said.

Sen. Ed Markey says he's in a holding pattern right now as he says he and most of his colleagues are preparing to negotiate through the night – but it's still unclear if that will be an option.

Immigration issues are at the center of the shutdown. Many Republicans don't want to negotiate on those issues until a spending bill is passed and the government re-opens.

However, those immigration issues – including the DREAMERS Act – are a priority for many Democrats. 

Markey told WFXT that he believes everyone needs to continue working to find some sort of compromise, and he wants President Donald Trump to take the lead.

"Bill Belichick is telling the New England Patriots for tomorrow, 'Do your job,' and we are saying to President Trump for tomorrow, 'Do your job, Mr. President. Make sure that the funding is there for our troops. Make sure that our defense is taken care of, but make sure that we also protect child health and the Dreamers,' but thus far he's been unwilling to do his job," Markey said.