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LIFTING THE VEIL: Elusive new Centerville restaurant reveals details

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

Dayton-area restaurant openings coming in 2018

The owners of “The Famous Restaurant” under development in south Centerville have been a bit coy about their new venture since they started building out the South Main Street space, offering only a few teasing hints on social media.

But now, owners Jon, Steve and Stephanie Thomas — who also own the Doubleday’s Grill and Tavern pubs in Centerville and Springboro — are beginning to lift that veil of secrecy as they start hiring and gearing up to open.

RELATED: 5 new restaurants opening in 2018 that you should know about

“New Year, New Us,” they wrote in a post on The Famous Restaurant Facebook page yesterday afternoon, Dec. 28, which offered a glimpse of the new restaurant’s concept and detailed its strong link to a restaurant in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, that earlier generations of their family once ran.

The original “Famous Restaurant” in Pottsville, Pa. Photo from The Famous Restaurant Facebook page(Staff Writer)

Workers are putting the finishing touches on The Famous Restaurant, which will open in the former Paddy’s Irish Grill at 953 S. Main St. in Centerville. That space, just south of Spring Valley Pike on Ohio 48, operated for 13 years as an Irish-themed pub, the first 10 years as Beef O’Brady’s, then briefly as Tavern on the Main, and most recently as Paddy’s Irish Pub. Paddy’s shut down in April 2017.

ALSO NEW TODAY: Marion’s Piazza named ‘Best Pizza Place in Ohio’ by web site

Co-owner Jon Thomas described The Famous Restaurant as a “restaurant/bar open seven days a week approximately 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and should employ about 50 people” in documents that he filed with the city of Centerville earlier this year.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: ‘The Famous Restaurant’ coming soon from Doubleday’s owners

Here’s more of what the new restaurant’s owners wrote about The Famous Restaurant — both the original and the coming-soon version — in their Dec. 28 Facebook post:

“To some, The Famous Restaurant was just a place to eat in a small town in Pennsylvania. But to us — and to Steve and Bessie Thomas — it is so much more.”

“In 1935, when Steve was just 15 years old, he came to America from a small village in Greece. He and his father moved in with an aunt and uncle and two cousins, Pete and Gus Palles. Armed with a sixth grade education and forced to learn English from scratch, Steve settled into life in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.”

RELATED: Paddy’s Irish Pub shuts down in Centerville

“The Palles family owned a chain of restaurants called “Coney Island,” where Steve worked as a cashier while learning English. One of Steve’s favorite stories was how surprised he was that so many customers warmly greeted him by name during his first week. Turns out, he was wearing a nametag but had no idea what it said.”

“Steve worked odd jobs until 1941, when he joined the U.S. Army and worked his way through the ranks, eventually serving as personal bodyguard to General Mark Clark. Afterwards, he returned home to Pottsville, where he met and married the love of his life, Bessie Seremetis.”

EARLIER COVERAGE: Are Doubleday’s Grill and Tavern’s owners opening a 3rd restaurant?

“The two started a family and bought their first business, an upper middle scale restaurant that served American and Greek cuisine. They called it “The Famous Restaurant.” Just seven years later, in 1955, Steve and Bessie sold the Famous to the Logethitis family and moved to Dayton, Ohio, to continue creating a legacy by operating and expanding a number of different businesses, including the well-known and still-beloved Golden Nugget Pancake House.”

“Steve’s business success, however, was a side note to his strength, courage, discipline, and work ethic. One of the kindest, most gentle, generous humans around, he never met a stranger and left a lasting impact on all who had the good fortune to know him before he passed away in 1996. Bessie was and is a great mother and grandmother — the glue that holds the family together. As a pair, they blessed everyone around them.”

RELATED: Doubleday’s announces its 2nd location is a ‘go’

“In so many ways, Steve and Bessie are the true embodiment of the American dream. The Famous, then, symbolizes hard work, dedication, fearlessness, and an iron will. It drives us to work hard to pay homage to those who paved our way. Maybe the Famous was not seen as our family’s crowning achievement, but to us, it is the unrecognized leap of faith that has shaped who we are today and continues to inspire the paths to who we will become.”

According to The Republican-Herald — the newspaper in Pottsville, PA — The Famous shut down in June 2016. It operated as The Famous Diner from the late 1960s until closing in the late 1970s, was leased out to a health-insurance company for several years, and reopened as The Famous Bar in 1992. A restaurant called Wheel, which specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches, operates in the space today.

RELATED: Doubleday’s opens Springboro restaurant location today

Doubleday’s operates a long-standing restaurant in the Cross Pointe Center in Centerville, and last year, the Thomases launched a second Doubleday’s in the Settler’s Walk retail center in Springboro.

Persons interested in working at The Famous Restaurant can apply at

Dayton human relations official accepts Toledo job

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:47 PM

Catherine Crosby, who has worked for Dayton for more than a decade, will become the Toledo mayor’s new chief of staff.
Catherine Crosby, who has worked for Dayton for more than a decade, will become the Toledo mayor’s new chief of staff.

The executive director of Dayton’s Human Relations Council has accepted a job with the city of the Toledo.

Catherine Crosby, who has worked for the council for more than a decade, will become Toledo’s new chief of staff, according to an announcement today from Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.

Crosby, a well-known community member, 

serves as board secretary to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and is a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Ohio Advisory Committee.

MORE: What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know

“Catherine Crosby has been a tremendous leader for the city of Dayton,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said in a statement. “Dayton’s loss is Toledo’s gain.”

The Human Relations Council is in charge of civil rights enforcement for residents and investigates and adjudicates discrimination complaints related to housing, employment, public accommodation and credit. The council also assists minority- and women-owned businesses and promotes equal treatment of citizens.

Crosby, 40, who is from Cleveland, earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wilberforce University and a master’s degree in public administration from Wright State University.

“Katy has myriad experience that she will bring to Toledo to help continue our strategic improvement,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. 

“I am very excited about this opportunity to use my diverse experience to implement the mayor’s ambitious plan for Toledo,” Ms. Crosby said. “Toledo has a lot of similarities to Dayton, including a welcoming community, minor league baseball, booming downtown development, and a great waterfront. I am looking forward to making new friends and playing an important role in Toledo’s continued growth.”

Warming trend to last into the weekend

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:12 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

Flooding concerns increase with snowmelt and rain this weekend.

A gradual warm-up will continue through the weekend and into the start of next week, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell. 


  • Some refreeze possible tonight
  • Temperatures climb into the 40s this weekend
  • Wet, but mild start to next week

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Tonight: Mainly clear skies are expected through the evening. Breezy conditions and chilly as temperatures fall through the 30s towards an overnight low in the upper 20s.

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

Saturday: Sunshine to start the day, but clouds will increase late, Elwell said. It will be breezy at times with highs in the lower to middle 40s.

Sunday: Lots of clouds are expected during the day with a chance for drizzle or light rain and fog. Highs will be in the middle 40s.

>> Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘Blood Moon’

Monday: Rain will be likely, especially in the afternoon. Gusty winds will also be likely with highs in the lower 50s. 

Tuesday: Colder air returns with blustery, cloudy conditions. A few passing flurries or snow showers are possible with highs in the middle 30s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Wednesday: Some sunshine returns but it will stay chilly. Highs will be in the upper 30s

Local state House seat drawing lots of candidates for competitive district

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 1:55 PM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:25 PM

Clayton Councilman Kenny Henning announced he is running for the Ohio House 43rd District seat. JIM OTTE/Staff
Clayton Councilman Kenny Henning announced he is running for the Ohio House 43rd District seat. JIM OTTE/Staff

The Dayton region’s most competitively balanced Ohio House district is getting plenty of attention with the filing deadline less than three weeks away.

Republican Clayton Councilman Kenny Henning on Friday formally announced he is running for the 43rd House District seat, which is split almost 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.

“I hope to earn your support in the upcoming months, promote a plan to unify our district, and I hope to earn prayers from you immediately,” Henning said in a news release announcing his candidacy.

A Clayton native who has served on the council since 2012, Henning works as a judicial assistant to Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Erik Blaine.

RELATED: Foley wont run for re-election

Late Thursday, Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley, a Democrat, and Stephanie Garrett, a West Alexandria Republican, both confirmed they are running for the seat, which is now held by State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, and includes parts of Englewood, Clayton, Trotwood, western Montgomery County and all of Preble County.

Democrat Ralph Dean Brill of Brookville has also taken out nominating petitions for the seat.

Foley said he will say more about his candidacy at his formal announcement. He had earlier said he would serve out his commission term through this year and but not run for re-election.

Dan Foley, Montgomery County commissioner, speaks at the Engineers Club in Dayton. FILE(Staff Writer)

Garrett, who is president of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau and assistant treasurer of the Ohio Republican Party, said she became involved in politics because she “wanted to teach my children that they could make a difference. So I got involved in my community and started working with candidates and the Republicans.”

Stephanie Garrett, president of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is running as a Republican for the Ohio House 43rd District seat.(Staff Writer)

Henning said he is a supporter of gun rights and opposes abortion rights. He wants to focus on issues important to farmers and small businesses, trying to restore state funding cuts to local governments, and stop “state overreach to local schools.”

RELATED: Rezabek to seek judgeship, opens up hot race for Ohio House seat

“Columbus should not be determining how your tax dollars are being spent in our community and I will continue to work with Ohio’s Municipal League to see that rural townships and cities are not overlooked any longer,” Henning said.

The filing deadline for the May primary election is Feb. 7.

Rezabek on Thursday announced that he will not seek re-election and will instead run for judge in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division.

RELATED: State Rep. Huffman running for Ohio Senate seat held by Bill Beagle

The Ohio House 43rd race and the Ohio Senate 5th, a seat now held by term-limited State Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, are considered competitive “swing” districts because their partisan makeup is more evenly divided than most of the region’s districts.

The 5th Senate district includes most of the 43rd District, but is larger, encompassing most of the city of Dayton, west-central Montgomery County, southern Darke County and all of Miami and Preble counties.

State Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, and former State Rep. Gene Krebs of Preble County have both said they are running in the Republican primary.

RELATED: Former state Rep. Gene Krebs running for Dayton-area state Senate seat

No Democrat has formally announced but Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens said he has at least one strong candidate who is interested.


Democrat Kucinich picks running mate in Ohio governor’s race

U.S. Senate candidates Renacci and Brown spar over Trump’s comment about immigrants

Ohio could have two redistricting proposals on ballots this year

Researchers find meteorites from Michigan meteor

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 11:11 AM

WHIO Weather Camera Network caught a possible meteor Wednesday night in Miamisburg.

Researchers with the American Meteor Society found two meteorites just days after a meteor lit up the sky across part of Michigan, according to a tweet from AMS.

Meteorites from Michigan meteor. Photos from WDIV

“We are happy and excited to report, two meteorites from the Jan. 16th fall have been found in Michigan,” the Thursday tweet said. “Congratulations to Robert Ward and Larry Atkins on the first two reported finds.”

VIDEOS: Meteor spotted in Ohio, Michigan, Canada

Meteorites from Michigan meteor. Photos from WDIV

According to a report from WDIV-TV in Detroit, another team from Longway Planetarium and the Farmington Community Stargazer also recovered a meteorite and planned to share more details about its discovery Friday.

SKYWITNESS 7: Space Glossary

WDIV-TV reported the meteorites were found near Charlotte, Michigan and near Whitmore Lake.