NEW DEVELOPMENT: Pizzeria, bar, coffee shop, antiques mall planned for east Dayton

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

East Third heats up

On a section of East Third Street where there’s nearly as many vacant stores as occupied ones, good things are happening behind closed doors because of some local entrepreneurs.

Work is underway to give a former funeral home new life as an antiques marketplace and coffee shop. 

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A tire shop that closed is being cleared out and may become a pizzeria that has won over diners in northeast Ohio.

A coffee roasting operation has moved into an abandoned garage.

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And a shuttered donut shop that has been collecting dust has been bought by someone who wants to reopen it as a bar and restaurant.

In parts of Dayton, big-time developers are behind the projects that are reviving formerly distressed areas. 

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But in the Huffman historic area, it’s some ambitious residents and entrepreneurs who are driving the revitalization efforts. 

Ashlee Haselby is working to renovate a former funeral home on the 1800 block of East Third St. She plans to open an antiques mall and coffee shop in the space, which is spread across three interconnected buildings. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF(Staff Writer)

“It’s a lot of work, but we are bringing the character back to this historic building,” said Ashlee Haselby, who is helping renovate the former Morris Sons funeral home property at 1807 E. Third St. 

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The East Third Street business corridor, east of Keowee Street, is home to a Mexican food restaurant (Taqueria Mixteca), some service providers (U-Haul Moving and Storage, Laundromato), a few pawn shops and other small businesses including a beauty salon, a smoke shop, a gas station and a cell phone store. 

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But it was the opening of an arcade-bar called DK Effect last year that got some people excited that the Huffman area business district may be headed toward a more robust revival. 

DK Effect hosted an Ugly Sweater Get2gether on Saturday Dec. 9 featuring live music, classic arcade games, craft beer and cocktails. Photos by Tom Gilliam Photography(Tom Gilliam)

DK Effect, which opened in an old cell phone accessories store at 1600 E. Third St., is a popular watering hole among local residents, offering craft beers, mixed drinks and classic arcade video games and carnival-type games, like Skee-ball. 

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But the business also is a destination that attracts fun-seekers from across the Dayton area. Customers can order delivery from Taqueria Mixteca, whose food is one of east Dayton’s big draws.

DK Effect co-owner Tony Clark has long said he expects to make other investments in the neighborhood, including his plan to bring a new pizzeria to a tire shop close to the bar-arcade. 

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DK Effect hosted an Ugly Sweater Get2gether on Saturday Dec. 9 featuring live music, classic arcade games, craft beer and cocktails. Photos by Tom Gilliam Photography(Tom Gilliam)

Hardwood Holdings LLC, which Clark incorporated, purchased the tire shop at 1528 E. Third St. for $100,300 in mid-January. Earlier this year, Clark registered the business name Gionino’s Pizzeria of Dayton LLC.

Gionino’s is a pizza franchise that has about 44 locations in northeast Ohio, primarily concentrated in between Cleveland and Canton. The closest Gionino’s to Dayton is in Mansfield, and there are no locations in southwest Ohio.

Clark, who did not return requests for comment for this story, also is the majority stakeholder of ADJ Holdings LLC.

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In 2015, ADJ Holdings purchased the former Morris Sons funeral home property, which consists of three interconnected buildings on the 1800 block of East Third Street.

The former funeral home is about one-tenth of a mile east of DK Effect. The buildings, which combined have about 20,000 square feet of space, have been empty for many years.

But 32-year-old Haselby is renovating the structures with plans to create an antiques mall and coffee shop. 

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Haselby and Clark have partnered together on the project.

The antiques mall, which will have multiple vendors, will be spread across two structures that were once residences but were connected to help create a funeral home complex.

The antiques marketplace will be called the City Railway Exchange, a nod to East Third Street’s old rail car system. 

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DK Effect hosted an Ugly Sweater Get2gether on Saturday Dec. 9 featuring live music, classic arcade games, craft beer and cocktails. Photos by Tom Gilliam Photography(Tom Gilliam)

The City Railway Exchange is targeting an end-of-summer opening date, while Haselby hopes to open the coffee shop by year’s end.

One of the closest antiques mall is Antiques Village in Centerville, which is about a 20-minute drive from the City Railway Exchange, Haselby said.

The marketplace hopefully will bring visitors to the Huffman area while capturing some of the business of the many motorists who travel on East Third, oftentimes heading to downtown from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base or vice versa, she said. 

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The coffee shop and cafe will have Victorian-themed furniture and tables, but the space will be decorated in artifacts and memorabilia that celebrate Dayton’s industrial history, Haselby said.

The coffee shop has brick archways and all three buildings have wood floors, exposed brick walls and the original historical windows, with divided lights. The upstairs of the coffee shop will have meeting room and a free library for visitors take or leave books. 

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Haselby personally expects to invest about $200,000 in the funeral home buildings, which includes other capital expenses like coffee equipment.

“When this was built, it was built pretty regal, so a lot of my work and a lot of my expense is just bringing that back,” Haselby said.

The cafe concept will be akin to craft beer bars that offer taps from multiple breweries, she said. The cafe will sell coffee products from a variety of local roasters.

One of those roasters will be Twisted River Coffee Roaster, which began operating in a garage behind the funeral home last year, after relocating from a residence near West Milton.

Owner Daniel Clayton said he is roasting about 200 pounds of coffee each week and his products are sold in Dorothy Lane Market, Dot’s Market in Bellbrook and other stores.

Clayton said he wanted to be in a space that would allow his business to grow and that was near downtown — the region’s activity center.

“Third Street is the main corridor between the base and downtown, so you are going to draw from that,” he said.

And more investment in the area is expected. 

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Alex Smith, 31, spent about $20,000 to buy a two-story commercial building at 1712 E. Third St. that formerly was Thackers donut shop. The shop went out of business in 2013. 

Alex Smith has purchased a former donut shop at 1712 E. Third St. with plans to open a bar and restaurant. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Smith is the co-owner of S&S Meat, which is a barbecue food truck that most regularly is parked outside of DK Effect.

Smith plans to open a restaurant and bar in a building tentatively called “Selly’s Ditch.” 

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The name comes from a canal that brought financial ruin to the man who built it and who also happened to serve as Dayton’s mayor in the 1800s.

Smith said he was attracted to the building because of its historical qualities and location.

The commercial space is about 1,200 square feet, and Smith is considering opening a bar with a variety of taps and a restaurant that serves sliders or sandwiches, with a large assortment of toppings. He hopes to open a patio area as well.

“There’s a lot going on Third Street right now,” he said. “I want to be part of something cool.”

He said one inspiration is HammerHeads in Louisville, Ky., which is a gastropub and smokehouse that the city’s hometown paper described as an “essential dive” or hole-in-the-hall.

Smith said he has been assembling bar and kitchen equipment.

He also has a growing collection of Dayton-centric decorations to hang inside the business, including posters from Hara Arena, sports memorabilia and some quirky items. He said his next steps include developing firm site plans.

Realistically, he said, the business won’t open until 2019.

Clark, Haselby and other local entrepreneurs’ investments in the Huffman area, Smith said, is creating urban vibrancy and making it increasingly livable.

“Come to Huffman, put a little money into it, and you can live really well,” he said.

“Normal people are literally transforming an underutilized part of town, which is no easy thing to do,” Smith said.

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Victims ID’d in double fatal crash north of New Carlisle

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 2:49 PM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 7:15 PM

Injuries reported in accident north of New Carlisle

UPDATE @ 7:15 p.m.

Two people succumbed to their injuries in a two-vehicle crash this afternoon north of New Carlisle.

Vickie Owens, 46, of Springfield, and Roger Littlejohn, 75, of New Carlisle, were identified as the two drivers. They both were trapped and flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where they died of their injuries, the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported.

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According to preliminary investigation, at around 2:20 p.m. Owens was headed south on Ohio 235 in her 2012 Hyundai when she went left of center. She struck a 2010 Toyota Tacoma headed north, driven by Littlejohn. A passenger in the Tacoma, Harvey Zimmerman, 87, of Christiansburg, was taken by squad to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, the patrol stated. 

Neither alcohol nor drugs are considered to be factors in the crash that remains under investigation.

UPDATE @ 3:25 p.m.

CareFlight has been dispatched to the scene of the accident, we will update you with the latest details. 


Multiple people are reportedly trapped and possibly injured in a crash on North Dayton Lakeview Road this afternoon.

The crash was reported around 2:30 p.m. in the 5700 block of North Dayton Lakeview.

A medical helicopter was reportedly placed on standby for the crash.

We’re working to gather additional information on the crash.

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Winter Weather Advisory in effect; slick roads likely

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 4:24 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 12:01 AM

Icy conditions expected for early St. Patrick's Day.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through noon. Mixed precipitation with ice accumulation up to one-tenth of an inch is expected. Be prepared for slippery roads as surface temperatures hover around freezing.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


    • Increasing clouds, freezing rain and sleet develop after midnight
    • Icy early St. Patrick’s Day
    • Clearing, milder to end the weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast


Overnight: Expect freezing rain/sleet to become widespread after 3 or 4 a.m. with slick spots developing. Up to one-tenth inch of ice accumulation is possible by morning, creating for slippery travel conditions. Temperatures will fall into the upper 20s.

>> County-by-County Weather 

Saturday: A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will be likely in the morning. As temperatures climb, precipitation will change to just rain showers by late morning with improving conditions in the afternoon. It will remain mostly cloudy as we dry out late in the day. Highs will reach back into the lower 40s.

Sunday: Sunny skies will end the weekend with milder temperatures reaching into the lower 50s.

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Monday: Clouds will be on the increase. There will be the chance for a few showers toward late evening or into the night. It will become breezy with highs in the lower 50s.

Tuesday: Cloudy skies are expected with rain showers during the day mixing with or changing to snow showers late in the day or evening. Highs will be in the lower 40s but fall into the 30s with blustery conditions.

Wednesday: Snow showers will be around, possibly mixed with rain. Highs will be in the upper 30s.

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Soggy St. Patrick’s Day

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 5:14 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:00 PM

Few more showers may return for the afternoon.

Clouds will linger through the day with a few breaks possible late morning/early afternoon, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said.


  • Chance of showers this afternoon
  • More sun and milder for Sunday
  • Rain/snow possible mid-week

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs


Today: Scattered showers may redevelop for the afternoon. Some spots far north may see a light mix initially, then change to rain. Temperatures slowly will climb into the lower 40s. Skies then begin to clear overnight and temperatures fall back below freezing. Some isolated slick spots are possible with any roads still damp from earlier precipitation.

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Sunday: Sunny skies and warmer with highs into the lower 50s.

Monday: Some morning sun will give way to more clouds through the day. There will be a chance for a few showers towards the evening. It will become breezy with highs in the lower 50s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Tuesday: Cloudy skies are expected with a few rain or snow showers early. It will be mostly cloudy for most of the day. A few more rain/snow showers may return into the night. Highs will be in the lower 40s.

>>5-Day Forecast

Wednesday: There will be a chance for a few passing snow showers and chilly with highs in the upper 30s.

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Don’t drink and drive. Here are 6 ways to get home safe in Dayton.

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 @ 4:12 PM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 9:48 AM

Enjoy yourself, but be responsible about getting home -- don't drink and drive.
Enjoy yourself, but be responsible about getting home -- don't drink and drive.

We know that St. Patrick’s day is full of drinking shenanigans for most people. But it's no excuse to drive drunk. 

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If you happen to go too hard, here are some options to get you home safely. 

Please note: we recommend planning in advance. Arrangements with a designated driver should be decided upon ahead of time, and it's always good to know what cab service you plan to use and to call to confirm they can service your location and wait times. 

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1.) The Uber app can figure out where you are and will hook you up with the nearest Uber driver in Dayton. Just plug in where you want to go and the Uber app will then give you an estimate of the fare for the ride. Just be careful: Uber is known to experience price surges during high-demand periods. A two-mile ride that would normally cost $4-10 dollars in a normal cab can easily spike to several times that much. 

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2.) Cab Guys are a locally-owned transportation service, serving the southern Dayton suburbs. You can give them a call at 937-505-0222. Their general fee for the first three miles is $10; after that they charge an additional $2 a mile. More info: Website

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3.) Anton’s Transportation serves 13 counties in the Miami Valley, just in case you wander outside of Dayton. You can give them a call at 937-252-4756. Anton’s charges a general fee of $9 for the first three miles and an additional $2 per mile after. More info: 

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4.) Walt’s Taxi Cab Service is another local cab service in Dayton. Call them at 937-825-3861. Walt’s charges $2 per mile. Minimum charges depend on how far away from Dayton you are. 

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5.) Lyft app. Like Uber, Lyft is an app service that matches you with a friendly local driver at the tap of a button.  

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6.)  Get an old-school designated driver. If calling a taxi or using Uber just isn’t your thing, plan to assign yourself a sober, designated driver. These are the best kinds of drivers because they are reliable (we hope) and usually right there when you’re ready to go. Not to get preachy, but please drink responsibly. Don’t put yourself or other people on the road at risk. So drink and be merry — but above all, be safe.


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