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4 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)

1. 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.

The Nigiri & Sashimi Combination lunch portion from Osaka Japanese Steakhouse, 2476 Commons Blvd., in Beavercreek.(Jan Underwood)

2. 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.

3. 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 seeks salvation at the salad bar. MUST CREDIT: Handout.(HANDOUT)

4. 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.

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NEW DETAILS: Warren County corrects ID of pilot in double-fatal plane crash

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 10:47 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:14 PM

(NOTE: This story has been updated with new information regarding the pilot’s identification.) 

The Warren County Coroner’s Office revealed Thursday afternoon that the pilot thought initially to be at the helm of a 2016 plane crash in Warren County at Camp Kern was misidentified.  

The revelation comes in the wake of a final report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), indicating that the pilot killed in the crash at Camp Kern had marijuana and alcohol in his system.  

RELATED: Preliminary report from double-fatal plane crash released

Eric Hackney, 43, of Punta Gorda, Florida, was originally named as the pilot of the plane that crashed after it struck a zipline over the Little Miami River in Oregonia on Oct. 16.  

But Warren County Coroner’s investigator Doyle Burke told this news outlet that Hackney’s passenger, Jesse Loy, 36, of Punta Gorda, Florida, also killed in the crash, was actually piloting the aircraft.  

“The family contacted me after they said they had read a report somewhere by NTSB that had Hackney as the pilot,” Burke said. “Loy was piloting the plane, and Hackney was a passenger ... so I am not sure how that initial information got released.”  

He added that a dental forensic processes helped make the positive identification of Loy and Hackney, who were both killed in the crash.  

“We want to make sure in these types of situations that the correct bodies get released to the families,” Burke said. “I was able to assure the families that was the case in this instance.”  

An NTSB spokesman confirmed that the organization doesn’t release the specific names of people piloting an aircraft in its accident reports. “We do not give out the names,” the spokesman said. 

According to the NTSB’s final report, “the blood level was below the regulatory limit; however, pilots may be impaired below this threshold,” the report read.  

Findings during the investigation also “indicated that the pilot had used marijuana sometime before the accident; however, since there is no accepted relationship between blood levels and degree of impairment, whether the impairing effects… contributed to the accident could not be determined,” the report said.  

The report indicated the cause of the crash was “the pilot’s decision to fly at a low altitude, which resulted in the collision with a zipline.”  

The plane did not have any other mechanical malfunctions during the crash, according to the report.  

The report shows Loy had a private pilot certificate since September 2008 and had at least 750 hours of flight time. At least 200 of those hours were logged while Loy flew an RV-4 plane, which was the type involved in the fatal crash, the report read.

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Police: Mother facing charges after Urbana elementary student comes to school with cocaine in system

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

A 7-year-old student came to school high on cocaine Monday morning. The mother of that student is now in custody.

A 7-year-old Urbana student came to school high on cocaine on Monday, police said.

The child is a student at North Elementary, one of the district’s kindergarten and first-grade schools, and was acting very unusual in the late morning, according to police and school officials.

“The student was drowsy, groggy and they thought there might be a blood sugar question,” Urbana superintendent Charles Thiel said.

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Thiel said the student’s classroom was quarantined and administrators called 9-1-1.

The student was taken to Urbana Mercy Health Hospital, where it was determined the substance in the student’s system was cocaine.

The child received treatment and was later released, but it’s not known whether the student has returned to school after the incident.

“It’s a terrible situation for one of our youngest students to have to be in an environment in which the ingestion of an illegal substance occurs,” Thiel said.

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The mother of the child appeared to be under the influence of multiple drugs, including cocaine and fentanyl, when she showed up at the hospital, according to police.

Police say it’s likely the student inhaled the drug prior to the start of the school day while staying at a Springfield home.

The mother is currently being held at Tri-County Jail and is facing multiple felony drug abuse charges, police said.

Thiel said an all-call went out to parents on Monday evening explaining what happened, and he’s grateful for the experienced nursing staff the district had on hand and their quick actions.

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7-year-old cat who walked 12 miles to owners who gave him away finds forever family

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:10 PM

Toby, a 7-year-old FIV-positive cat, has found his forever family after his owners gave him to a county shelter to be euthanized. (Photo by SPCA of Wake County)
SPCA of Wake County
Toby, a 7-year-old FIV-positive cat, has found his forever family after his owners gave him to a county shelter to be euthanized. (Photo by SPCA of Wake County)(SPCA of Wake County)

A 7-year-old cat given away by his family walked 12 miles back home -- only to be given away again. reported that, according to an April 4 Facebook post from the SPCA of Wake County, Toby, a fluffy orange and white cat, was given to another family but found his way back to his home.

>> Read more trending news 

“When he arrived, he was met with heartbreak,” the post said. “The family he thought had loved him took him to a shelter and asked staff to euthanize him. The shelter called us at the SPCA to ask if we could take him in and help him find a new family. Of course we said YES!”

The animal shelter said it took Toby in from a county shelter at the end of February.

Toby was adopted by his new mom, Michele, on Friday the 13, SPCA of Wake County communications manager Tara Lynn said in a blog post.

“It’s funny. He’s very sweet, but he didn’t get along with his (feline) roommate,” Lynn told People Pets. “We thought he’d need to be adopted out as the only cat in a home, but his new family has two other cats and he’s fine with them. He’s just been through a lot and wasn’t settled yet.”

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Lynn told People that she wasn’t sure if Toby, who is FIV-positive, was given up by his family because of his disease, but it didn’t seem to impact interest from potential adopters.

“It’s cool, people were interested in him despite his FIV,” Lynn said.

Toby’s life with his forever family is captured on his own Instagram page, The page has more than 15,000 followers and includes a post supporting the SPCA of Wake County’s annual Dog Walk, which benefits all animals in the shelter.


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Missing Adult Alert issued for Warren County man with dementia

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:00 PM

Homer Howard
Homer Howard

A Missing Adult Alert has been issued for an 83-year-old Warren County man who suffers from dementia.

Homer Howard left his Maineville residence at 10:15 a.m. today and has not returned.

He stands 5 feet 11 inches, weights 190 pounds, and has gray hair and blue eyes.

He is believed to be driving a gray 2012 Ford Fusion with Ohio plates CA35QV.

Anyone who sees Howard or the vehicle is urged to call 911. You can also call 1-866-693-9171 to be transferred to the investigating law enforcement agency or to hear the alert information.


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