NEW DETAILS: Owners of Doubleday’s to open “The Famous Restaurant”

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 7:00 AM
Updated: Friday, February 02, 2018 @ 10:18 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.

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“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.

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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

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Local coffee shop holding fundraiser to help firefighter with medical bills

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

The exterior of Winans Chocolates and Coffees in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff
The exterior of Winans Chocolates and Coffees in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

A local business is working to raise funds this week for a member of the Springfield fire department to assist in medical bills.

Visitors to Winans Chocolates & Coffees, 32 N Fountain Ave., late this week could see a sign by the tip jar that read, “All employee tips received between April 19 and 22 will be donated to benefit City of Springfield Firefighter/Paramedic battling his third brain tumor surgery. Winans of Springfield will match all donations.”

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Travis Van Voorhis, part owner of Winans, said the man is a regular Winans customer but he “doesn’t share a whole lot of information” about any medical issues. The staff heard about his situation from friends and family.

“He speaks us up in a positive way to other people, brings people in, so it definitely feels like we’re giving back to him as well,” Van Voorhis. said. “We appreciate him. When you see recurring customers, you get to know a little more about them, see their families, meet their families. That’s a good thing, we like that.”

Van Voorhis said he and other fundraisers are planning to present the donation to the man when he returns from his surgery in Columbus, which they expect to be next week.

Kiarra Maloney, a local high school student who was at Winans with her mother on Friday morning, said she noticed the sign with information about the fundraiser.

“I showed it to my mom … she gave me a dollar for a donation, so I put it in there, and I turned around and she gave me another five dollars,” Maloney said. “I just thought it was so sweet that they’re doing donations for it.”

Winans will be accepting the donations in the tip jar through Sunday. Van Voorhis said the shop planned the fundraiser around a coffee sale to try to reach more people.

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Florida man, 19, wins $15 million playing lottery scratch-off ticket 

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 8:57 AM

19-Year-Old Wins $15 Million From Scratch-Off Ticket

A 19-year-old Florida man claimed a $15 million top prize in a new scratch-off game, Florida lottery officials announced Wednesday.

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Quinn Kofler of Bonita Springs won the top prize in the Florida 100X the Cash scratch-off game, lottery officials said in a news release.

The scratch-off game, which costs $30, debuted on Feb. 26 and features eight top prizes of $15 million, which lottery officials said is the largest scratch-off jackpot in state history. There are also 20 prizes of $1 million.

Kofler traveled to lottery headquarters in Tallahassee and decided to take his winnings in a lump sum of $11,175,000, according to the statement. He bought the ticket at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Bonita Springs.

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Hamilton store that recently expanded is going out of business

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 10:39 AM

            Serendipity on Main, an antique store, opened at 233 Main St. in Hamilton in 2016. It will close April 21. GREG LYNCH/STAFF
Serendipity on Main, an antique store, opened at 233 Main St. in Hamilton in 2016. It will close April 21. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

Serendipity on Main will close its doors for the final time on Saturday.

“It’s time to retire so we’re moving on to other pastures,” the business posted to Facebook. “Thanks for all the support we’ve received from Hamilton and the surrounding area!”

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The store opened in the summer of 2016 at 233 Main St. aiming to provide rediscovered, repurposed vintage, antiques and treasures for the home, office and garden. It expanded upstairs last year, adding a selection of vintage clothes.

Serendipity’s nearly two-year run on Main Street will culminate with a sidewalk sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday featuring discounts, plus new and special merchandise brought in especially for the store’s last sale.

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Belmont mother’s threat complaint 1 of 18 police responses to the school this year

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 2:14 PM

Belmont High School in Dayton. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

Video a Belmont mother said shows a teacher threatening her son at the high school Wednesday led to a police response to the school, one of 18 so far in 2018, according to records.

The mother said the dispute began over her son playing music on a computer inside the school and then escalated.

Since Jan. 1, Dayton police have responded to the high school 18 times, several which included assaults and fights, according to records.

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Dayton Public Schools has made changes in the wake of the numerous incidents at the school.

“Because of this type of behavior occurring regularly at Belmont, the district took strong action and adjusted that building’s disciplinary support,” a statement from the district read.

Belmont is now managed by a team of 11 Dayton Public Schools staff members, who daily, carefully monitor the details of academics and discipline, according to the district.

We’re working to learn whether a school investigation is underway into the Wednesday video, a police report indicates no criminal activity occurred during the incident.

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