Local restaurant owner on why his business closed: “People want new and shiny”

Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 3:06 PM
Updated: Friday, June 08, 2018 @ 2:35 PM

Dark Horse Tavern has closed its doors. Video by Amelia Robinson

The owner of a Miamisburg restaurant said stiff competition is one of the reasons he decided to close his doors permanently. 

>> March restaurant highlights: 7 new, 10 coming soon and 4 closing

“It is too much competition. Since we opened, there are at least 30 restaurants in a short driving distance,” Dennis Williams of the Dark Horse Tavern, 209 Byers Road, told this news organization. “People want new and shiny, and our business has fallen off.”

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Dark Horse Tavern’s closed on April 16. The business employed 15 people. 

Williams opened the business in the Byers Plaza Shopping Center 12 years ago. 

He also owns the plaza and said he is willing to sell and/or lease the Dark Horse space. The space would be ideal for a bar or restaurant, but other concepts could work as well, Williams said.  

>> This delicious hidden taco place in the Dayton area will change your life

Williams closed the Dark Horse in 2016, but reopened it four months later that December.  

Back then, he told this news organization that the bar had become too difficult and time-consuming to manage, in part, due to time needed for his other businesses.

He put the bar and property up for sale, but was not able to find a buyer.

>> Why the Dark Horse Tavern reopened

The building has held a tavern for 42 years, Williams said. 

The restaurant was well-known for its barbecue.

It originally held an Oregon Express location and later the Byers Inn Restaurant and Tavern.

Williams said much has changed since then. 

“Oregon Express was the only bar south of town,” he noted. “Look at it now. It has a million (bars and restaurants).” 

Williams launched the Dark Horse with business partner Daryl Gronauer, who died in 2012. 

“We thought it would be a fun thing to do,” Williams said. “Once business gets below a certain point, it’s no fun.”

Dark Horse Tavern has reopened in Miamisburg. MARK FISHER/STAFF(Staff Writer)

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Get ahead of the foodie game at Wednesday’s sneak peek to Restaurant Week 

Published: Friday, July 13, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

Dayton's Best Restaurants

When summer ushers in warmer weather there are several things in the world of food that you can count on — seasonal produce and dishes being at the top of the list.

A close second is the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week promotion, which this year runs July 22-29 offering meals from more than 40 restaurants ranging in price from $20.18-$30.18.

The traditional “sneak peek” that happens before the promotion kicks off will take place on Wednesday, July 18, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Steam Plant.

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»»7 great places to get frozen treats in Dayton

Tickets are $20.18, which covers one drink and tastes from more than a dozen restaurants including Amber Rose, Basil’s, Brio, Bravo’s, Coco’s Bistro, Dewberry 1850, The Dock, El Meson, The Famous Restaurant, JD Legends, Roost, Watermark and Wheat Penny.

The restaurant week promotion was established more than a decade ago as a way to generate traffic to local restaurants and help give diners a chance to explore the menu at a more affordable price point. The kick-off event offers a nice preview of what’s in store at the restaurants that are on hand. Many restaurants do a really nice job of showing off some of those special seasonal flavors that summer ushers in.

Roost is one of the participants in the “sneak peek” event for the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

“The first restaurant week was in 2005 with about 15 restaurants participating. It has grown over the years to an event that people call and ask when summer restaurant week is so they can plan their vacations around it. Now that’s pretty cool. It’s also just great for the restaurants and the community. People get excited about trying a different restaurant and it’s just fun,” said Amy Zahora, executive director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association.

»»11 places to grab some amazing fried chicken in Dayton

This year Zahora says Brigid’s Path and the MVRA Scholarship Fund will receive a donation from restaurant week meals that are sold.

Due to the popularity of both, Zahora suggests making reservations in advance and purchasing sneak peek tickets now.

“I think it’s so popular because people get to try new places or places they wouldn’t normally try at a really good price. You can beat $20.18 or $25.18 for a three-course meal,” said Zamora. “Some of these restaurants will do over 400 Summer Restaurant Week meals, which is a huge boost. And this doesn’t include drinks, so it definitely helps the restaurants during the week when it is typically slower.”


The following is a list of the businesses scheduled to participate in the 2018 Miami Valley Restaurant Associations’ Summer Restaurant Week taking place July 22-29.

Please note — this list of participating restaurants is subject to change and reservations may be required from some participating locations. Calling ahead is recommended, for details, hours and reservations. For the most up-to-date list and information visit http://dineoutdayton.com.



Amber Rose, 1400 Valley St., (937) 228-2511

Basil’s on Market, 312, N. Patterson Blvd., (937) 818-4390

Coco’s Bistro, 250 Warren St., (937) 228-2626

Dewberry 1850, Marriott at the University of Dayton, 1414 S. Patterson Blvd., (937) 223-1000

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Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave., (937) 224-7822

Franco’s Ristorante Italiano, 824 E. Fifth St., (937) 222-0204

Jay’s Seafood Restaurant, 225 E. Sixth St., (937) 222-2892

Lily’s Bistro, 329 E. Fifth St., (937) 723-7637

Roost Modern Italian, 524 E. 5th St., (937) 222-3100

Wheat Penny, 515 Wayne Ave., (937) 496-5268


Buckhorn Tavern, 8800 Meeker Road, (937) 890-3261


Christopher’s Restaurant, 2318 E. Dorothy Lane, (937) 299-0089

Figlio, 424 E. Stroop Road in the Town & Country shopping center, (937) 534-0494

McGillicutty’s Pub, 1980 E. Whipp Road, (937) 436-0057


Bravo at Dayton Mall, 2770 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, (937) 439-1294

Carvers Steaks & Chops, 1535 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, (937) 433-7099

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Chappy’s Social House, 7880 Washington Village Drive, (937) 439-9200

Kabuki, 848 S. Main St., (937) 435-9500

Nelly’s 79 S. Main St., (937) 859-5555

Sweeney’s Seafood Bar and Grill, 28 W. Franklin St., (937) 291-3474


The Chop House, 7727 Washington Village Drive, (937) 291-1661

Meadowlark, 5531 Far Hills Ave., (937) 434-4750

The Melting Pot, 453 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, (937) 567-8888


ele Bistro and Wine Bar, 3680 Rigby Road, (937) 384-2253

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, 3500 Rigby Road, (937) 865-9355

Watermark Restaurant, 20 S. First St., (937) 802-0891


El Meson, 903 E. Dixie Drive, (937) 859-8229


Bunker’s Sports Bar & Grill, 893 E. National Road, (937) 890-8899

»»Top 10 picks for amazing steak in the Dayton area



Basils on Market, 18 N. Market St., (937) 875-2068

The Caroline, 5 S. Market St., (937) 552-7676

Smith’s Boathouse Restaurant, 439 N. Elm St., (937) 335-3837


Hickory River Smokehouse, 135 S. Garber Drive, (937) 669-2271



Brio Tuscan Grill at The Greene, 4459 Cedar Park Drive, (937) 429-7792

Bravo at Fairfield Mall, 2731 Fairfield Commons, (937) 431-5460

This Bravo location opened at the Mall at Fairfield Commons on Jan. 28, 2016. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, 4432 Walnut St., (937) 320-9548

Pasha Grill, 72 Plum St., The Greene, (937) 429-9000

The Wandering Griffin, 3725 Presidential Drive, (937) 956-5216

Wellington Grille, 2450 Dayton-Xenia Road, (937) 426-4600


Packy’s Sports Bar and Grill, 10823 Chidlaw Road, (937) 879-2696

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Mills Park Hotel, 321 Xenia Ave., (937) 319-0400

Sunrise Cafe, 259 Xenia Ave., (937) 767-7211

The Winds Cafe and Bakery, 215 Xenia Ave., (937) 767-1144


Nick’s Restaurant, 1443 N. Detroit St., (937) 372-3202



The Dock, 250 W. Main St., (937) 864-5011


Season’s Bistro & Grille, 28 S. Limestone St., (937) 521-1200


Here are other upcoming MVRA events that are worth marking on the calendar:

Taste of Austin Landing

2-6 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Park at Austin Landing

Sample from more than a dozen Austin Landing restaurants for just $20 in advance or $25 day of. Includes one drink ticket.

For tickets and more information visit www.austinlanding.com/taste

The Taste of The Greene

5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 9

Sample dishes from different restaurants at the Greene including Ace’s Asian Cafe, BD Mongolian’s, Brio, Deg’s, EO Burgers, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 the day of.

For tickets and more information visit www.thegreene.com/event/Taste-of-The-Greene/2145508509/

»»Some of Dayton’s best Mexican eateries you may not know about

Bacon Fest at the Fraze

3-10 p.m. Aug. 18

Free and open to the public, savor the flavor of breakfast’s favorite side item – the greatest food on planet Earth – BACON. Whether you’re in the crispy bacon or chewy bacon camp, you’ll love this summer festival. This year more than 10 restaurants will be participating including Amber Rose, Basil’s, The Dock, El Meson and Sweetum’s.

For more information visit http://fraze.com/bacon-fest-2018

Beer Fest at The Greene

5-9 p.m. Sept. 15

Live music, food and beer collides with music by The Reaganomics starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of.

For more information visit thegreene.com/events


What: Sneak Peek to Summer Restaurant Week

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. July 18

Where: The Dayton Steam Plant, 617 E. Third St., Dayton

Cost: $20.18 per ticket which includes one drink ticket. Additional drink tickets can be purchased at the event for $3-$4. Sneak Peek tickets can be purchased at http://dineoutdayton.com/project/sneak-peek-summer-restaurant-week/

More info: (937) 461-MVRA or www.dineoutdayton.com


What: Summer Restaurant Week

When: July 22-29

Where: Various locations

Cost: Meals range in price from $20.18-$30.18

More info: (937) 461-MVRA or www.dineoutdayton.com

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Downtown Dayton restaurant announces ‘kids eat free’ deal for the summer

Published: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 9:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 11:51 AM

Table 33 in downtown Dayton  recently expanded its menu. Photo by Amelia Robinson
Photo: Amelia Robinson
Table 33 in downtown Dayton recently expanded its menu. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Saving up for the upcoming school year? 

That doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying meals out in downtown Dayton.

>>FOOD DEALS: 27 ‘Kids Eat Free’ (or cheap) deals in Dayton

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Starting on Saturday, July 14, children that are 10 years-old and under will get a free meal when an adult purchases an entree and drink, Table 33 announced on their Facebook page yesterday.

>>TAKE A LOOK: Downtown restaurant Table 33 has a new menu, and it was worth the wait

The deal will last through the rest of the summer, and is just one reason why Table 33 is worth the visit. Here are a few others:

  • The patio is one of the best in downtown Dayton.
  • Their locally sourced menu is gluten free and vegetarian friendly.
  • Their coffee is strong and delicious.
  • Their fruit juices are fresh and bright. 
  • Their full service bar has the craft beer or the craft cocktails you are craving. 

Since the restaurant opened in October 2016, they’ve continued to make updates and expand on its menu offerings. They began humbly by offering just solid grab-and-go items and quality coffee, and most recently have expanded to serve brunch on Sundays. 

The restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and is open for brunch on from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, so you have plenty of opportunities to score the deal this summer. Remember, they are closed on Mondays, though! 

>>The wait is over! Table 33 opens 2nd location at new downtown Dayton library

"We deeply value the opportunity to be a place where people gather,” Table 33’s website says. “Whether it’s a mid-week business lunch with colleagues or a weekend brunch with family, we feel honored to host both the conversations and people that matter most to you." 

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7 great places to get frozen treats in Dayton

Published: Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 11:48 AM
Updated: Friday, June 29, 2018 @ 11:28 AM

Here's seven places you can beat the heat with a delicious frozen sweet treat. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

What’s more American than ice cream? From creamy custards to crunch-laden cones, these Dayton establishments are ready to shake, scoop and soft-serve all the frozen treats you need to beat the heat and chill out. 

Here are some of our favorite places to grab some yummy ice cream.

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🍦Young’s Jersey Dairy

Emily Dyer of Springfield takes a customer order at Young’s Jersey Dairy. KARA DRISCOL/STAFF(Staff Writer)

WHERE: 6880 Springfield Xenia Road, Yellow Springs 

HOURS: (Spring and Fall Hours) March 10 to May 25 & Aug 19 to Nov 2, Sunday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 7 a.m.-11 p.m.. (Summer Hours) May 26 to Aug 18, Sun-Thur 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday & Saturday 7 a.m.-Midnight 

INFO: 937-325-0629 | youngsdairy.com

Not only will the goats and cows greet you at this “udderly” fun family farm, but more than 50 flavors of homemade-on-location ice cream. Prepare to be overwhelmed by choices. 

Seasonal flavors include Key Lime Crunch, Chocolate Chunk Black Cherry, Cotton Candy and more. Best-sellers Cow Patty and Chocolate P-Nut Butter are always available. All of the ice cream is made on the farm with a 15-percent butterfat mix, which basically means it’s delicious.

Whether you keep cool by shopping the Dairy Store, take a walk through the barn to visit with goats, sheep and pigs, or play a full 18 holes of mini golf, Young’s is a fun place to get outdoors and enjoy some of the best ice cream in the region.

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WHERE TO EAT THIS WEEK: Gas station chicken to go? Here’s why it’s a must try and where you can get it.

Published: Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 1:15 PM
Updated: Friday, July 13, 2018 @ 10:07 AM

Here are our favorite places to grab some fried (or broasted) chicken near Dayton. Some places are famous for their chicken and others may surprise you. (Krispy Krunchy, Lily's Bistro, Kettering's KD BBQ, Chappys Social House, Mike's Nashville Hot, Mel-O-Dee Restaurant, Raising Cane's.

Krispy Krunchy Chicken is one of the fastest growing convenience store based quick service restaurant concepts in the country. 

The first store opened in 1989 in Lafayette, Louisiana in a small chain of convenience stores and has seen incredible growth since with more than 1,800 locations now open in 36 states. 

»»Some of Dayton’s best Mexican eateries you may not know about

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There are now seven Krispy Krunchy locations in the area at various gas stations and drive-throughs. 

It's quick, convenient, affordable and delicious. 


The steamy boxes of chicken that you walk out with are fresh and moist with large meaty pieces of legs, thighs, wings and breasts enclosed in a golden exterior that more than earns its crispy, crunchy moniker. 

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The cajun season infused in the breading adds some heat, kick and welcome flavor. It's a terrific option for parties if you don't have time to cook. Krispy Krunchy Chicken offers a 25-piece mix of light and dark pieces for $33.99 averaging out to a very reasonable $1.35 per piece. Your guests will definitely be asking where the chicken came from — it's that good. 

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It's also a solid option for lunch while you're out and about, or for dinner for the family, with two pieces ranging from $3.99-$4.99 and four pieces ranging from $6.99-$7.49 with the addition of a side and a drink contributing $2.50 to the overall bill. 

Krsipy Krunchy Chicken had a banner year in 2017, company officials say. It also added a Dayton-area location. FILE(Staff Writer)

A chicken and tenders family combo is $29.99 that comes with 12 juicy pieces of chicken, 6 piece cajun tenders, 6 biscuits and a large fry. There are sides like Mac-n-cheese ($2.49 for a small and $3.69 for a large), but keep your eye on the crunchy prize with a honey butter biscuit (69 cents each) thrown in for good measure. Cajun style fried fish and crispy shrimp are also available as dinner or lunchtime options. 

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Delivery is also available through the Door Dash app service.


In addition to having terrific, hot food, two of the Krispy Krunchy locations (the Town and Country Shell Station and Bellbrook Marathon) also sell craft beer to go.

The stations have craft beer taps for 32-ounce and 64-ounce growler fills. Selections rotate.

The craft beer growler-refill station at Town & Country Shell on Far Hills Avenue at Stroop Road in Kettering. MARK FISHER/STAFF(Staff Writer)


The Town and Country Shell Station, 3960 Far Hills Ave., Kettering 

Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Closed Sundays 

More info: 937-999-4272 or www.krispykrunchykettering.com 

Please note: Call 30 minutes ahead for large orders 

Other area Krispy Krunchy Chicken locations: 

B & B Carryout, 2028 E. State Route 73, Waynesville 

Bellbrook Marathon Station, 4491 Franklin St., Bellbrook 

Doc's Drive Thru and Grocery, 908 W. N. St. Springfield 

Germantown Shell (Kasey's Gas Mart), 1341 W. Market Street, Germantown 

Krispy Krunchy Dayton @ Wright State, 3800 Col. Glenn Hwy., Beavercreek 

Ulbrich's, 12 S. Dorset Road, Troy

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