JUST IN: ‘Too much competition’ forces Miamisburg restaurant to close

Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 3:06 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.”

Dark Horse Tavern’s closure is effective today, 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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Some of Dayton's best Mexican eateries you may not know about

Published: Friday, February 19, 2016 @ 7:57 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

A spread of adventurous food at Taqueria Mixteca mexican restaurant at 1609 E. Third St., Dayton. Foreground shows Huarche, background left are three different meat tacos and on right in glass bowl is Seafood Cocktail.
Staff photo by Jim Witmer
A spread of adventurous food at Taqueria Mixteca mexican restaurant at 1609 E. Third St., Dayton. Foreground shows Huarche, background left are three different meat tacos and on right in glass bowl is Seafood Cocktail.(Staff photo by Jim Witmer)

The Miami Valley could do much, much worse for Mexican food. From long-standing restaurants to mobile food trucks, we have numerous businesses that can fulfill your craving for something spicy, cheesy, meaty or sizzling. In no particular order, we suggest these Mexican eateries: 

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Food & Dining

>> 4 things to know about Fuzzy’s Tacos, new at The Greene


A new Victor’s Taco Shop opens today in Xenia, offering a variety of Mexican specialties, including tacos, enchiladas, burritos, taquitos and tostadas, as well as omelets and breakfast burritos. MARK FISHER/STAFF(Staff Writer)

Victor’s Tacos

Multiple locations | (937) 224-3293 | WebsiteFacebook

Having just opened its seventh Dayton-area location, it’s no surprise this spot made the list. You have to try the big OH burrito — trust us.

Dayton.com staff writer Allegra Czerwinski takes a photo with Taqueria Mixteca's monster burrito for scale.(Contributed photo)

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A Dayton sandwich so good you’ll say: ‘Pork Lord, have mercy’

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

The Pork Lord sandwich at Fifth Street Brew Pub.  Photo by Amelia Robinson
Photo: Amelia Robinson
The Pork Lord sandwich at Fifth Street Brew Pub. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

A Dayton restaurant has three little piggies you are going to want battling the wolf in your belly. 

Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood, might be best known for its beer. But the kitchen brews up some delicious grub, too.

>> Fifth Street Brewpub captures two golds in beer competition (July 11, 2016)

One particular sandwich stands out from the rest for a very piggy reason. 

>> 9 must-try sandwiches in Dayton

It is called the Pork Lord, and it had me at the words “pork” and “lord.” 

The sandwich is full of porky goodness, as you can imagine. But it will not leave you feeling like a pig. 

The $10 dish is a well-portioned combination of thin-ish sliced pork, bacon horseradish aioli and seasoned in-house pork rinds (called Crack–A–Lackin’s on the menu) on the side. 

Besides the ham and bacon, the anything but simple sandwich includes lettuce, tomato, onion, a fried egg and ghost pepper jack cheese on a telera roll. 

>> Fifth Street Brewpub release new menu (Feb. 9, 2018) 

The Pork Lord sandwich at Fifth Street Brew Pub. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

>> Your ULTIMATE guide to the best burgers in Dayton

Don’t let the ghost pepper scare you off. 

The sandwich has just the right amount of heat for those of us who love a little kick with supper. 

The egg was cooked to perfection with plenty of delicious runny yolk to sop up. 

The yolk flowed like lava when I cut into my Pork Lord. 

The sandwich is cheesy, bacon-ey, eggy and spicy goodness. 

>> These beefy burgers are well worth the drive east on I-70

>>  Guess how much Fifth Street Brewpub’s weekly giveback night has raised for local charities? (July 31, 2017)

The Pork Lord was added to Fifth Street’s menu in February. 

Tanya Brock, Fifth Street’s manager, said the Pork Lord has become a customer favorite and will remain on the menu for a while going forward. 

An order of thick and crunchy Crack-A-Lackin’s are $6 as an appetizer if you don’t want to go all hog wild. 

The Pork Lord sandwich at Fifth Street Brew Pub. Photo by Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)


What: The Pork Lord: lettuce, tomato, onion,  ham, fried egg, ghost pepper jack cheese, bacon horseradish aioli on a telera roll. The sandwich is served with Crack-A-Lackins, the brewpub’s house-made pork rinds. 

Where: Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St. in Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood

Hours: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. 

Connect:  Facebook Website | Phone: (937) 443-0919

Cost: $10 

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The wait is over! Cafe is now open at new downtown Dayton library 

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

After much anticipation, the new Main Library in downtown Dayton will open this weekend. The $64 million gathering place for the community expects to have an average of 2,500 visitors each day.

This is news library guests won’t want to be quiet about.

The wait is over for those who want baked goods and a cup of coffee with their books. 

Table 33 has started serving food in its new location inside the Dayton Metro Library’s downtown branch at 215 E. Third St.

The restaurant’s soft opening started this week. 

For now, Chuck Duritsch, the library’s external relations manager, said the restaurant will be open 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

>>RELATED: Downtown restaurant preparing to open cafe at new Dayton library (Sept. 14, 2017)

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

“Right now they are offering their delicious coffee, some drinks, some baked goods, some juices,” he said. “They are going to add to the menu. There are going to be boxed lunches available.  It will be a couple of weeks before their hours expand.”

Duritsch said the restaurant is also exploring the idea of a delivery service that would allow patrons to use an app to order food and/or pick up food from delivery spots designated within the library. 

Table 33 may also offer catering down the road.

>> MORE: 7 amazing things to do in downtown Dayton 

“They want to be responsive to what the patrons are going to be ordering,” he said. “You have to know your audience. That’s why they are doing this slow rollout.” 

Dayton’s $64 million, state-of-the-art main branch library opened in August. 

>> 10 things you’ll love about the brand new downtown Dayton Metro Library

The main Table 33 restaurant is located at 130 W. Second St. and opened in 2016. 

Table 33 is now open in the Dayton Metro Library in downtown Dayton.(Photo: Chuck Duritsch)

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This burger joint truly lives up to its name

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

A cheeseburger, coleslaw and fried okra from Benjamin’s the Burger Master. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED
A cheeseburger, coleslaw and fried okra from Benjamin’s the Burger Master. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

People love a good burger.

>>GUIDE: The best burgers in Dayton 

It’s the cornerstone in the foundation of most popular fast food chain menus. Some burgers are so beloved they have almost a cult following. The South has Whataburger, the West Coast has In-N-Out, the Midwest has White Castle.

>>MUST-TRY: These beefy burgers are well worth the drive east on I-70

But there are a few locally owned places that deserve the kind of devotion as these national chains. I’ve written about my love of Voltzy’s Rootbeer Stand before and think it deserves to be firmly in this category.

Think if you've had one burger you've had them all? Take a look at at these and up your burger eating game. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

>>MORE: 3 seasonal food stands near Dayton you HAVE to try

One Dayton spot that was grilling up smashed burgers way before Smashburger ever came onto the scene is Benjamin’s the Burger Master on North Main Street. Its sign bills itself as “a family eatery” selling ribs, chicken and burgers.

>>RELATED: Voltzy’s has a ‘Trump Burger’ -- and here’s what’s on it

The seating area at Benjamin's the Burger Master.(Photo by Sheri Sine)

A visit to this nostalgic throwback will transport you back to the early 1980s, when owner John Riley opened it 36 years ago. It’s like a museum of what fast casual food used to be back in the day — perfectly preserved with decor that is a fine, kitschy compliment to the homemade dishes being served up.

>>Bucket List: Stop at Benjamin’s, have a burger


The Mushroom and Swiss Burger at Benjamin's The Burger Master is $3.99. (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)(HANDOUT)

Benjamin’s tasty burgers are hand-pattied and served made to order, $3.19 for a single, $4.39 for a double, $3.39 for a cheeseburger, $4.69 for a double cheeseburger and $4.19 for a mushroom swiss, bacon cheddar or pizza burger. 

Burgers come with lettuce, tomato and onion and the requisite ketchup and mustard. 

>>DAYTON CLASSIC: 4 reasons to visit the last lunch counter in Dayton


An extensive list of sides at Benjamin's.(Photo by Sheri Sine)

There are plenty of sides to go with your burger of choice — French fries ($1.59), onion chips ($1.79), corn, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and green beans ($1.99 or $4.29 for a pint) are all options. Fried okra ($1.79) is an interesting choice you don’t often see and hints at the soul food infused into spots on the fairly straightforward menu.

>>Can you eat your way through Dayton’s ‘Burger Bermuda Triangle’?


Benjamin s The Burger Master s Burger Platter shown in an order that added a piece of skillet cornbread. CONTRIBUTED(HANDOUT)

Other sandwich options include $4.79 for a jumbo tenderloin or $4.29 for a chicken or fish filet.

For larger portions, dinners are the way to go. BBQ ribs with two sides and a dinner roll ($7.29), a two-piece BBQ chicken dinner ($5.99) and a three-piece crispy fried chicken dinner ($7.99) are all indicative of the affordable prices of the meals being served. Food can be purchased in larger quantities as well if you are getting carry-out or are with a larger party. A 12-piece box of fried chicken for example is $20.95.

Daily lunch specials are featured throughout the week and feature comfort-food options like chopped steak with mushroom gravy, lasagna, meatloaf and pork tenderloin and stuffing. Various cakes and pies ($2.39-$2.79) are available for purchase if you are feeling like a sugar fix after you eat.

None of this food is life-changing, but when you feel like a fast food burger that’s well worthy of a cult following, Benjamin’s has you covered.

Tender, crispy wings from Benjamin's the Burger Master.(Photo by Sheri Sine)


What: Benjamin’s The Burger Master

Where: 100 N. Main St., Dayton

Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

More info: 937-223-8702

Don’t forget: Bring cash — the 60-seat restaurant only takes cash, no cards

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