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Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:09 PM
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2018 @ 9:30 AM
— A Dayton restaurant that has been serving up very, very late-night grub for decades is dramatically cutting back its hours of operation.
Tank's Bar and Grill, the much-loved tavern at 2033 Wayne Ave., announced the changes in a Facebook post.
“To all our most valued customers. To continue to give the most phenomenal experience, Tanks will be adjusting our hours. Due to decrease in late night business and finding quality staff, our new hours starting Monday April 23 will be as follows: kitchen hours- Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday our kitchen (will be open) 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Bar will be open till 11 on Sun-Thur. And until 2 on Friday and Saturday.
Please note all carryouts must be phoned in 30 minutes before kitchen closing.
You may of course order food up until closing time of kitchen to enjoy in dining room. We will have been in Dayton 31 years In May and want to continue to serve Dayton and our Great customers! You are the reason for our work, not the interruption!”
The restaurant — which serves dinner, lunch and all-day breakfast — has been open 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily for many years.
This is the second time the restaurant has cut its hours in recent months.
In October, Tank’s announced it would close at 1 a.m., and its kitchen would close at midnight on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Its hours Wednesday through Saturday remained the same, with the bar closing at 2:30 a.m. and the kitchen at 2 a.m.
NEW KITCHEN HOURS
As noted above, the new kitchen hours are:
Sunday through Thursday — 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (the bar will close at 11 p.m.)
Friday and Saturday — 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday (the bar will close at 2 a.m.)
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT TANK’S
Known for its burgers, omelettes, grilled cheese sandwiches and “Road Kill” Chili, Tank’s grabbed first place in the 2017 Dayton.com Best of Dayton reader poll.
Since it opened in 1987 in the former home of Walnut Hills Bar, Tank’s has become an iconic Dayton institution.
A message was left for Debra Tankersley, Tank’s owner and the widow of Tank’s founder Dan “Tank” Tankersley, seeking additional comments.
WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ...
Many of the restaurant’s customers did not take the news well, as it was posted by the restaurant on Facebook.
While there were many positive responses to the restaurant’s Facebook post, a few customers said they would no longer return to the restaurant or feared that dark days are ahead for the restaurant.
In exchanges with customers on the Facebook page, the restaurant said the hour changes should not be taken as a bad sign.
“I can assure you Tanks is NOT closing ever. We simply have to adjust to what makes us better. Trying to find quality staff to work late at night when we do not have the business to support it is not fair to them,” the restaurant’s Facebook administrator responded to one Facebook comment.
>> Your ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton
Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— It is not every day that a Dayton classic turns the big 4-0.
It is a good thing the Castro family at El Meson knows how to throw a party that rises to the occasion.
The restaurant at 903 E. Dixie Drive in West Carollton is planning a two-day weekend blowout to celebrate its 40th anniversary, according to details posted to Eventbrite.
Herman and Gloria Castro opened the restaurant to the public July 15, 1978, as the Pizza Queen.
The restaurant morphed into El Meson and now specializes in dishes from Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Bill Castro, the founders’ son and co-owner, says old favorites will return.
“In addition to Latin street food and drinks from out of our trucks in the lot, we’re going to have one truck that serving items from the original Pizza Queen restaurant that El Meson began as back in 1978,” Bill Castro said. “Some of our customers may remember favorites like the Exotic Burrito and Mexican Pizza from that menu.”
The parking lot parties set for 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 20-21 will feature live music and dancing under tents and street grub from El Meson’s fleet of food trucks.
Admission is $5 for both days and a limited number of $35 VIP tickets are available for Friday or Saturday patio seating.
VIP admission includes admission to a less crowded area, servers and a better view of the yet-to-be announced lineup of bands that includes from Ithika and Nothing But Treble Friday and Saturday from Funky G & The Groove Machine and Nasty Bingo Saturday.
A customer appreciation happy hour is set for 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. both days in the restaurant’s “party lot.”
It includes free entry and $5 margaritas.
>> RELATED: The 12 best restaurants in Dayton
The business is now owned and operated by their children and sons and daughters-in-law — Bill, Marie, Scott and Chef Mark Abbott.
>> RELATED: 39 things to know and love about El Meson
WANT TO GO?
What: El Meson’s 40th Anniversary Weekend
When: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21
Where: El Meson, 903 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton
Cost: Admission is $5 for both days and a limited number of $35 VIP tickets are available for Friday or Saturday patio seating.
Tickets: Visit the Eventbrite page for advance VIP tickets
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 1:05 PM
— A large crowd of hungry guests descended on the Steam Plant on Wednesday to sample a small taste of what some restaurants will be serving up this year for Summer Restaurant Week.
The Sneak Peek to Summer Restaurant Week event put on by the Miami Valley Restaurant Association had some fantastic food served up by some of the region's best local restaurants.
The traditional "sneak peek" that happens before the Restaurant Week promotion begins featured 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.
Across the board the food that we tried was delicious, with several dishes that rose to the top.
Here are four dishes that warranted return visits:
ele Bistro and Wine Bar
3680 Rigby Rd., Miamisburg, (937) 384-2253
The name of this dish alone is music to our ears: Confit pork loin served with brussel sprouts, fingerling potatoes and craft root beer BBQ sauce. And thankfully the execution fired on all cylinders. This was a fantastic symphony of flavors that put the spotlight on a tender, savory piece of pork. Really delicious.
Roost Modern Italian
524 E. 5th St., Dayton, (937) 222-3100
We couldn't get enough of "The Italian Nibble" a wonderful spread made with poached yellowfin tuna, hard boiled egg, garlic confit aioli and capers. This was something that we nibbled at the beginning of the evening and were back for by the end. A return visit is always the sign of a great dish.
903 E. Dixie Drive, West Carrollton, (937) 859-8229
El Meson's Caribbean curry shrimp and garlic rice was dynamite. The flavors were full of kicks and punches thanks to the curry and flavorful broth the shrimp and veggies were simmered in. Poured over the rice this was a very satisfying and filling stop for us at the Sneak Peek event.
515 Wayne Ave, Dayton, (937) 496-5268
The tomato and fresh peach caprese was a light, bright delightful dish that had many wonderful summery flavors dancing together for our tastebuds’ enjoyment. It was a simple preparation that put the spotlight on the tomatoes and peaches that were the true star of the dish.
Published: Monday, July 10, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 11:50 AM
— The most frequent question that I am asked when it comes to food has to be inquiries centered around my favorite restaurants in town.
I have many on this list, but one that I have never wavered on is El Meson in West Carrollton.
When it comes to restaurants that have consistently delicious food, exemplary customer service and a setting that strikes the right tone for the meal, El Meson is a dining destination that hits the mark.
This dining gem just turned 40 and is celebrating with some very cool events today and tomorrow, July 20 and 21.
In honor of its milestone, here are 40 things to know and love about El Meson.
1) The restaurant opened to the public on July 15, 1978.
2) The restaurant was started by Herman and Gloria Castro. It is now owned and operated by their kids and spouses — Bill, Marie, Scott and Chef Mark Abbott.
3) The location was a small failing pizza business in 1978 called Pizza Queen. The Castro family decided to go a different direction and El Meson was born.
4) The Castros had never eaten pizza until they purchased the Pizza Queen.
5) The family hails from the country of Colombia in South America.
6) The owners credit former Dayton Daily News food critic Ann Heller with discovering them and putting them on the local dining map.
7) There have been five major additions over the years, and every year the restaurant’s owners reinvest in remodels and upgrades.
8) The restaurant can seat a whopping 450 people in five different dining rooms.
9) It’s one of the best places to dine on a patio in town (in my opinion) with 15 tables in the solarium and 10 tables in the front patio of the restaurant, which was part of the last addition.
10) It’s an 8 mile drive from downtown Dayton that takes about 12 minutes if you head south on I-75.
11) There is no charge to rent private rooms for social events.
12) The Castro family’s motto is, “Si, se puede” — “Yes, we can.”
13) El Meson is named after a type of restaurant in Spain that serves a complete dinning menu.
14) They do a lot of catering. “All of our business has increased and our off premise reflects that. Since we offer private rooms for events, our in-house catering has doubled since last year. One example is we are hosting many life celebration parties in the loss of a loved one. Many families want to do an upbeat memorial to remember a family member now deceased,” said Bill Castro, general manager and co-owner of the restaurant.
15) The restaurant doesn’t just do dinner. They have increasingly done more and more special events, averaging 25-30 a year.
16) Their signature events include a low country boil and their Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
17) Paws on the patio happens on the second Tuesday of every month through September, with the next one happening July 11 from 5-9 p.m. Dog owners can bring their dogs out to the patio to enjoy tapas, dinner and drinks.
>> PHOTOS: El Meson’s Barcelona Tapas
18) El Meson’s house brand tequila is Doebel and is specially bottled for the restaurant. They carry up to 20 different brands of tequila at any given time.
19) They don’t do a happy hour, but instead focus on special spirit tastings and other special events where they offer reduced prices rather then the same $1 or $2 off on a set drink list.
20) The most popular items on the menu are the Chilean salmon stack ($29), Manchego cheese puffs ($10 for 12, $7 for five) and chicken tortilla soup (small $7, large $10).
21) For Bill Castro, soups are a go to on busy days who adds, “Arroz YaYa is a trip to my soul.”
22) El Meson has six food trucks. Learn more about where to find them during the week by visiting www.elmeson.net/our-food-trucks
23) If you are going with friends, pitchers of drinks are a good option. Pitchers of the restaurant’s award-winning margaritas and mojitos sell for $32. Pitchers of sangria are $28. Most pitchers serve about five glasses.
24) The menus used to be influenced by different countries, but recently they have introduced a menu of “New and Noteables,” which allow them to be seasonal and creative with the specialty menu items they offer.
25) El Meson is open for lunch. Located within a short drive from downtown, many businesses choose to entertain guests there.
26) The owners take customers and friends on annual Wine and Food Culinary Trips for two weeks to destinations like South America, Spain and Italy each year.
27) Their last trip was to Ecuador in January 2018. Amazons, Quito and the Galapagos Islands will be later this year. The restaurant does trips twice a year.
28) They make all of their soups, bread and desserts in-house.
29) They were a non-smoking restaurant before it was banned
30) Gloria and Mari Castro shop for the restaurant’s gift area called YaYa Street. There is jewelry, leather bags, home decor, painted pottery and other gift items for sale ranging in price from $5 to several hundred dollars.
31) The restaurant has played host to Spanish classes from around the Miami Valley for decades. Sessions are centered around developing a respect and knowledge of Hispanic culture and covers a wide range of topics including: foods, nuances in language and more. The price per student is just $13, which includes a three-course meal of authentic Hispanic cuisine from around the globe. Classes can be offered during school field trips or in the evenings and Spanish speaking is encouraged. Call Pedro Suarez for more information at 937-859-8229.
32) Bill Castro says the most unique ingredients they use are saffron in the cooking and firewater bitters in the restaurant’s award winning cocktail Tamiami Mami.
33) The restaurant is always looking for good help if you are looking for a job.
34) What do they believe separates El Meson from other restaurants? “Our passion for change,” says Castro.
35) They recently won the title of best tapa and cocktail pairing at the Battle of the Bartenders event earlier this year.
36) They have more than 6,000 Facebook friends.
37) El Meson will celebrate its 40th Anniversary Street Party from with two days of partying.
The parking lot parties set are set for 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 20-21, this Friday and Saturday.
It will feature live music and dancing under tents and street grub from El Meson’s fleet of food trucks.
Admission is $5 for both days and a limited number of $35 VIP tickets are available for Friday or Saturday patio seating.
38) It is bring back Pizza Queen favorites like Exotic Burrito and Mexican Pizza for this weekend’s street parties.
39) The restaurant hosts a variety of events such as Bourbon, Tequila and Paella with special guest Joe Head.
40) Did I mention it’s at the top of my list of best restaurants in the Dayton area? That’s a fact.
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 11:13 AM
— If you find yourself in need of an afternoon pick-me-up on Thursday, July 19, head on over to Starbucks where you can score half-off a Frappuccino blended beverage!
Starting at 3 p.m., you’ll be able to get 50 percent off any grande or larger Frappuccino as part of Starbucks’ Happy Hour. To get the deal, just sign up for Starbucks’ Happy Hour emails, then show the code you receive to your barista and you’ll get the discount.
The 50 percent offer is valid July 19 only, but by signing up for the emails, you’ll be notified about the coffee chain’s other upcoming discount events. Previous Happy Hours have included 50 percent off Macchiatos or Lattes and buy one, get one free Frappuccinos.
Along with flavors you already know, like caffè vanilla and white chocolate, the deal also includes new drinks like the ultra caramel Frappuccino or the triple mocha Frappuccino. The ultra caramel features dark caramel coffee with layers of whipped cream infused with cold brew, then white chocolate and dark caramel. Same goes for the triple mocha, except each layer of whipped cream has rich, dark mocha sauce.
Since it will be the afternoon, you don’t have to worry about starting your day with sugar, so you could also choose an even more decadent flavor, like cupcake crème, red velvet cream or serious strawberry, another newer drink that blends milk and ice with a “strawberry-botanical infusion,” then layers of of strawberry puree and vanilla whipped cream.
The deal lasts from 3 p.m. until close on July 19, so sneak away from the office for a treat or grab one on your way home.
Will you be heading to Starbucks for half off your favorite Frappuccino flavor?
This story originally appeared on Simplemost.