Would you trade a 30 minute drive for a trip back in time to one of your favorite restaurants?
We did just that on a Food Adventure this month, and it was a throwback to times and tastes we thought were gone forever.
Do you remember Damon’s Restaurants? They were known for their ribs since the late 70’s. In the 1990’s went to a mega sports complex formats with huge screen TV’s , sound speakers at the tables and were one of the first to carry NTN Trivia boxes. Then they suddenly went out of business. Well, in Wilmington, Ohio, they never left and never changed a bit !
Damon’s was a perfect place to watch NFL Games, Baseball Games, NFL Drafts, March Madness, or play trivia on the screen with the big crowd. It was a sports and food paradise. We really loved these restaurants and were heartbroken when they closed.
Damon’s were at the following locations:
1) In the 80’s next door to the Paragon Restaurant on 725.
2) In Town n Country Shopping Center where BW3 is now.
3) Also at the site of the old “Champs” restaurant which is now Chappys Taphouse on 725 behind J. Alexanders.
4) Where Little York Tavern is used to be a Damon’s Grill
For whatever reason, Damon’s closed locally, but as we have told you, the one in Wilmington is one of 2 in the USA that still remain. The other is in North Carolina.
The bottom line is that the Wilmington Damon’s is exactly how we remember the restaurant , and it is worth the 30 minute drive.
HERE’S THE SKINNY ON DAMON’S RESTAURANT HISTORY:
— Damon’s Grill was based out of Columbus, Ohio and founded in 1979
— They opened up some other restaurants in Dayton, Columbus and Indianapolis and even internationally in the UK.
— Most stores were out of business by the 2000’s
— Wilmington Damon’s is located at 1045 E Side Dr, Wilmington, OH 45177
— Wilmington Damon’s is managed by Charles Kelshaw, a long time employee for over a decade he has made sure the operation stays true to the original store.
— Currently there is a Damon’s in Myrtle Beach.
— The only odd thing we noticed is they charge $2.50 for a basket of their famous rolls. But we quickly got over it and ordered some. It was worth it.
MUST EATS AT DAMON’S RESTAURANT IN WILMINGTON, OHIO:
— THE ONION LOAF:
This is a signature appetizer which is literally a condensed loaf of onion rings in the shape of a bread loaf. the taste is distinct and so is the sauce the always offer for dipping. Ketchup works just fine too. Don’t pass up this one of a kind throwback, it is exactly the same as we remember it. Sinfully rich, deep-fried deliciousness.
— CHICKEN WINGS with BUFFALO SAUCE:
Not only do you have to get the wings, you have to get them in Buffalo sauce. Somehow Damon’s perfected keeping the wings done
perfectly and crunchy, yet wet with sauce. It is the best of both worlds and the tangy heat may give you some sweat on your brow, but it hurts so good. It is not that hot, just perfect,
— THE FULL RACK OF BABY BACK RIBS:
WE have come to the main attraction. Not only the signature ribs, but the sauce you grew to love. We could not believe the familiar aroma that we had not smelled in decades. The sauce is incredible and the ribs are lean and melt in your mouth. This is the way to go baby !
These three “Must Eats” keep it simple and give you the main event of the menu.
Get a tall beer in one of their signature glasses and you have finished off one hell of a nostalgic Food Adventure.
For more photos please browse below. Tell us your memories of Damon’s in the comments and let us know your thoughts on the restaurant in Wilmington.