In 1991 Chip Pritchard and his wife Sherri opened Christopher’s Restaurant in a strip mall at the corner of Woodman and Dorothy Lane. Over the years they’ve built a reputation for great food, friendly service, and a menu that accommodates many palates, one of the first in the area that catered to vegetarians. With an emphasis on local and fresh ingredients, Christopher’s has developed a loyal following and expanded their food service with a popular catering division, Wednesday Vegan menus and special Thursday night theme dinners.
But this year Chip decided at 70 years old, (though he sure doesn’t look it) it’s time to move on. He wants to have time to play more music, take some trips and explore some non-food related things on his bucket list.
And luckily for him, two of his guests made an offer to take over the business. A Centerville couple, Dave and Erika Krites had been visiting the eatery and decided they really loved the the restaurant, and worked out with Chip a plan to take it over.
I had the chance to sit down with the Krites and Chip last week and talk about the transition. From Pritchard’s perspective he wanted someone that would continue the business he’d work so hard to create and would treat the staff, many of whom have worked there for years, like the family he’d created. Over 1350 people have worked there over the years, and Chip is quick to share his thanks to all of them, for helping him build a successful business.
As the new owner Krites was quick to share that he bought Christopher’s because he “loved the atmosphere, food, and staff.” He and his wife, who first got together in the eighth grade in their hometown of Lima, will work the business together. Erika loves working with the customers and Dave will focus initially on upgrading systems and equipment. His career in restaurant equipment manufacturing and parts distribution will help bring some upgrades to the kitchen equipment, making it easier to keep up with the demands of the busy restaurant and growing catering business. Dave and Erika were also quick to explain, they do not plan on making changes to the restaurant, the menu or the personnel, as they say they “would not have bought it if we didn’t love it as it is.”
Sure, they’ll add a menu item or two, freshen up some paint and continue Christopher’s tradition of being a part of the commuity, supporting local artists by continuing to display local art in the restaurant. Dave looks forward to finding ways to welcome more customers to the eatery, sharing their mantra that “every moment matters” and emphasizing customer service makes the difference.
Chip and the Krites announced the sale of the business to the staff on June 23rd and the transaction was finalized in early July. Chip will stay on during the transition to ensure a smooth experience for all. And for all of us, we’ll be able to continue to enjoy the comfort food we’ve come to enjoy at this Kettering spot.
Christopher’s Restaurant & Catering
2318 E. Dorothy Lane
Kettering, OH 45420