As the new year dawns, we ask “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?” Well not when it comes to Food Adventures! In this week’s installment, The Food Adventures Crew take you on a trip of years gone by. We call it “Restaurants Closed But Not Forgotten.”
IMPORTANT: This article is a follow up to one posted last year. Before you comment saying “you forgot this place,” please make sure it wasn’t mentioned in our very popular “CLOSED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN RESTAURANTS PART 1” (click here to view).
Let’s dive right into some of “Dayton Restaurants that are Closed but not Forgotten” (part 2).
THE UPPER KRUST – Legendary sandwich shop with locations on North Main Street and in Woodbourne Village in Centerville near 48 and Whipp Rd. Who can forget the “Tom Turkey” sandwich or the choice of beets, chips or apple sauce.
TALL TIMBERS – This old style “supper club” on Troy Pike in Huber Heights, was known for steaks. It was actually in an old building built by Benjamin Van Cleve in 1916. Approximately 25 years ago, a fire closed the restaurant once and for all. We remember dining there as kids and using the “Entertainment” coupon for a free entree.
LAWSON’S – These milk stores/convenient stores were all over the Dayton area in the 70’s, and even had delis inside. Lawson’s was a Cleveland based company.
SAMPAN – On Webster Street, this oriental restaurant was one of the first ones in Dayton. They had those cool 70’s style, steel serving plates.
TONY’S DUNKER’S DELIGHT DONUTS – Near the corner of Stroop and Marshall Rd in Kettering, this place had a cult following.
PEKING INN – This spot was known for their signature dish “Peking Duck” and serving dinners in hot metal covered dishes. Peking Inn was located on 725 near the middle of Centerville and is now “Las Piramedes” Mexican restaurant.
PONDEROSA STEAKHOUSE – They used to be all over the place in the 70’s and early 80’s. Who could forget the metal topped wooden plates and the damn buttery rolls! Sliding your tray down the cafeteria line, watching them cook steaks, and visiting the trough salad bar. You can still visit one on Airway Rd. for old times sake.
CHIN’S ORIENTAL CAFE / CHIN’S GINGER GRILL – A fixture in downtown Dayton and in Tipp City, It was hard to see these 2 locations go. For decades, Daytonians enjoyed these restaurants that were definitely ahead of their time. Facility issues and lack of business, as well as an owner who wanted to retire, led to the closing of the Downtown Dayton location in 2003. The Tipp City eatery would follow in the next few years.
THE COLONY CLUB – Old school supper club, full bar, but we got “Shirley Temples.”, They were known for their hopping atmosphere as well as steaks and seafood. The Big Ragu took a dinner date there during school dances in the mid 80’s.
URBAN SUBURBAN TAVERN: Remember the Butcher paper signs on the wall with the weekly specials written on them? Owned by Dayton icon Urban Goeke, this spot was a popular destination in the early 80’s. Located near Marshall Rd and Stroop, specialties included, steaks, seafood and burgers. Good prices and great values, this establishment was bought out by the owners of Elsa’s and converted to a Kettering Elsa’s location. Not many people know that Urban Suburban was the first Dayton restaurant to serve buffalo style chicken wings.
HAMBURGER HEAVEN: This spot was a popular oldies car drive in destination on the weekends on Woodman Dr in a converted Red Barn restaurant. They were known for their burgers, especially a huge creation called “The Galaxy Burger” which we loved.
BOBO CHINA – Little spot on Bigger Rd that used to be a Burger Chef and a Chucks Burgers and Stuff. They had great egg rolls and one of the first buffets in town.
BOSCO’S / THE OAKS – Dart throwing, beer swilling, and live band watching pubs located at the corner of Bigger Rd and Hewitt Ave. Big volleyball events and summer parties were also hallmarks here. The spots were vacated and made way for the latest restaurant to close at the same location, Italian eatery, Arthur’s.
THE MANDARIN KITCHEN – Formerly located at S. Ludlow, this restaurant was owned by celebrity chef Ming Tsai’s parents. This restaurant was known for its “Yu Shang” dishes and twice cooked pork.
TALEGATORS – Freshly demolished to make way for a new McDonalds, this place had some stellar wings, especially the sweet chili wings. The sauce would make you smack your lips and smack your momma too. Known for their live music and bar specials as well, this place had a cult following.
THE SAVORY – An underrated steakhouse at 2335 Smithville Rd. that was in an old “A” frame building that was obviously an IHOP or Howard Johnson’s. Cozy atmosphere, good food… The spot later became the first Cadillac Jacks !
PIZZA QUEEN INTERNATIONAL – Opened in 1978, by the Castro family, this place served pizzas from locations in West Carrollton and on Marshall Rd in Kettering. In the earl 1990’s, the family decided to close the pizza shops and turn the West Carrollton location in into El Meson Restaurant which is still operating today under the same ownership. Even though we love El Meson, we still miss Pizza Queen to this day!
SCOTTY’S HAMBURGERS – This place was very similar to White Castle, but with a diner feel inside. The Big Ragu specifically remembers eating at the location on N. Fairfield Rd that would later become Bud Frantz’ Fairfield Inn and BR Scoteses’s.
BUD FRANTZ’ FAIRFIELD INN – Family restaurant known for big portions and decent prices. Chicken and steak were the specialties. This spot later became BR Scotese’s.
B. R. SCOTESE’S – Chef David Glynn opened this restaurant as a tribute to his grandfather. The place had some terrific Italian specialties, but unfortunately went out of business in the 90’s.
LAI LAI – Chinese restaurant near Woodman and Dorothy Lane intersection. They were one of the first Chinese restaurants to use coupons to lure customers and lunch crowds.
BOB’S FOOD WAREHOUSE – This grocer on Woodman Dr. in Kettering was a pre-cursor to Sam’s club. They had great prices and bulk items, but you had to bag your own stuff in their boxes. Kind of a local GFS … Wrestling magazines and pulled pork were among the items sold.
THE PARKMOOR – Dixie Style Chicken, this drive-in diner was a popular Daytonian stop in the 50’s and 60’s. To this day, people talk about their chicken. Miss that taste? Well, the rumor is that Hasty Tasty Pancake House still offers the original Parkmoor Recipe Chicken today !
DUKE’S GOLDEN OX – When the owner of the place is a fixture at the bar, you know this is a special eatery. Duke’s was original from the A-frame architecture to the drink menu. Known for their steaks and ribs, we loved the bbq sauce that was almost sweet and tomato like. The ambiance was an old school supper club mixed with a palm readers lair. It was spooky, yet cool inside, and you didn’t know what time of day it was outside, as we don’t remember the place having any windows.
WAREHOUSE BEER DRIVE-IN – The first chain of Dayton drive-thru’s with incredible Soft Pretzels. Many drive-ins around the area today are just old Warehouse Beer Drive-ins.
STEVE KAO’S – An early, local version of PF Changs, this restaurant was very popular in the 80’s. Unfortunately inconsistent food quality led to diminishing business causing this spot to close. Their Kung Pao choices were terrific and they had some great appetizers too.
DRIFTWOOD BOWLING LANES – You wouldn’t think that a Bowling Lane would have good food, but this one did. This place even had waitresses! The cabbage rolls and Hot Shot sandwiches drew good lunch crowds.
PIETRO MAURO’S ITALIAN DELI – Located on Bigger Rd across from the Victoria’s Secret call center, this family owned Italian deli had great breads, cheeses and old world specialties. From desserts, to stuffed peppers, to great sub sandwiches, we were sorry to see this place go out of business.
THE DUTCH PANTRY – We like to describe this as an old time, Amish version of Bob Evans. Dayton had a few locations including Springfield and Englewood. Food Adventures enjoyed the waitresses’ old fashioned, Dutch outfits.
RYANS STEAKHOUSE – The moist bread rolls and the deep fried okra first stole the heart of Daytonians in the 80’s. The closest ones left are in Columbus and Marion, Ohio. So you can still grab yourself a fork and enter the trough !
VITO’S – An Italian restaurant located on Dorothy Lane near Delco Park. They were known for their simple pasta dishes and quality, family owned feel. We miss the manicotti !
SHADES OF JADE – The huge “Pu Pu Platter” appetizer sampler was a signature dish of this Chinese restaurant across from Wright State. Fun decor including running fountains added to dining experience here.
MYUNG SUNG – This Huber Heights Chinese restaurant was memorable with a seating area where you could sit on the floor.
THE BBQ HUT – The 298-RIBS phone number, the Broasted Chicken, potatoes and BBQ Specialties made this place a fixture on Wilmington Pike in Kettering. They gave you that little dinner roll with each meal, that for some reason with a slab of butter was absolute heaven.
THE VENETIAN – Great pizzas in this small spot on Stroop Rd. which is now Mama DiSalvos Restaurant! The stepped up area in the back of the dining room housed a pool table. They had great french fries too !!
DANIELS PARK ROW – They had the best shrimp scampi on earth. This restaurant on Patterson Rd. was a throwback to the 50’s supper clubs where women would wear mink coats to dinner. Good food, dark atmosphere.
AL & JOE’S FOODTOWN – Grocery store that was your typical 60’s grocery. No frills, and the place always smelled like freshly sliced deli meat.
LATITUDE 49 – Centerville eatery where the Melting Pot is now. Latitude 49 had some of the best calamari in the world. We loved the aquarium decor and miss that place to this day.
BAYOU CAFE – The first Cajun restaurant in Dayton was a late 80’s venture. This was the first place that your Food Adventurers tried alligator ! The spicy, cajun shrimp was fantastic too. This site was most recently a Fox n Hound and Harrigans South, as well as a BBQ place.
GARTSKA’S – This Greek based eatery was a fixture in Bellbrook for many years. Though the restaurant is gone, we haven’t forgotten their diverse menu and many incredible dishes.
ALEX’s CONTINENTAL INN – Dancing and music accompanied great food. They had a couple of streaks, but finally closed within the last couple of years. The first time Big Ragu ate lobster in a restaurant was here.
CAMBRIDGE INN – Old style English cafeteria in Centerville, very reminiscent of Neil’s Heritage House.
YORK STEAK HOUSE – Located inside the Dayton mall, this cafeteria style steakhouse served items “a la carte.” From Steaks to Seafood, this national chain was a staple in the Dayton Mall for many years, and was located just inside the entrance.
EMPIRE FAMILY RESTAURANT – Popular family spot on the corner of County Line Rd and Dorothy Lane. After closing in the early 90’s it became a great Chinese restaurant called “China House” which also closed a few years later.
CHINA HOUSE – They served one of the best dishes we have ever tried called Walnut Shrimp. Surprisingly, the location closed unceremoniously a few years ago, without warning. It was located very close to The Greene.
SUTTMILLER’S – An old school supper club on N. Main. This Dayton icon’s standard was 70’s food and 70’s hairstyles.
THE MEAT HOUSE – Where’s the beef? Everyone at the corner of Stroop and Marshall Rd in Kettering knew this was the meat house. Whether chicken, pork or steaks they had it all here. Also, this was one of the first places in Dayton where you could buy pre-formed hamburger patties.
SWEETHEARTS – Ice cream and video game place that we visited as kids. These were some of our first Food Adventures alone.
GRINDSTONE CHARLEY’S – One of the casualties of the TGI FRIDAYS type restaurant wars. We guess they couldn’t compete with the clones like O’Charley’s.
CHMIEL’S – Family grocery store in Centerville with a fantastic bakery. Located on 725, it is now a “Big Lots” store.
The Dayton area had so many good restaurants that are gone, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN ……. Being lifelong Miami Valley residents, our memories of these places will live in our stomachs forever.
DID WE MISS A FAVORITE SPOT IN THIS STORY or OUR FIRST INSTALLMENT LAST YEAR (click here to see).????? WHICH ONES DID WE LEAVE OUT ???
Please comment below with your memories of these places, or any other you would like to mention!
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