7 recent restaurant moves and dining updates in Butler County

Panda Express plans to open one of its fast-casual restaurants on the site of the former Steak ‘n Shake restaurant at 1485 Main St. in Hamilton.

Here’s a look at seven Butler County stories to catch up on restaurant news:


New restaurant coming to former Steak ‘n Shake space in Hamilton

This is a rendering of what Hamilton's Panda Express restaurant will look like. PROVIDED
This is a rendering of what Hamilton's Panda Express restaurant will look like. PROVIDED

Panda Express plans to open one of its fast-casual restaurants on the site of the former Steak ‘n Shake restaurant at 1485 Main St. in Hamilton.

“I think it’s great,” Council Member Michael Ryan said of the fact Panda Express and others have plans to open, along with several that recently have. “It’s a sign that Hamilton is continuing redevelopment in all areas, and the businesses have faith in our city, and they see the progress that we’re making. And they want to be a part of all the great things that are happening in town.”

The first Panda Express opened in 1983, in Glendale, Calif., and the company’s “fast-casual” Chinese restaurants now extend from coast to coast and internationally.

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Hamilton to get second Chipotle location, replacing former Hardee’s

The Chipotle Mexican Grill that opened in 2019 at 1479 Main St. was such a hit with Hamilton customers that another now is planned, this one on Hamilton’s East Side, at the Hardee’s location on Ohio 4.
The Chipotle Mexican Grill that opened in 2019 at 1479 Main St. was such a hit with Hamilton customers that another now is planned, this one on Hamilton’s East Side, at the Hardee’s location on Ohio 4.

The Chipotle Mexican Grill that opened in 2019 at 1479 Main St. was such a hit with Hamilton customers that another now is planned, this one on Hamilton’s East Side, at the Hardee’s location on Ohio 4.

“I think the Chipotle expansion is very significant,” said Hamilton Council Member Michael Ryan. “They are expanding in the city because the West Side location is doing so well. Them going to the Route 4 corridor just shows how well they’re doing here, and the community supports them.”

“And it’s also very significant for the Route 4 corridor as well,” Ryan said. “That’s going to help further development in that business district, which we desperately need.”

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Krispy Kreme opens first Butler County location to long lines

The drive-through at Krispy Kreme, the first Butler County location, was busy this morning on the first day the restaurant was open. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The drive-through at Krispy Kreme, the first Butler County location, was busy this morning on the first day the restaurant was open. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Doughnut lovers started arriving at Butler County’s first Krispy Kreme location 11 hours before it opened and customers were wrapped around the business this morning, an official said.

Two campers arrived at Krispy Kreme at 7 p.m. Monday and they were rewarded with the honor of turning on the store’s “hot” sign at 6 a.m. and given free doughnuts for a year, said Keith Katz, district manager for Ohio and Kentucky.

Larry Burks, West Chester Twp. administrator, said the opening of Krispy Kreme is “icing on the cake” for the shopping center.

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New restaurant and games business keeping fun going at Oxford location

Employees from Signery2 install the new Church Street Social sign over the door for the business which has changed its name but keeps many of the fun events which made the former Books & Brews popular. A new menu by a new chef is the biggest change at the 107 E. Church St. location. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN
Employees from Signery2 install the new Church Street Social sign over the door for the business which has changed its name but keeps many of the fun events which made the former Books & Brews popular. A new menu by a new chef is the biggest change at the 107 E. Church St. location. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

A new business to eat, drink and play games became official in Oxford earlier this month with a new sign over the door of the former Books & Brews franchise.

Church Street Social owner and manager Ann Kamphaus said she bought out of the franchise in January and paperwork completing the name change was just recently official.

“I listened to customers and what they wanted,” she said. “We will still have our specialty nights. We still have the games. We changed to get more merchandising to support some local, smaller businesses.”

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Municipal Brew Works to open second location inside Spooky Nook in Hamilton

During a media tour Friday, April 30, 2021 of Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill in Hamilton it was announced that Municipal Brew Works will be expanding adding a second location inside Spooky Nook Sports in the convention and hotel side of the project. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
During a media tour Friday, April 30, 2021 of Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill in Hamilton it was announced that Municipal Brew Works will be expanding adding a second location inside Spooky Nook Sports in the convention and hotel side of the project. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Municipal Brew Works will open a second Hamilton location inside the coming Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports and convention center facility, officials said today.

The brewery became the first tenant to sign with Spooky Nook, officials said. The $144 million facility, which at 1.3 million square feet is to be the largest indoor sports complex in North America, is scheduled for completion around the end of this year.

“We think this will be a great partnership and provide an entertainment outlet for the many visitors The Nook will bring into Hamilton,” Jim Goodman, owner of Municipal Brew Works, said in a news release.

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Fairfield Dunkin’ to hold grand opening Thursday: What to know

A Dunkin' opened Thursday morning in Fairfield and features two drive-through lanes and doubles windows to make service faster and more effective, officials said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
A Dunkin' opened Thursday morning in Fairfield and features two drive-through lanes and doubles windows to make service faster and more effective, officials said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The country’s first Dunkin’ with a double drive-thru and double window service will hold its grand opening at 10 a.m. Thursday and make a check presentation to a local non-profit.

The restaurant opened last month at 6315 S. Gilmore Road in front of Meijer in Fairfield. Now that staff have been trained, Dunkin’ can host its grand opening and be “loud and proud,” said Julea Remke, marketing manager for the Gilligan Co., which owns 41 Dunkin’ locations in Ohio and Kentucky.

In addition to the official ribbon cutting and welcome remarks, the Gilligan Co. plans to donate $500 to its local charitable partner, Dougie & Ray’s. Dougie & Ray’s was created by Ted McDaniel, a Fairfield native, to help those kids who are in need and to mitigate bullying.

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Coconut-flavored beer, donuts paired by Butler County companies

Grainworks Brewing Company has created a new beer to pair with a new donut that Holtman’s Donuts has created just for Grainworks, according to the companies that have locations in West Chester Twp. An event to celebrate the new products will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday in West Chester Twp. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Grainworks Brewing Company has created a new beer to pair with a new donut that Holtman’s Donuts has created just for Grainworks, according to the companies that have locations in West Chester Twp. An event to celebrate the new products will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday in West Chester Twp. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Two very different Butler County businesses are teaming up to combine two coconut-flavored products.

Grainworks Brewing Company has created a beer to pair with a donut that Holtman’s Donuts has created just for Grainworks, according to the companies that have locations in West Chester.

The beer is a Gose, a historic northern German-style, that’s flavored with lime, toasted coconut and a few other secret ingredients to create a “donut-like” taste to match Holtman’s Lime Coconut donut, according to a release.

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