May saw a number of announcements of restaurant openings, closings and plans in the region.
Here’s a look at what happened:
OPENED: Rib City
Rib City is back in Butler County following a May 22 opening of its new location on Hamilton’s West Side.
The new location at 746 NW Washington Blvd. is the former location of Walt’s Barbeque.
The former Fairfield business got its start in 2006 and moved to Springdale in 2011, but its run there ended in February.
The new location was remodeled to include a new bar.
OPENED: Roll On In
New local sushi burrito franchise Roll On In opened in early May at 102 Main St. in downtown Hamilton.
Guests at the non-traditional business first opt for either a burrito (with white or brown rice), a bowl (with white, brown rice, fried rice or noodles) or salad.
Then they choose one, two or three “meat and greet” proteins: Fresh Tuna, Dynamite Tuna, Fresh Salmon, Spicy Salmon, Teriyaki Chicken, Panko Chicken, Sweet Chili Gyro, Tempura Shrimp, Spicy Shrimp, Crab Salad, Crab Stick or Roasted Tofu.
Next up? Fillers galore including Asian slaw, mixed greens, edamame, avocado, jalapeno, cucumber, cream cheese or corn salsa. The entire culinary creation may then be topped with crunchy tempura, friend onions, friend wontons, yum yum, spicy mayo, teriyaki or sriracha.
OPENED: Two Little Buds
Two Little Buds searched for a new community in which to blossom and found it 17 North D Street in downtown Hamilton.
The business spent the previous 11 years at Bridgewater Falls in Fairfield Twp. and three years in a private greenhouse before that.
Owners Alice Francis and Mindy Staton said two Little Buds’ locally grown, seasonal flowers come directly from Morning Sun Flower Farm, a venture launched in 2015 near Oxford.
Although the store’s business model is shifting from walk-in floral shop back to its roots of mainly focusing on weddings and other events, customers can still stop by to pick out individual stems and create their own bouquet.
OPENED: Alexander’s Market and Deli
Alexander’s Market & Deli’s newest incarnation at 160 High St. features sandwiches, soups, a salad bar and more.
OPENED: Basil’s On Market
Basil’s On Market’s opened in early May at 5650 Tylersville Road in the building that previously was Brazenhead Irish Pub.
The new restaurant features extensive renovations and new patio space.
The restaurant specializes in “modern twists on classic American fare.” Also available are 43 wines, both red and white, as well as a selection of 10 scotch whiskeys and 10 bourbon whiskeys.
OPENED: El Rancho Nuevo
El Rancho Nuevo opened its fifth restaurant in Butler County and its seventh location overall. The new restaurant is at 2870 Menards Blvd. in Fairfield Twp., just west of the corner of Princeton and South Gilmore roads.
A dinner menu features appetizers, nachos, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, chicken dishes, seafood and more. Also offered are several vegetarian specialties, including bean burritos, vegetarian fajitas and more, plus a children’s menu.
OPENED: Liberty Sandwich Factory
The new Liberty Sandwich Factory at 7129 Liberty Centre Drive, located just off Ohio 129’s Cincinnati-Dayton Road exit, features homemade corned beef, hand-carved turkey sandwiches, a homemade Cuban sandwich with fresh pork, and traditional staples such as ham-and-cheese sandwiches, turkey-and-cheese sandwiches and other deli meats and cheeses.
It’s the work of brothers and Lakota graduates Chris Clark and Steve Clark, of Liberty Twp. and West Chester Twp., respectively.
OPENED: Symmetry Boutique & Gallery
The owner of a Fairfield store has renovated, rebranded and reinvented the business.
Art On Symmes, which opened at 1000 Symmes Road, shut down for remodeling earlier this year. The business, which now features American-made apparel, gifts, outdoor sculptures, jewelry and pottery, is scheduled to reopen next week as Symmetry Boutique and Gallery.
“Originally, I was going to close both Art On Symmes and Art Off Symmes and then open one new store in Hamilton,” said owner Sherry Armstead. “After months of trying to work that out, it didn’t work out.”
Burgerim is set to bring five locations to Ohio, and Butler County is getting one of them.
The California-based fast-casual franchise plans to open this summer at Bridgewater Falls in Fairfield Twp.
The gourmet concept lets guests select an uno, duo, trio, or 16-count party box of its 2.8-ounce patties.
Guests then choose from 11 patty types including Beef, Dry Aged Beef, Wagyu Beef, Merguez (spicy beef), Turkey, Lamb, Chicken, Salmon, Veggie, Spanish Beef and Falafel.
That can be topped with anything from grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, lettuce, avocado and fried egg to Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, bleu cheese, pepper jack cheese, jalapeños and mixed greens.
Skyline started construction of a new location in Butler County in May.
Scheduled to open this fall at 3787 Herman Road in Ross Twp., the restaurant will feature 130 dine-in seats and a drive-thru.
The new location will be owned and operated by John Lambrinides and his children, company officials said.
ANNOUNCED: Maplewood Kitchen & Bar
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar will open in Deerfield Towne Center this summer, offering a West Coast-style cuisine aimed at providing guests with healthy, light and flavorful fare.
Located next to Jimmy John’s in the former Macaroni Grill space, the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, emphasizing healthier food by using local and seasonal ingredients, like locally roasted coffee, cage-free eggs, grass fed cow’s butter and cold-pressed juices.
The restaurant’s first location opened in 2016 at 525 Race St. in downtown Cincinnati. Its “fine casual” atmosphere means customers get to order their meal at the counter, but experience a full, sit-down dining experience filled with fine china, crisp tablecloths and traditional restaurant furnishings. The menu will include breakfast, lunch and dinner.
ANNOUNCED: Reid’s Sports Bar & Grill
A new sports bar to be called Reid’s Sports Bar & Grill is in the works in Warren County, according to state records and social media posts.
The new sports bar is coming to 549 E. Main St. in Lebanon. The space previously housed a barbecue restaurant.
The founders have created a Reid’s Sports Bar & Grill Facebook page, and they applied for a full liquor license for the space on May 14.
ANNOUNCED: Frutta Bowls
Frutta Bowls will also open in Deerfield Towne Center this summer.
The popular East Coast chain’s menu features health food bowls and smoothies blending acai, kale and pitaya, more commonly known as dragon fruit, with strawberries, bananas, granola and other selections for a variety of choices, all of them vegan and gluten free.
The new health food option will be located between Talbots and Pure Concept Salon.
ANNOUNCED: Frenchie Fresh
The second Frenchie Fresh restaurant in the market will open in Deerfield Towne Center this summer.
Local chef and restaurateur Jean-Robert de Cavel’s new fine, fast-casual dining concept, Frenchie Fresh puts an elevated French twist on American-inspired classics.
Think mac ‘n’ cheese or build your own burger.
The French-inspired food aims to offer fresh ideas, fresh ingredients and a fresh approach to high-quality dining.
Frenchie Fresh will be located between Talbots and Pure Concept Salon in the shopping center’s newly developed, central gathering place area called The Grove.
ANNOUNCED: Seven Mile Winery
A new winery and a wedding-and-special-event venue are gearing up to open in southwest Ohio.
Seven Mile Winery will be located at 3526 Somerville Jacksonburg Road in Wayne Township west of Middletown in Butler County.
The wedding and event venue is scheduled to open this spring, and the winery is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, according to the Seven Mile Winery web site.
Popular Dayton-based restaurant Milano’s Pizza, Subs & Taps announced May 17 that it had closed its Butler County location “effective immediately.”
The restaurant chain, which first opened in 1969 near the University of Dayton, has locations in Dayton, Beavercreek and Miami Twp. Those locations will not be affected by the West Chester Twp. closure, according to a press release. Any outstanding gift cards customers have may be redeemed at any of those locations.
The restaurant at 7701 Voice of America Park Drive specialized in sub sandwiches, cheesesteaks, pizzas and calzones.
“The opportunity arose to sell this property which includes both the building and the land,” the restaurant chain said in a statement. “We made this decision carefully and determined that the sale fit our future plan and the new owner would be a great addition to the area.”
DEMOLISHED: Hard Times
A Hamilton bar with a dangerous past is no more. Hard Times at 25 S. 7th St., was demolished in early May. All that remained behind a safety fence by mid-May was wreckage from the bar, which was the site of a 2016 homicide and drug trafficking.
This article contains previous reporting by staff writer Mark Fisher.
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