January saw Butler County’s ever-changing dining scene shift yet again.
Here’s a sampling of the mix of restaurant openings, closings and announcements that ushered in the new year.
OPENED: Crispy Fish & Chicken
January marked the first month in operation for locally owned Crispy Fish & Chicken at 4 East State St. in Trenton.
This is the second location for brothers Ali Murad and Hamza Murad, who opened their first location last May at 1304 Breiel Blvd. in Middletown, the former site of Long John Silver’s, which abruptly closed in March.
Crispy Fish & Chicken serves fish, chicken, gyros, shrimp, squid, clams, butterfly shrimp, crab cake patties, burgers, Philly steak sides, desserts and more.
The restaurants recently added half-off seniors days on Sundays and Wednesdays, he said. Crispy Fish & Chicken also offers pickup-only service inside Corner Markets at 1308 Yankee Road and 2126 Hill Ave. in Middletown. The restaurant's Facebook page is www.facebook.com/crispyfishandchicken.
MORE: 12 new small businesses that opened in Butler County in 2019
CLOSED: UNO Chicago Bar & Grill
UNO Chicago Bar & Grill shut down permanently closed its doors at 9246 Schulze Drive in West Chester Twp. just west of Union Centre Boulevard’s Interstate 75 exit. The restaurant sits on land that was sold for $1.25 million in August by OWC Real Estate LLC to Schulze Drive Lodging Partners LLP, Butler County Auditor’s Office records show.
The limited liability partnership is registered with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office to Subhas Patel, with the same mailing address used by Patel’s Keystone Hotel Group a Symmes Twp. hotel investment, development and management firm.
MORE: 13 new restaurants that opened in Butler County in 2019
ANNOUNCED: Million's Crab Boiled Seafood
An O'Charley's restaurant that closed last year at 7866 Tylersville Square Drive in West Chester Twp. will be replaced by Millions Crab Boiled Seafood in mid-February, according to Commi Tong, the chain's marketing director.
The company, which is looking to hire servers, line cooks and dish washers, is the brainchild of two Cajun seafood chains: Juicy Seafood & Naked Crab, Tong said.
Million's Crab's menu includes cajun seafood such as Snow Crab legs, King Crab legs, clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp and more. It specializes in boiling fresh seafood in Cajun seasoning and topping it with a choice of sauces including garlic butter, cajun, lemon pepper, Million's Sauce or Szechuan.
It also offers an array of American cuisines dishes like burgers, wings and pasta, plus soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, lamb, beef, lobster, salmon and various other dishes, plus beers and cider.
A fast-food burger franchise that had been rapidly expanding recently shuttered a Butler County location.
Burgerim, which opened Jan. 10, 2019 at 3425 Princeton Road at Fairfield Twp.’s Bridgewater Falls, closed that location on Jan. 19, according to the Fairfield Twp. lifestyle center. The restaurant offered more than 10 different patties including Dry-Aged Beef, Salmon, Crispy Chicken and Falafel, along with a variety of toppings and house-made sauces.
The Butler County location was one of 100 the California-based franchise quietly shuttered as it considers a Chapter 11 reorganization, a form of bankruptcy, according to a report by Restaurant Business.
The chain also has failed to compensate its spokesman, Instagram star Foodgod, who has made appearances on the show Keeping Up with the Kardashians and its spinoffs, according to Restaurant Business.
MORE: 9 big business stories that shaped 2019 in Butler and Warren counties
Dunkin’ opened a new, 1,915-square-foot Middletown location in January at 1300 S. Breiel Blvd.
The new restaurant, which replaces a Marco’s Pizza restaurant, sports the company’s “Next Generation” design, including a brighter, more contemporary interior and doughnut cases placed up front for customers to see like a jewelry counter. It also features a new tap system that will be able to dispense several types of coffee, such as Nitro Coffee, Cold Brew, Iced Coffee and Iced Tea, as well as limited time flavors.
The new Dunkin’ also offers free Wi-Fi, a digital menu board and mobile ordering drive-through. Dunkin’ franchisee Gilligan Company operates 33 Dunkin’ restaurants in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton markets. It was founded in 1993 in Columbus and employs more than 900 people in Ohio, operating more than 75 convenience stores and quick-service restaurants as well as transporting more than 200 million gallons of fuel annually to its customers, according to its website.
MORE: 5 Butler County food spots that have been recognized by national experts
Thunderdome Restaurant Group confirmed in January that it is opening its first Butler County location for its fast-growing, fast-casual concept, Currito.
The new restaurant will be located at 7687 Doc Drive in West Chester Twp., a storefront just east of Interstate 75’s Tylersville Road exit and a space formerly occupied by Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Currito serves an internationally inspired menu of burritos, bowls, salads and real-fruit smoothies. A classic burrito is served with cilantro-lime rice, beans and cheese. Those not in the mood for Mexican cuisine can opt for Bangkok, teriyaki, Cajun, buffalo and Mediterranean or just create their own. Other options include breakfast and soups.
There’s no word yet when the new location will open.
MORE: Hamilton’s newest restaurant hopes to offer many experiences in high-profile space
January was the first month of operations for KFC at 4340 Hamilton-Middletown Road in Liberty Twp.
Founded in 1953, KFC is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain, according to Interbrand. It offers 4,200 locations nationwide, including 29 in the Cincinnati/Dayton area. Those locations are managed by Blue Ash-based PRV, a KFC franchise established in 2018 when owner Michael Roe purchased the franchise.
Roe, who has worked with KFC & Yum! Brands for over 30 years, has operated the 29 stores in Cincinnati & Dayton for almost a decade.
MORE: Fast food chain opens latest prototype location in Butler County
OPENED: Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle Mexican Grill told this news outlet January it had opened a new location at 7903 Crossings of Beckett in West Chester Twp. The restaurant features a “Chipotlane,” a modernized drive-thru lane aimed at increasing convenience for customers and delivery drivers alike, plus walk-up windows and premium placement for digital built in pick-up portals.
Open views and front row seating provide direct lines of sight into the kitchen, where crew members hand prepare food. Additionally, bottled beverages are more accessible with a customer-facing reach in cooler built into the serving line.
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