Springfield restaurants 2020: Openings, expansions, closings

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers coming to Springfield

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Several new restaurants opened in Springfield, while some expanded and others were forced to close because of the pandemic in 2020.

An Italian restaurant, a European eatery and several other new restaurants opened on North and South Fountain Avenue, three chicken restaurants announced plans of expansion and three long-time favorite restaurants closed.

Openings:

Downtown Springfield’s food scene expanded this year with the addition of several restaurants on North and South Fountain Avenue.

Fratelli’s Famiglia Ristorante, which is Italian for Brother’s Family Restaurant, is located at 42 N. Fountain Ave.

The restaurant, which opened in May, is owned by Peter and Dominic Catanzaro, who are brothers.

“We are bringing back the family restaurant. We want that relaxed, family atmosphere,” Peter said. “We wanted a place where you can come on Sunday after church and have a glass of wine and sit with your family.”

The restaurant’s menu features typical Italian dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and chicken parmesan, but also offers specialty items.

ExploreBringing back the family restaurant: Fratelli’s opening in downtown Springfield

Four restaurants, two bars and a taproom opened in COhatch The Market, located at 101 S. Fountain Ave.

The first restaurant, Crust & Company, a European-style eatery featuring authentic Roman-style pizza, gelato and freshly baked bread, opened in May.

Dan Freeman said he and his wife, Lisa, had been in contact with those involved in the COhatch project and came up with an idea that would work well in that space.

The couple said they had planned to open Crust & Company in March, but due to construction delays and the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant’s opening was delayed.

Other restaurants including The Painted Pepper, a family business owned by Amanda and Louie Ortega offering a Southwestern style menu; Ironworks Waffle Cafe, a waffle restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dessert waffles; and Fresh Abilities, a quick service salad restaurant operated by The Abilities Coalition opened in June.

Cork + Board, a wine bar specializing in low intervention wines; The Market Bar, a hand-crafted cocktail bar with an elevated cocktail experience; and North High Brewing, a taproom with 14 beers on tap also opened in the old Myers Market.

Explore6 restaurants coming to COhatch in Springfield: Who are they?

Expansions:

Several restaurants specializing in chicken announced plans to expand in the city.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is expected to open mid to late February, Michael Williams, the marketing manager for Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers locations in the Cincinnati and Dayton area said.

“We’re always looking for great new communities to roll out a new Raising Cane’s,” Williams said.

He added that the Springfield area is a familiar territory to Tim McCarthy, the founder of RCO Limited, which is the Ohio franchise partner of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.

“Our franchise founder, Timmy McCarthy, actually went to Wittenberg, so Springfield holds a special place in his heart,” Williams said. “It’s been on the list for a long time.”

The construction area for the restaurant is located at the intersection of Hillcrest Avenue and Albemarle Road behind a shopping center that Alex Dietz, the economic development coordinator for Clark County said previously housed Soap Box Cleaning Center and Just Smokes.

ExploreRaising Cane’s to open in February; franchise founder has ties to Springfield

Wingstop, located at 2135 E. Main St. in the shopping center near Save-A-Lot, also announced plans to expand.

“There is a strong community presence in Springfield where families and individuals alike live, work and play. We are looking forward to becoming a part of these families by delivering flavor into their homes,” Sunsha Parker, Wingstop’s new restaurant opening field marketing manager said.

Wingstop serves a variety of wings from mildly spiced to atomic. The lemon-pepper wings and seasoned fresh-cut fries are among customer favorites, a Dayton Wingstop franchise owner previously told this news outlet.

ExploreNew chicken wing restaurant to open in Springfield

A new KFC restaurant opened at 1520 Hillcrest Ave. in September.

The restaurant offers a drive-thru with an indoor dining area - similar to the other area KFC locations.

In July 2019, the land where the KFC is located was rezoned by the city of Springfield before Plaza Street Partners, a real estate developer firm in Kansas, purchased the land.

ExploreNew Springfield KFC opens today

Closings:

Three long-time city favorites closed for several reasons including the pandemic.

Less than two months into the pandemic, Collier’s Family Restaurant, previously located on W. First St., announced that they were not reopening.

“Times are always tough for mom and pop businesses, but this month and a half (at least) shutdown has just done us in,” a post on Collier’s Family Restaurant Facebook page in April said.

The restaurant was a staple in the community since 2003.

ExploreNew restaurant to open in former Collier’s Family Restaurant location

Studebaker’s Country Restaurant on 41, will open in January in the former Collier’s Family Restaurant location, Curt Studebaker, the owner of the restaurant said.

Studebaker and his wife, Missy, own Studebaker’s Country Restaurant in New Carlisle and The Hill in Urbana.

“We will run the same menu as we have at the other two stores, but at the same time we want to incorporate some things that the Collier’s did that were successful for them,” Studebaker said.

A downtown Springfield restaurant, Seasons Bistro and Grille, previously located on S. Limestone St., announced in May the business was closing after 12 years.

“It’s been a struggle for all 12 years we’ve been open, but it was never on the forefront of our mind (to close),” Doug McGregor, co-owner of Seasons Bistro and Grille said. “We loved this restaurant and wanted to keep it going forever.”

McGregor opened the regional dining destination with his sister, Margaret Mattox after they moved back to Springfield.

“We always loved our downtown,” Mattox said. “It is beautiful, historic, we have memories of being downtown as kids and we just wanted to do what we could to help that movement to revitalize.”

Seasons Bistro and Grille was one of the first restaurants to open in downtown Springfield as the city worked to revitalize its core.

“We tried our best to make it work but between the loss of catering sales and a decline in restaurant sales due to the pandemic, what was already a significant challenge, became virtually impossible for us.”

The siblings are now offering catering and a weekly carryout meals from their new business, Seasons Kitchen, located in the basement of the Bushnell Building.

ExploreFormer owners of downtown Springfield restaurant back with weekly carryout

Big Jim’s Coney’s & Subs, previously located at 1928 Mitchell Boulevard, closed in November for several reasons including the pandemic.

Jim Lopez Jr., the owner of Big Jim’s Coney’s & Subs said the biggest reason for their closure was lack of help.

“It just seemed like people wouldn’t last and I couldn’t get people to even come in and want to work,” Lopez said.

Other factors that contributed to the restaurant’s closure was not being able to find needed items and his age, he said.

“I was planning on retiring in a year and a half anyway,” Lopez said.

ExploreRestaurant serving home-cooked meals opens today in Springfield

A new restaurant featuring home-cooked BBQ and Caribbean meals using fresh ingredients recently opened in the former Big Jim’s Coney’s & Subs location.

“This is a dream come true,” Troy Wheat, the owner and chef of All Seasons, said.

All Seasons features ribs, chicken wings, jerk chicken, curry chicken, shrimp, salmon, burgers, macaroni and cheese, greens and cornbread. The restaurant also serves baked goods.

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