A chance meeting with a former work colleague has prompted the former owner of an Oregon District restaurant to open the second incarnation of her restaurant, this time in West Carrollton.
Dolores “Dee” Quinones — a native of Puerto Rico — operated Las Americas Caribbean Cuisine in Dayton’s Oregon District for about a year before closing it in July 2011. Prior to that, Quinones served up empanadas, wraps and sandwiches at her Las Americas vendor stall at the 2nd Street Public Market in downtown Dayton for eight years.Now, she has launched Las Americas Café inside the Vintage937 antique and collectibles shop at 1190 E. Central Ave. in the West Carrollton Plaza.
After closing her Oregon District restaurant, Quinones underwent double knee-replacement surgery and spent several months recuperating. But in January 2013, after buying a new car, Quinones went to the license bureau in the West Carrollton Plaza, and while there, ducked into Vintage937 to congratulate its owner, Christine Allen, on the opening of the shop. The two had worked together for several years at what was then Third National Bank, Quinones said.
During their conversation, Allen told Quinones that she would like to open a café inside the spacious antique and collectibles store, and asked Quinones if she’d be interested in taking on the project. Quinones was still in physical therapy at the time, so progress on the venture was slow, but the chance conversation eventually led to the opening of the second incarnation of Las Americas a few weeks ago.
Quinones has a partner in the venture — Rosa Sanchez, a native of Cuba — and the two are fine-tuning the menu, which includes empanadas, Cuban sandwiches and quesadillas, as well as two popular items by advance request: paella and purple rice.
The cafe seats about 20. Quinones said plans are in the works for a grand opening in the coming weeks.
Las Americas serves lunch Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, check out the Las Americas Café Facebook page or call (937) 567-0101.
**Note: Some web sites give the incorrect address for this restaurant. It is located at 1190 E. Central Ave. — NOT 1109.