Dakota’s Roadhouse in Hillsboro, which closed its doors earlier this week, was purchased Wednesday by the owner of the Mt. Orab LaRosa’s franchise, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.
Pete Buscani, executive vice president of marketing with LaRosa’s Family Pizzerias, confirmed Thursday that Tim O’Hara, the owner of the Mt. Orab Larosa’s, purchased the steakhouse this week.
“Tim O’Hara has been interested in bringing LaRosa’s to Hillsboro for about a year,” Buscani said. “The one that finally met all his needs was Dakota’s Roadhouse.”
Buscani said O’Hara will begin working on plans and permits in coming days, and added that the project is “way, way early” in the process to release more details, such as the opening date or the size of the restaurant.
O’Hara could not be reached Thursday.
Highland County Recorder Chad McConnaughey told The Times-Gazette on Thursday that ownership of Dakota’s was transferred on Wednesday to PITSA, Inc., a Bethel, Ohio company, although the paperwork had not yet been finalized Thursday afternoon.
Tim O’Hara is listed in online business records as the owner of PITSA.
PMQ Pizza Magazine, an industry publication, reported in January that the Mt. Orab LaRosa’s was named 2017 Pizzeria of the Year by Larosa’s Family Pizzerias.
A sign posted in the doorway at Dakota’s this week announced its closure and thanked customers for years of business.
“To all our loyal guests over the years,” the sign read, “thank you for all your business and all the years of being in the wonderful town of Hillsboro. We have officially closed as Dakota’s restaurant.”
The sign noted that Dakota’s gift certificates can still be redeemed at its Chillicothe and Jackson locations, and added, “Thank you again, for all your years of business.”
As a photo of the sign made the rounds on social media, so did rumors of other restaurants moving in.
Hillsboro is home to a number of pizza establishments.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.