SIDNEY – An established customer base led Amelia Alexander to open her second restaurant in Sidney, a community she wants to give back to through her new endeavor.
Alexander, who also owns Charley’s Steakery in Piqua’s Miami Valley Centre Mall, has opened Amelia’s at 1000 Fourth Ave. in Sidney. The restaurant will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday with special guests and giveaways throughout the day.
“A lot of people come into the mall and say, ‘When are you coming to Sidney?’ Well, we didn’t exactly come to Sidney with Charley’s, but we do know how to make subs, and they are on the menu,” Alexander said. “So hopefully some of our following will come.”
Alexander has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including owning Charley’s Steakery for 20 years. She’ll continue to run her Piqua-based business along with the new restaurant in Sidney.
“Over the last few years I’ve been kicking it around,” Alexander said. “Do I retire or do I do something that I love? And I can’t see myself retiring. And I’ve already got a handle on work. Twenty years, I can make that sub in my sleep.
“I said I need a new challenge. I thought, hmm, I know how to do ice cream, sandwiches, sit-down dinners. And this opportunity come up, and it was like, yes, this is perfect. I just thank God every day.”
The restaurant in Sidney will have subs and sandwiches including Texas tenderloins. The menu also will include pizza with 9-inch, 12-inch, 16-inch and 18-inch options. Additionally, there will be dinners, including a 12-inch long piece of fish, along with various sides, appetizers and other offerings.
“We have a secret specialty sauce for our wings, General Tso’s sauce,” Alexander said. “It is a signature sauce made in-house.”
Amelia’s also has a desert menu including 40 flavors of Hershey’s brand ice cream.
So far the food at Amelia’s has been well received by customers.
“We’re off to a good start,” Alexander said. “It’s starting to pick up. We’ve had good customer reviews, positive vibes.”
Alexander expects business to pick up more when Amelia’s celebrates its grand opening beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. Lucky the Clown will visit the establishment from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., DJ Art Love will play music from noon to 6 p.m., and DJ Timmy Lee will perform from 6 to 9 p.m.
Throughout the day there also will be visits from Moose Tracks moose from Hershey’s and Safetypup. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Officr and Sidney Police Department are slated to appear, giving kids a chance to see their patrol cars.
There also will be hourly prize drawings from noon to 6 p.m. with gift baskets compliments of Sidney Auto Vue Drive-In.
Alexander’s plans extend well beyond Saturday with several ideas on how she wants to give back to the community.
Amelia’s already has formed partnerships with local churches and will make donations each month to participating churches and other organizations. Upon customers’ request, Amelia’s will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to participating groups.
“We hope to be able to participate and to give back to the community so that it will help all the churches and organizations,” Alexander said.
Alexander also wants her restaurant to be a safe space for Alzheimer’s patients, individuals with autism and others, plans she’s currently developing.
“Any group or organization that would like to have a safe place for their organization or their group of people to come and dine where the waitresses aren’t going to be yelling at them and they’re not going to be rolling their eyes,” she said of her plans for a memory cafe. “You know how it is when you go with them to places. It will be a safe place, and they can have a meeting here.”
Alexander cared for her mother, who had Alzheimer’s, for 30 years prior to her death last year. That experience has motivated her to create a safe environment for caregivers to bring individuals with special needs.
“We’re working with the Greater Dayton Alzheimer’s Association at this time, and we have touched base with a few of the nursing homes,” Alexander said.
Amelia’s also will be available for people to host birthday parties, wedding showers and other events. Alexander also wants to bring race cars and other attractions to her restaurant.
“I want to be able to experience and give back to the community,” she said. “We have plenty of room that they can have functions in here.”
Another way Alexander wants to support the community is by offering free kids meals with any adult meal or combo purchase.
Amelia’s is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Customers can dine in, take out their food or have their orders delivered.
The business is at 1000 Fourth Ave. in Sidney, the former location of Farmstand Pizza and JJ’s Lunchbox. Alexander has had the floors polished, bathrooms renovated and had landscaping work done to get the restaurant ready.
“We’ve done a lot of work to get it look like an actual restaurant,” she said. “It was a lot of work, but we’re very proud of it.”
Customers can call Amelia’s at 937-492-7454.
Reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.