WEST ALEXANDRIA — The Bison and the Boar hosted its grand opening this past weekend, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23.
The new restaurant opened its doors for the first time on Tuesday, Feb. 19, with a Friends and Family Night, and a Media Night on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, The Bison and the Boar held its ribbon cutting ceremony in conjunction with the Preble County Chamber of Commerce and hosted a Community Leader’s night prior to opening to the public Friday.
When the restaurant was known as Reflections, owner Dan Appenzeller reached out to consultant Brian Johnson for help on improving business. Johnson was familiar with Isiah Davis, who is now General Manager and Executive Chef of the Bison and the Boar.
Johnson recommended Reflections undergo a total re-branding. They decided on The Bison and the Boar: Preble County’s Steakhouse.
“It is a good idea, because what we were doing before wasn’t working. Period. It just wasn’t working. We knew we needed something unique and different, something very few restaurants in the Greater Dayton Area or Southwest Ohio would have to offer. Preble County hasn’t had a good steakhouse for a long time,” Appenzeller said.
The Bison and the Boar has a menu which includes bison and boar, in addition to more traditional options. According to Davis, it is not just the bison that makes the new restaurant stand out, but also how they prepare their food, as everything at the Bison and the Boar is made from scratch — including the steak which is cut and meat which is ground by the in-house butcher.
“What makes us unique is the process of how we cook our food and the knowledge we have of the product, making it a point that the guest doesn’t have to do anything but sit down. We explain to them what it is we have to them, how to eat it, what it goes well with, and we give them a lot of knowledge,” he said.
“The overall experience, knowing that this is a destination restaurant and you’re going to be taken care of. The philosophy we live here with the service is, to be great you have to serve great. I tell everyone here, no matter what position you’re in, we are all doing the same thing and we are all serving. If you’re not serving the guest, you’re serving one another.”
Davis did a lot of research on bison and boar before preparing the menu. He wanted The Bison and the Boar to be unlike any other restaurant around and make it so no one could compare them to another restaurant.
He added, on the menu, his favorite item is the boar belly, which is brined, seasoned, grilled, braised, and tossed with bourbon and cream.
To celebrate the grand opening, staff began by opening the restaurant to select groups one day at a time. The restaurant was booked full on both Friday and Saturday for its grand opening.
The Bison and the Boar also held its celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 21.
“We’re a unique restaurant. We’re not a corporate — this is run by not that many people. There is a lot of care that is put into everything, from the food to the service. There is a lot of one on one. No one here is robotic. You will have a unique experience every time you come,” Davis said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH