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New Duke\'s will reopen, but must serve only the old Duke\'s Golden Ox menu | Taste: Dayton food and restaurants

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New Duke’s will reopen, but must serve only the old Duke’s Golden Ox menu

UPDATE: Duke’s owner Reece Powers III said Wednesday night that the restaurant at 630 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton will reopen at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 25.

A federal judge ruled today, June 24, that Duke’s restaurant in West Carrollton can reopen — if and only if it serves strictly the menu of Duke’s Golden Ox Steak House, which closed in 2004.

dukes menu
Duke Morris submitted this hand-written document to show what items were on the original “Duke’s Golden Ox Steak House” menu.

The menu restrictions are part of a preliminary injunction granted by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Rose in the trademark-infringement lawsuit filed by the former owner of Dominic’s Restaurant, Anne B. Mantia, against the owner of Duke’s restaurant, Reece Powers III. Powers is the nephew of Ray “Duke” Morris, who operated Duke’s Golden Ox Steakhouse from 1970 until it closed in 2004.

Rose had already ruled that Powers had violated the terms of a temporary restraining order when he opened Duke’s on May 1 because Powers and other defendants in the case had improperly capitalized on the Dominic’s name. The judge ordered the restaurant to close May 14. An attorney for Anne Mantia argued Monday that Duke’s should be allowed to reopen only if it changed its menu theme from an Italian restaurant to a steakhouse or Mexican restaurant. Attorneys for Powers had argued for no menu restrictions.

In forcing the former Duke’s Golden Ox menu — which became a part of the case when Duke Morris hand-wrote it into an affidavit he filed in support of his nephew — onto the new Duke’s, Rose seemed to be splitting the difference, since the Golden Ox menu contains many Italian dishes such as spaghetti, manicotti, and lasagna in addition to steaks and chops.

It was a remedy that neither side requested, but Rose said in his ruling that he was following the law in restricting Duke’s Restaurant to serving the menu of its now-defunct namesake restaurant.

“Should the Parties agree to a different menu, they may submit it to the court for approval,” Rose wrote.

Powers said late Wednesday that he welcomed the judge’s decision and intends to reopen Duke’s at 4 p.m. today, June 25. “We have a lot of employees and customers who are supportive of us,” he said.

Powers’ attorneys had submitted the Duke’s Golden Ox menu into the court record as part of an affidavit signed by his uncle and former Golden Ox owner Ray “Duke” Morris, who operated Duke’s from 1970 to 2004 virtually next door to Dominic’s on South Main Street in Dayton. Dominic’s closed in 2007.

Duke’s was open from May 1 to May 15 at 630 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton before it shut down by order of the judge.

The menu of the new Duke’s restaurant was the subject of heated debate during the hearing Monday, June 22 in Rose’s courtroom. An attorney for Anne Mantia argued that Duke’s should be allowed to reopen only if it changed its menu theme from an Italian restaurant to a steakhouse or Mexican restaurant. Attorneys for Powers had argued for no menu restrictions.

Rose ruled that a preliminary injunction — and its menu restriction — is warranted because the actions of Powers and other defendants created confusion over the restaurant’s connection to Dominic’s. Powers established a corporation last year and named it “Dominic’s Restaurant Inc.” that was later dissolved after the lawsuit was filed. Powers’ co-defendant Christie Mantia — the granddaughter of Dominic’s restaurant founder Dominic Mantia and the stepdaughter of Anne B. Mantia — told the Dayton Daily News in a March 17 interview that the new restaurant would be serving a menu similar to Dominic’s prepared by former Dominic’s chef Harry Lee, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Rose concluded it would be wrong for Duke’s to be allowed to reopen without menu restrictions after it had improperly infringed on Dominic’s service marks during the two weeks it was open, and would likely continue to benefit from its improper aligning with the Dominic’s name after reopening. But instead of trying to prohibit Duke’s from serving Italian dishes altogether, Rose mandated the Golden Ox menu, which became part of the court record in part because Powers said it was Duke’s, not Dominic’s, that his new restaurant was patterned after.

So far, the case has revolved around restraining orders and injunctions regarding Duke’s, while the requests by Anne B. Mantia for monetary damages for what she says are trademark infringement and breach-of-contract remain unresolved.


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By try this

June 25, 2009 6:50 PM | Link to this

For a garlci salad dressing just go to the store and buy one. For a food service package call Sysco, US Foods or any other food service distributor. And I bet Chef Rose thought it was all homemade.


June 25, 2009 6:19 PM | Link to this

As Boroman has said before, name the restaurant “Dom and Nicks” and the matter will be solved.

By Rest. guru

June 25, 2009 4:33 PM | Link to this

I don’t know what the stink is all about. The last owners of Dominic’s had ran the rest. to the ground. The Dominic’s name had been long destroyed. maybe if this new rest. had taken off, maybe the Dominic Name might have been saved.

By Rob

June 25, 2009 4:24 PM | Link to this

Court Ordered Menu??? Snicker What’s next, spies to ensure that the correct spices are used in the correct quantities?

By Claude

June 25, 2009 2:26 PM | Link to this

So about this Dominic’s name thing - I ate at DUKE’S four times during the couple weeks it was open. Not once did I see the Dominic’s name, except as a caption of a picture of Dominic. Yeah yeah, I know it was supposed to be on a receipt or something, but I never saw it. So Anne is suggesting that everyone who ate there did so because the Dominic’s name was somewhere no one ever looks? Please! Annie honey, I hope you open a restaurant - it will be my pleasure to NEVER cross the threshold.

By pie8me

June 25, 2009 2:24 PM | Link to this

I think it would be wonderfully amusing if a blog appeared with all of Dominic’s recipes posted in detail. I wouldn’t eat any of it but it would be satisfying just the same.

By fritzi

June 25, 2009 2:24 PM | Link to this

Miss italianfoodlover, you don’t have a clue. But, I do.

By fritzi

June 25, 2009 2:23 PM | Link to this

Miss italianfoodlover, you don’t have a clue. But, I do.

By localguy

June 25, 2009 1:31 PM | Link to this

Jerk Rose thinks he’ll be viewed as King Solomon for his “solution” to the ridiculous situation he himself created.

By JudgeNo

June 25, 2009 1:23 PM | Link to this

The mishandling of this case by the court, the lack of common since and decency from the bench while legal encourages people to regard the court, the legal system and the Judge with little respect. Judge Rose needs to get out of the kitchen, he is not doing himself or the public and favors.

By Italianfoodlover

June 25, 2009 1:07 PM | Link to this

1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup white vinegar 1/3 cup olive oil 5 or 6 garlic cloves - crushed 1 small jar of pimentos chopped finely. Mix all together in a jar with a tight lid. . This is identical to the original Dominic’s salad dressing. Soak it on your iceberg in the fridge and there you go! No crappy preservatives either like Anne’s store bought stuff.

By Uh ... no, "Uh Jim"

June 25, 2009 12:22 PM | Link to this

Actually,Uh, you are wrong. According to the article, Duke’s can only serve the items listed on the hand-written menu. They cannot serve anything else. It is actually a big deal because the items listed on that menu are pretty darn limited.

By Hey clueless

June 25, 2009 12:18 PM | Link to this

You really must be clueless. The Judge has the ability to shut down this restaurant because it pirated the name without permission, claimed ownership of the product, again without permission, and opened despite a court order telling them not to open. If you knew a tenth of what you think you know, you might actually be capable of commenting on this subject. Otherwise, keep your naive, and downright ignorantcomments to yourself.

By Uh, Jim

June 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Link to this

That’s what the court order says. They can serve anything but items from Dominic’s menu that used their recipes. No big whoop.

By me

June 25, 2009 12:00 PM | Link to this

Hey NYC (, if you think that a restaurant needs a star or 2 behind it, then you are really missing oout on some good food! If you think we are all hillbillies, then leave us alone to enjoy our hillbilly food!

By me

June 25, 2009 11:54 AM | Link to this

A court ordered menu?! I thought we lived in a free country! What is wrong with this picture?!

By Jim

June 25, 2009 11:47 AM | Link to this

This judge sounds like a total flake to me. A court ordered menu? They should have been allowed to reopen and serve anything except anything on Dominicks menu.

By Deljay

June 25, 2009 11:25 AM | Link to this

Duke’s Golden Ox had GREAT food and the House Salad was EQUAL to Dominic’s house salad. Duke’s Lebanese Salad Dressing is actually better than Dominic’s!

By crymetyme

June 25, 2009 11:24 AM | Link to this

It’s all about the money,yeah!yeah!

By Italian Lvr

June 25, 2009 11:01 AM | Link to this

The entire suit has been a farce. Guess who paid for it? The taxpayers.

By don

June 25, 2009 10:49 AM | Link to this

Judicially mandated menu…the judge must be a food critic.

By Huh

June 25, 2009 10:49 AM | Link to this

Why is Ann Mantia being allowed to dictate the menu of a restaurant she has no ownership interest in?

By clueless

June 25, 2009 8:12 AM | Link to this

dukesmakesupuke- maybe you need to have some lessons in attorney 101. If Judge wants to dictate that Duke’s can’t serve Italian food, then shut down, Bravo’s, Olive Garden, and all the mom and pop restaurants that serve it. By the way the agreement was between Christie and Anne. Christie doesn’t work there. Reece is the owner and never signed any agreement. Oh and Anne where is your restaurant, why don’t you quit trying to capitalize off of Reece’s efforts. Maybe the judge will help you cook.

By Dirt

June 25, 2009 12:20 AM | Link to this

Third ring, now that is funny…

By Dirt

June 25, 2009 12:17 AM | Link to this

Sounds like classic Mother-in-law trouble to me. There is the point about the 400.000 paid to not use the name, but sounds like that is resolved, and yes how can you copyright food

By Jim

June 25, 2009 12:05 AM | Link to this

Looks like the judges has become the third ring of the circus.

By Dan T

June 24, 2009 11:50 PM | Link to this

Wow.I’m so proud of my Dayton roots. Glad I do not live in Dayton anymore. Seems that Judges and lawyers are in bed. Just like in 1970’s.


June 24, 2009 11:07 PM | Link to this

nyc, if this is just hillbilly news, why are you reading it?


June 24, 2009 8:43 PM | Link to this

I think Ms. Mantia paid the judge off with a lifetime supply of garlic dressing.

By inquiring mind

June 24, 2009 8:14 PM | Link to this

NYC…let me speak for the crew…if this area is so far beneath your personal standard, wtf dont you go back and live in the sewer of New’s one thing when locals get frustrated…you ar ejust a freaking loser

By nyc

June 24, 2009 7:50 PM | Link to this

this incident really shows how backwards dayton really is…neither one of these places have any stars behind them…so its just hillbilly news…..for hillbillies..yaahoo!!

By Julie

June 24, 2009 7:29 PM | Link to this

Judge get a life and leave everyday working people alone.Let them serve what people are willing to pay for and to enjoy!!!

By me

June 24, 2009 7:00 PM | Link to this

well Miss Anne Mantia I think we all should boycott your garlic dressing sold at Dorothy Lane Market. I really believe you have made enough money off this stupid incident. I really pray tha Duke’s is a very succesfull place. You got our support.

By chef

June 24, 2009 6:57 PM | Link to this

can I get a burger with mozzeralla cheese ?

By inquiring mind

June 24, 2009 6:52 PM | Link to this

Running with the pack here…this judge is an embarassment, and there is no copyright on Italian Food..thos will never stand the scrutiny of a higher court. I wonder what sway teh over-the hill hag holds overr this judicial clown?

By Barry

June 24, 2009 6:47 PM | Link to this

after the judges, lawyers, pimps, and vultures get done with this place I hope it can stay open. I could use a good steak. If Anne or the judge ever open a place remind me to never go there

By oh my

June 24, 2009 6:47 PM | Link to this

This judge is way out of control. To try and dictate what they can serve or CAN’T serve is unbelieveable. Rose you should have removed yourself from this case along time ago. You’re personal involvement in this is out of control.

By Paul

June 24, 2009 6:33 PM | Link to this

They need to request this judge be removed from this case. How can they decide what menu any restaurant to serve? Recipes aren’t copywritten… how can any court have the jurisdiction to decide what is served. It’s time to take this to the Ohio Supreme Court b/c this judge is an idiot.

By Pharrell

June 24, 2009 5:49 PM | Link to this

The restaurant brought this on themselves. I was amazed to watch them plow ahead with no regard for the $460,000 agreement they had with Anne Mantia to NOT invoke the Dominic’s name. Did they really think no one would notice?

By gary2

June 24, 2009 5:39 PM | Link to this


By Eric

June 24, 2009 5:18 PM | Link to this

give them a chance! people go to a restaurant to have good service and good food. Dukes has both. After they open and the employees can start to get back on their feet, appeal the ruling about the menu. If quality is good people will come back regardless of the dressing.

By say no

June 24, 2009 5:04 PM | Link to this

Your best bet is to walk away. This is a terrible way to run a business, find another use or owner for the building. For the first time I feel embarrassed for the Judge. I remember Dukes, ( I liked Dukes) the only desert one night I ate there was ice cream, the only flavor was vanilla. Does that mean you can’t bake a pie? Taste change and consumer taste change.

By DGinDayton

June 24, 2009 4:52 PM | Link to this

Hey, I saw this old movie where Moses threw down the law on those people at the golden ox and they all got ate up when the ground opened and swallowed them and Anne got gored, or something. (Yeah, it’s all stupid.0

By Mark

June 24, 2009 4:47 PM | Link to this

Kevin…They make the salad soggy by putting the dressing on the prepared salad and then refrigerating…it works with any salad dressing! Enjoy

By leave Dayton

June 24, 2009 4:45 PM | Link to this

Hey Brandon- maybe you should consider relocation if Dayton is so lame. Maybe it’s just you.

By Rachel

June 24, 2009 4:43 PM | Link to this

What was on the old menu? What do they have to change to separate from the menu now?

By suzie

June 24, 2009 4:42 PM | Link to this

What…can’t change the menu! Oops, there goes the sushi idea.

By Mark

June 24, 2009 4:41 PM | Link to this

Perfect example of Greed…I hope Dukes reopens and is a huge success…Mrs Mantia should have been proud that her husband’s legacy continuedafter she sold up

By Brandon

June 24, 2009 4:38 PM | Link to this

The funny thing is that this is considered “breaking news”! That alone should show you how sad it is around Dayton right now.

By Paulette

June 24, 2009 4:35 PM | Link to this

Italian food is what it is. I can’t believe all the bickering back and forth. If there is no reference to Dominic’s with the new restaurant, then Anne shouldn’t be able to dictate what another restaurant owner has on his/her menu.


June 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Link to this

Hmm, she closed Domicnics sold the land to Miami Valley Hospital cause she wanted the money. Smoking ban probably cost her all her regulars. Soo much smoke

By Stupid

June 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Link to this

This is SO stupid. How can you NOT allow an establishment to serve whatever menu they please? Anne Mantia does not own the trademark for lasagna and other italian food. I’m sure somebody paid the judge for this one it’s so absurd. She’s such a bully to tell people how to run their restaurant, but nobody sees her laz a$$ opening anything. She’s just out for free money!!!! What goes around come around, Anne!

By Kevin

June 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Link to this

no Dominics salad, no customers!! The Dominics salad dressing in the grocery is not the same on hard crunchy lettuc. How do they get it all soggy? ..

By kncjr

June 24, 2009 4:30 PM | Link to this

This compromise should have been figured out by the judge before all the employees lost their jobs and didn’t get paid. At least now they can go back to work.


June 24, 2009 4:27 PM | Link to this

I did not know that domonics had a trademark on italian food. I’m sick of the whole thing. If domonics or dukes were so great then why did they close in the first place?

By John Knauss

June 24, 2009 4:26 PM | Link to this

I’m stunned. The world in crisis / from what I read Dayton in trouble /for month’s I read about this? Wonder what poem Duke would write. About it all.

By haha

June 24, 2009 4:23 PM | Link to this

ownage pure and simple….

By Gary

June 24, 2009 4:12 PM | Link to this

Can the salad dressing have garlic in it?


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