DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– The Brandell Family has been serving the Miami Valley for decades. If you didn’t know, they’ve owned and operated several restaurants in Dayton including Jimmie’s Ladder 11.
The owner is getting ready to retire but let’s just say, they’re keeping it in the family.
“It’s always going to be a family restaurant run by a family,” said Jimmie. “We opened Ladder 11 on 11-11 of 2011, my lucky number 11!”
Down on Brown Street, a family business is being handed down, this time, from father to son. Owner 69-year-old Jimmie Brandell started working in the restaurant industry when he was merely 16 years-old. As a Chaminade Julienne graduate, Jimmie worked under his mentor’s wing for 25 years before opening Jimmie’s Cornerstone Bar & Grille in 2004. Then, it wasn’t long until Ladder 11 opened in 2011. Now, it’s time for Jimmie to hang up his chef’s coat and turn the next page in his journey, retirement.
“I’ve worn myself out in this business,” said Jimmie. “I used to come in when it was dark and leave when it was dark, they say I haven’t sat down all day! It’s time, it’s time to slowly leave, nothing will change. They’ve been trained well and know what they’re doing.”
Leaving behind big shoes and a legacy to fill, his son Nick is stepping up to the plate.
“To operate something with my dad’s name on the building is truly an honor and difficult to put into words,” said Nick Brandell. “It’s one of the best things I’m blessed to do in my life.”
From open to close, father and son have worked side by side for over a decade, creating dishes and memories that will last a lifetime. Nick says there are some things he’s going to miss about working with his dad.
“His gripes and his complaints,” said Nick. “If there are lights out he’d say ‘are we going out of business? change the lightbulb!’ it’s the funny stuff that annoys you at the time but I’m going to miss it the most.”
Jimmie says he often looks back at his life, he realizes how thankful he is for his family, his business and his faith.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have this restaurant, have my family working here, I pinch myself every day seeing what I got,” said Jimmie. “I’m so greatful to God, my family and my friends. I’ll still be around, I’m not leaving Dayton, this is my home.”
Don’t worry, Ladder 11 isn’t leaving the Brandell family any time soon.