CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – A gas station and convenience store chain is eyeing the current site of a popular Miami Valley restaurant.

Sheetz has a contract to buy the Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant location on Far Hills Avenue in Centerville.

If the contract goes through, the Elsa’s South Restaurant and Cantina on Far Hills Avenue would close and be demolished to make way for Sheetz. The location has been home to Elsa’s for 41 years.

“We have some very long time employees. We have some very, very long time customers,” Jason Hemmert, whose family owns the Elsa’s chain of restaurants, said. “This place definitely has some sentimental value to, you know, all those people, and, you know, we we consider those employees and those customers like family.”

The major site plan submitted to the City of Centerville shows a more than 6,000-square-foot Sheetz gas station, convenience store and “Made-to-Order” restaurant on the corner of Far Hills Avenue and Fireside Drive.

The plan submitted to the city says, in part, quote:

“Sheetz is a family-owned business that has developed a business model of a made to order restaurant combined with a convenience store. The project will provide 30-35 full time employees with benefits. The store will be open 24/7.”

Hemmert said the Centerville location is in need of major repairs and would have needed to close for repairs even without the deal. They’re already looking for a new location in the same vicinity.

“We hope to find a new great spot, maybe just a little bit smaller and, you know, be able to move everything, shift everything right over,” Hemmert said.

Hemmert said the earliest the deal could go through is June. They will give plenty of notice of when the move will happen, but for now, the restaurant will remain open.

“Come on in, have a good time, you know, drink some Bad Juan margaritas and, you know, celebrate the place, celebrate the history,” Hemmert said.

Earlier this year, Sheetz announced it would open 20 locations in the Dayton area over the next five years, with the first expected to open in 2024.

Elsa’s has six locations in the Greater Dayton Area.