Downtown bar closing, blames meter maids, city 

Published: Wednesday, June 07, 2017 @ 9:18 AM

Riff Raff on Canal closing. Owner said he battled city.

A downtown bar is closing for good and the owner blames meter maids, parking limitations, city officials and other factors in a lengthy Facebook post.   

Riff Raff Tavern on Canal, 130 N. Patterson, will shut down Sunday, according to that Facebook post. 

In a statement, city officials said they were sorry to learn Riff Raff would close, and that they had tried to work with owners to resolve issues. 

READ THE COMPLETE FACEBOOK POST AND RESPONSE FROM THE CITY BELOW

Mike and Bev Schmidt opened their blues bar in 2013. 

>> MORE: Riff Raff Tavern starts Blues & BBQ

Remodeling a formerly vacant structure in 2013, Riff Raff Tavern has been a home to local blues and soul music.(Contributed)

In a phone interview, Mike Schmidt said he felt like an outcast that did not fit the plan for downtown from nearly the moment he purchased his building in 2010. 

“From day one, it was nothing but ‘no, no, no, no,’” Schmidt said. “I am nobody, and that’s the way I’ve been treated from day one. I am not throwing good money after bad.” 

>> The best places to see live local music in Dayton

He said he has no interest in putting a new business in the building constructed in 1849. 

“I will let this building fall down before I open anything in Dayton,” he said.  

Schmidt later noted that he may be willing to sell or lease it. He said his workers and patrons consistently battled with those going to the Fifth Third Field for Dragon’s baseball games and workers and parents at Dayton Early College Academy’s middle school. 

>> MORE: 3 brand spanking new places to live in downtown Dayton    

In its statement, the City of Dayton said parking meters “are available on a first-come basis” to the public. 

Officials said concessions were offered to Riff Raff, including allowing it to temporarily control the meters in front of its building for deliveries and temporarily blocking meters for events. 

“The City of Dayton recognizes the importance of small businesses in developing a strong local economy. We also are aware of the many challenges entrepreneurs face when starting a business. The City of Dayton remains committed to helping small businesses navigate the local business environment and provide ongoing assistance,” the statement says.

SEE THE COMPLETE FACEBOOK POST AND RESPONSE FROM THE CITY BELOW

Schmidt said the problem is worse in summer, and his customers would often complain about a lack of parking. 

He relied on customers who drive in from the suburbs. 

“My business is to attract people from out-of-town,” he said. “Dayton is not going to support anything.” 

>> Check out these awesome photos of the new Canal Street Arcade & Deli

Schmidt said he tried to run a good business.

“I’ve got the cleanest bar in Dayton and it is multicultural. I have any kind of band you can think of,”  he said. “I am hurt so bad by the way I was treated. I just wanted a place where our age people could come. There has never been a fight in here, never had the cops in here.”

Here is the unedited Facebook post (excerpts are below):   

“12 years ago before his death my Dad asked Me what i wanted to do. I dont know Dad, would like to open a Blues Bar, But man if it dont work, time, effort, money.... I just dont know.... Dad : your right you just dont know, and will never know if you dont. You afraid of failing ? You afarid of what the others might think ? The others who will say I knew it ? The way I see it If you dont then you will always wonder. If it fails then hey You took a chance and you will feel alright requardless of others. Thats what seperates Dreamers and workers from the others. and guess what , You can pick up the pieces and move on. And in the end you did more then 90% of humans who wish they would of. .....Dad, I just wanted a music venue were people could become Friends and relax in a home atmosphere...with no fear of trouble...... He is no longer here physicialy, his words just keep echoing in my head.......
What I am saying is that after a long battle with Everyone from Urban Development, zoning, Mayor, meter maid and everyone else in this city These elected officials, government workers who recieve pay checks from small buisness taxes will and will not do anything about the parking problem In front of the venues on Mick Montgromery way. With That said Riff Raff will close its Doors Sunday with Dallas Moore unplugged. 
After a consultant reviewed and discovery of Riff Raff s Future she gave me the cold hard facts. My buisness depends on people who are from out of town, there is no foot traffic or support from near bye residents. Secondly The City does not enforce the meter laws and will not do anything to disrupt the BaseBall operations, or even talk to them. Thirdly,With Condos going in, restraunts and speciality shops, the parking is only going to double in problems in the future. More or less she feels I would be better off being a grocery store. There is also the stigma of Dayton, Heroin Hub of the midwest, crime, and dangerous when leaving east or west from Riff Raff which keeps people from out of town away. 
I can sit here and trash the Downtown Dayton Partnership, who is paid tax dollars to help but that would just be out of my anger and will not solve anything, and frankly people who live on tax payers money and decide on issue that benifit them in their PC world of friends are as fake as the certificate that hang on their walls. They are the ones whos arms are long enough to pat themselves for their ideas not others.
Ive said enough and I want to Thank all the Customers and Bands who supported Riff Raff the last 5 years. To the Crews that travel from all over, Bob and Angie, Lisa & Jeff, To Carrol who brought a smile to everyone,The Crows and Pettifords, The Bands who stood by us and made it all worth while, Larry and Tony, White Rabbit, Ira, Southbound, Scotty Dan, Sean, Authorized Personnel, Dallas Moore, Termites, The Bands From Columbus, Pett-Crow, Deuce & Quarter..... High Impact , Mo Blues, Tony and Kevin ULE, Blues Society, John and Linda, and So Many more...... again thank you all......
Last but not least is Denny Thornhill his and Sharons tireless effort who got Riff Raff on the Right track and stood by and witness the nightly problems we encountered . No words can exspress mine and Bevs thankfulness. Thank You each and everyone for the memories. In closing I dont know if social media is good or bad when you write something because it doesnt show the tear drop stains on the paper when writting...”

Riff Raff Tavern on the Canal, 130 N. Patterson Blvd. in Dayton, is among the bars that serve Stillwrights Moonshine from Flat Rock Spirits Distillery in Fairborn. (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson) Patriots fan Ken-Yon “Party” Hardy and Cincinnati Bengals enthusiast Josh “The …

Here is an excerpt from the post, slightly edited for clarity: 

“What I am saying is that after a long battle with everyone from Urban Development, zoning, (the) mayor, meter maid(s) and everyone else in this city, these elected officials, government workers who receive paychecks from small business taxes will and will not do anything about the parking problem in front of the venues on Mick Montgomery Way. With That said, Riff Raff will close its doors Sunday with Dallas Moore Unplugged. 

After a consultant reviewed and discovery of Riff Raff’s future, she gave me the cold hard facts: my business depends on people who are from out of town; there is no foot traffic or support from nearby residents. Secondly the city does not enforce the meter laws and will not do anything to disrupt the baseball operations, or even talk to them.  

Thirdly, with condos going in, restaurants and speciality shops, the parking is only going to double in problems in the future. 

More or less she feels I would be better off being a grocery store. 

There is also the stigma of Dayton, “Heroin Hub of the midwest,” crime, and dangerous when leaving east or west from Riff Raff, which keeps people from out of town away. 

I can sit here and trash the Downtown Dayton Partnership, who is paid tax dollars to help, but that would just be out of my anger and will not solve anything, and frankly people who live on taxpayers’ money and decide on issue that benefit them in their PC world of friends are as fake as the certificate that hang on their walls. They are the ones whose arms are long enough to pat themselves for their ideas not others.”

Here’s the complete response from the city:

We were sorry to learn that Riff Raff Tavern made the hard decision to close its doors. 

 

Prior to that decision, the Dayton Police Department along with other City staff has been working to help find solutions for Riff Raff’s parking concerns. Businesses located in the Urban Business District are not required to provide parking. In addition, parking meters in the public right of way are available on a first-come basis. Despite this, the City offered a variety of concessions to help. Among them, included allowing Riff Raff Tavern to temporarily control the meters in front of its location for deliveries and temporarily block meters to have events. The City also allowed the tavern to utilize the street located directly behind for employee parking despite there being no parking allowed just outside of the tavern.

 

The City of Dayton recognizes the importance of small businesses in developing a strong local economy. We also are aware of the many challenges entrepreneurs face when starting a business. The City of Dayton remains committed to helping small businesses navigate the local business environment and provide ongoing assistance.

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The co-creator of ‘Jaws’ will be in the Oregon District tonight -- here’s how to see him

Published: Friday, July 28, 2017 @ 10:11 AM

Susan Backlinie of Forest Hill High was the first victim in ‘Jaws.’ (Universal)
Susan Backlinie of Forest Hill High was the first victim in ‘Jaws.’ (Universal)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the comedy club... big “Jaws” news sneaks up on you. 

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Comedian Carl Gottlieb, the co-screenwriter of Jaws, will be at Wiley’s Comedy Joint tonight, July 28 to do live commentary during a screening of that movie.

Admission is $10 for the 9:30 p.m. show. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Click here to purchase tickets in advance on Wiley’s website. 

>> Meet Dayton’s film commissioner

Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's 1974 novel of the same name, “Jaws” tells the story of a giant great white shark in love with killing people in the waters near a New England beach town.

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Gottlieb co-wrote the movie’s screenplay with Benchley. He also wrote the first two “Jaws” sequels and the classic “The Jerk” with Steve Martin

The legendary 1975 movie stars Roy ScheiderRichard DreyfussLorraine Gary and Robert Shaw as Quint. 

via GIPHY

One more Quint gif:

via GIPHY

Downtown bar makes ‘best of’ national list

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 10:44 AM

Some of the oldest bars in Dayton

The hits just keep coming for one of downtown Dayton’s favorite watering holes. 

For the fifth consecutive year, The Century Bar at 10 S. Jefferson St. has been named one of “America’s 80 Best Bourbon Bars” by The Bourbon Review’s website.
Here is how the Century is described:

No TV’s. No jukebox. Just 115 Bourbons and over 300 whiskies total to choose from while you listen to music from the 1930’s. The home of the former Kette & Sons Rye Whiskey Distillery, Century Bar also regularly holds blind tastings.

>> MORE: Daytonian of the Week: The Century’s Joseph Head

    The Century dates back to 1942 under that name and that location. The location’s history as a bar dates back even before then.

    >> What are the oldest bars in downtown Dayton?

    Steffen’s, a male-only “coffee shop,” opened three years after the Great Dayton Flood of 1913. 

    >> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: The Century earns yet another ‘Best Bourbon Bar’ ranking

    Century Bar's summer cocktail "Remember the Maine" made with Rye Whiskey, Cherry Liqueur, Bitters, Bulleit Rye and Sweet Vermouth. JIM WITMER/STAFF

    The continuing recognition from Bourbon Review is not the only national acclaim that has been heaped upon the Century. In February 2015, Men’s Journal magazine’s website declared The Century one of the “10 Best Bourbon Bars in America,” describing it as “a small bar with a huge bourbon list, The Century is as devoted to the whiskey as any other place in America.”

    >> Daytonian of the Week: Century Bar owner Diane Spitzig

    And in October 2014, The Century made a list of the 15 best bourbon bars in America assembled by travelandleisure.com.

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    One of your favorite Oregon District hangouts just got its liquor permit

    Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017 @ 3:35 PM

    Some Dayton-area venues for local music.

    One of the Oregon District’s most popular attractions now can sell alcohol from its new bar.

    The Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., recently received its full liquor license from the State of Ohio.

    >> MORE: Here’s where to see live music in Dayton  

    “It’s been a lot of work to get to this point,” Mark Jeffers, the tavern’s co-owner, said in a statement. “This place began with our non-profit arts group throwing some shows in an abandoned building. It was a hobby that has grown into something so much more. This next phase, as a fully licensed business, will allow us to do more of the events we love without all the constraints of temporary liquor licensing and insurance hassles. The vibe won’t change. There will just be more of it.”

    Yellow Cab recently made several improvements, including a new bar, sinks and coolers, and full men’s and women’s restrooms.

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    Local vendors set up shop with handmade wares to give and get for the holidays at the Old Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton. (TOM GILLIAM)

    The venue will sell alcohol at Friday’s food truck rally. 

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    The licenses allow the venue to provide “sale of intoxicating liquor on Sunday between the hours 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. and midnight” and  have “spirituous liquor for on premises consumption only, beer, wine and mixed beverages for on premises, or off premises in original sealed containers, until 2:30 a.m., according to the Ohio Department of Commerce’s website.

    The Dayton Circus began hosting events at “The Old Yellow Cab Building” six years ago. 

    Tons of  concerts, art shows, poetry slams, food truck rallies, artisan markets and more events have been held there since. 

    Local vendors set up shop with handmade wares to give and get for the holidays at the Old Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton. (TOM GILLIAM)
     

    Century Bar’s downtown speakeasy coming, owner says

    Published: Tuesday, July 04, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

    Century Bar in Dayton has once again made the Bourbon Review’s top list of Midwest bourbon bars. Photo source: Facebook.
    Century Bar in Dayton has once again made the Bourbon Review’s top list of Midwest bourbon bars. Photo source: Facebook.

    Work continues on the The Century Bar’s much-anticipated speakeasy. 

    Joseph Head, the bar’s co-owner, said the wait for Kette's Kandies Spirited Treats will be over sooner than we know it. 

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    He anticipates that the Prohibition-era speakeasy-themed cocktail bar will open to the public in late fall

    Saturday, Dec. 5 marked the 82nd anniversary of the end of Prohibition. Accordingly, The Century Bar celebrated in style, with a festive Prohibition-themed cocktail menu. Plus, members of its Century Club and those who saw the password on its Facebook page, were granted a special, one-night glimpse of its upcoming speakeasy next door. (ANDREW SMITH/STAFF)

    When completed, Kette's will operate in a 2,000-square-foot space behind the Century, 10 S. Jefferson St. It will be about 600 square feet larger than that Century

    Plans for the speakeasy were announced in late 2015. Construction began in spring of 2016. 

    The Century Bar is expected to open a a Prohibition-era speakeasy-themed cocktail bar. ANDREW SMITH / STAFF

    >> Construction to begin on Century Bar's new 'speakeasy' in downtown Dayton

    The businesses are located in the Fire Blocks District, being developed by The Ellway Group.

    >> What are the oldest bars in downtown Dayton?

    >> Funk Music Hall of Fame opening in downtown Dayton after long battle

    The Century Bar plans to open a Prohibition-era speakeasy-themed cocktail bar. STAFF