7 bar and gaming arcades to visit in Dayton

Published: Saturday, June 03, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 2:18 PM

Drinking tasty beverages while enjoying video and board games is no longer relegated to your dining room or your mom's basement. Dayton's fully on the arcade bar scene, and we've got where you need to go. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

While by now you’ve surely made the trip out to Scene 75 and had a mega(bit) of great time, maybe you’re looking for a more intimate gaming experience for your next outing.

Have no fear, our socially competitive friends, as we have a round up of the Dayton area’s gaming bars and arcades ready for you.

1.) D20: A Bar with Characters

The gamers’ paradise bar called “D20: A Bar with Characters” at 2144 E. Whipp Road in the Oak Creek Plaza will host a euchre tournament and beer event at 7 p.m. next Monday, Feb. 20. SUBMITTED(Staff Writer)

2144 E. Whipp Road, Dayton

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If you’re looking for a distraction-free zone to get your hard core board gaming on, then you need to head over to Kettering. D20 is a bar that offers an extensive beer selection and over 300 board games that prides itself on not having a single television in the entire place. The bar is even family-friendly during the daytime hours, serving coffee and tea and “mocktails” for kids. Popular titles include Twilight Imperium, Pandemic, Joking Hazard, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, League of Legends, Settlers of Catan, Fluxx, and the more throwback favorites such as Monopoly, Chutes & Ladders and CandyLand.

>> Kettering bar has 300 board games, craft beers and no TVs

2.) Bar 145/Reset

Bar 145/Reset Bar is poised to open fully to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in the Austin Landing development on Ohio 741 in Miami Twp. Its hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The bar will feature live music as well as vintage arcade games and electronic board games. Photos by MARK FISHER/STAFF

10259 Penny Lane, Miamisburg 

bar145austinlanding.com

 

At the tail end of last year, Bar 145 opened at Austin Landing offering a nice-sized menu. The restaurant is attached to Reset — a bar within a bar boasting a full slate of vintage arcade games including The Simpsons, Street Fighter, Frogger and Off Road and many others. It bills itself as gastropub specializing in “Burgers, Bands, and Bourbon.” For the most part, the food is just OK, but the sides are a lot of fun if you head there for happy hour and some gaming with friends. Fried cheese curds ($7.99), tempura green beans ($6.99), buffalo chicken dip ($8.99), white truffle french fries ($6.99) and bar nachos ($6.99, with shredded pork, spicy chicken or beef added for $3 more) are good options to split and share. For families, Bar 145 has some nice built-in entertainment options for restless kids who will enjoy the novelty of these old-school hits.

>> New Austin Landing pub to focus on vintage arcade games

3.) Hole In The Wall

423 E. Fifth St, Dayton  

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This Oregon District bar bills itself as Dayton’s “first barcade.”  

Hole in the Wall is the kind of dive bar where adults can go to find their inner child and a stiff drink that’s priced right. 

Fans of the Mario Brothers game will love the bar and the lighting. It’s a fun stop before or after dinner in the district if you are looking for something that’s colorful and different. If it’s packed with people (and you’re a little claustrophobic), steer clear. But if it’s early and it’s open, it’s a fun spot to schedule a stop.

>> RELATED: What to know about Downtown’s best bars

4.) Canal Street Arcade and Deli

Rob Strong stands in the former Canal Street Tavern space in November 2016.Strong will open Canal Street Arcade & Deli in the space in early 2017. MARK FISHER/STAFF(Staff Writer)

308 E. First St, Dayton 

Website 

 

The building that formerly housed Canal Street Tavern found new life over the summer when Canal Street Arcade and Deli opened.  

When owner Rob Strong closed his Fifth Street Wine and Deli early this year, I was sad to see his deli sandwiches go, but with the opening of Canal Street Arcade and Deli they are back and better than ever.  

Deli sandwiches served up hot come in three sizes — a small half-sandwich ($6.25), a medium full-sized sandwich ($8.25) and a large sandwich ($9.25). Wraps, subs, salads and pizzas, as well as build-your-own breakfast or grilled cheese sandwiches, are also available. This spot has quickly turned into a favorite destination to pick up a sandwich and hang-out on unprogrammed weekends. In addition to the games, this has one of the best jukeboxes in town.

>> 5 amazing sandwiches at Canal Street Arcade and Deli

>> Goodbye 5th Street Deli, hello Canal Street Arcade and Deli

5.) DK Effect

We take a look at some of the video games to be featured in DK Effect in Dayton's Huffman neighborhood.(Photo by Amelia Robinson)

1600 E. Third St, Dayton  

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This Huffman Historic District hot spot that opened over the summer features 40 beers on tap, a full bar and a slew of classic arcade hits. 

Sit at the bar and play or grab a drink and make your way to the vintage gaming titles around the room.  

This venue does not have a kitchen, but pizza delivers there and it’s right across the street from the inexpensive and very tasty Taqueria Mixteca (1609 E. Third St., Dayton). 

A margarita and tacos from Taqueria Mixteca on a recent visit to DK effect in Huffman Historic District. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen

Grab a large burrito for $6.49 and some of the best guacamole in town ($2.99) and head across the street for your margarita and some gaming. DK Effect has been doing some Tacos and Tequila events where you can purchase Taqueria tacos there and order one of seven specialty margaritas.  

Owner Tony Clark has plans to open a spot next door that will serve food, but with that happening some time away, some Taqueria Mixteca will hit the spot for now.

>> PHOTOS: See the stunning transformation of DK Effect

6.) Proto BuildBar

This LED blinking heart is a project you can easily make on a first date at Proto Build Bar in Dayton. (TABATHA WHARTON/STAFF)

While not your typical arcade, Proto is the world’s first BuildBar, a creative experience center featuring hands-on technology experimentation with 3D printing, electronics kits, and micro-computing in a full service café environment. With a stocked bar for when you need something a little stronger than coffee, Proto houses the World’s Largest Claw game and their homemade Edison vs Tesla arcade-style game with a shocking twist. If you’re looking for a more laid-back vibe, Proto is definitely your place.

>> MORE: You’ll be shocked to know what Dayton’s hottest first date spot is

7.) Cardboard Crowns

Dayton board game cafe Cardboard Crowns, wants to be the go-to spot for family and friends to gather around the table for some holiday gaming. Contributed photo

147 N. Springboro Pike, Dayton | Facebook 

The café’s concept is part of a national and local trend to combine gaming and drinks. 

The café will offer eight craft beers on tap and a selection of 30 to 40 bottled or canned craft beers, along with wines and a limited cocktail list, Adams has said. The food menu features sandwiches, snacks and lighter fare.

The board games list is extensive. The selections ranges from lighter games to more involved, strategic games.

Know of a spot we missed? Send us a note at contact@dayton.com!

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Have you been to the ‘Best Dive Bar’ in Dayton yet? Here’s why you’ll love it

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

We take you inside Mack’s Tavern, a Dayton.com Best of Dayton winner. Video by Amelia Robinson.

MacKenzie Manley has no problem with hip, modern bars, but that’s not her speed. 

“They’re all bright and shiny and new school,” she said. “I wanted the bar you can’t find anywhere.” 

>> PHOTOS: Where you spotted at the 2018 Bloody Mary Showdown?

In Mack’s Tavern, Manley says she has built a place where a person can pony up to the bar, order a drink and make new friends. 

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

“Everybody calls it home,” Manley said of the pub at 381 Miamisburg Centerville Road in Washington Twp., Montgomery County. “It’s been a hell of a ride. I love it.” 

Described as a “a laid-back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food,” Mack’s recently celebrated its third anniversary

The adoration for Manley and Mack’s shined through in the results of Dayton.com’s Best of Dayton contest. 

>> Who were Dayton.com’s Best of Dayton Food & Dining winners?

The 5,000-square-foot tavern known for its pizzas, in-house ginger beer and award-winning Bloody Marys grabbed five first place awards in the Dayton.com Best of Dayton contest: Best Bar BathroomBest Bartender (Holly Henry), Best Dive BarBest Karaoke and Best Trivia

The bar that gets it name from Manley’s nickname, “Mack,” scored second place in Best Place to Play Pool and Best Place to Watch the Game

>> Dayton.com Best of 2017 Winners: Bars & Nightlife

Manley said she was particularly proud of victories in the sought-after Best Dive Bar and Best Bar Bathroom

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom. Manley stand in the lady's restroom in this photo.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Mack’s bathroom is an oasis of femininity with its pink paint, bedazzled soap and towel dispensers and butterfly ceiling. 

“Glitter makes everything better,” Manley said. 

Manley’s decorations haven’t survived as well in the Second Amendment-themed men’s room, but that clearly doesn’t bother Mack’s regular Johnny Sullivan, who uses a wheelchair. 

>> New bar ‘Old Mason Jar’ coming to Fairborn

He said Manley went the extra mile to make the bar and its bathroom “Johnny-friendly.” 

“It is a good place to hang out and have fun, play darts and pool,” Sullivan said of Macks. 

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2013. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom. Manley (center) is pictured with bartender Andrea Russ and bar regulars Paul Erickson and Johnny Sullivan (front).(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

THE ATMOSPHERE

“Dive bar” doesn’t exactly describe Mack’s entirely, and it is clear that Manley and her staff put blood, sweat and tears into transforming the space that previously held L2 Marketing Research into a bar with such a loyal following. 

Mack’s is larger than it looks on the outside. There is a wall of TVs above the bar, a three-table pool room, foosball, about four dart boards and a front patio. The wall is filled with vintage bar signs. 

Manley wants to add a back patio as well. 

Some of the bar’s decorations are from Newtown Party Center, the carryout once owned by Manley’s parents, Bill and Kaye Manley, at Little Richmond and Union roads in Trotwood. 

Among the treasures is a can’t miss 7-Up sign. Her grandmother’s old dresser now serves as a popcorn machine table. 

THE FOOD

Speaking of food, Mack’s menu is far from typical bar food. 

Pizza specials are part of Mack's Tavern's third year anniversary party.(Photo: Mack's Tavern)

The menu includes Chewie Boar Bombs (pork short rib lollipops), a Mack and Cheese Pita Pizza, the Cheesy Roethlis Burger PizzaBianco PizzaSmurf-tastic Shrooms and Not Your Grandma’s Bread (toasted buttery naan bread smothered in special cheese, spice and sour cream).

Paul Erickson, a Mack’s regular and once-a-week cook, said the bar has great atmosphere, bartenders and regulars. 

Manley pointed out that bartender Andrea Russ, for instance, went above and beyond to help her stain Mack’s wood. 

“It is just a good neighborhood bar like Cheers,” Erickson said.

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

  

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom. In this photo, Manley shows an image of what the space looked like before it was renovated for the bar.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2013. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom. Mack's bathroom is pictured here.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

MacKenzie Manley opened Mack's Tavern in 2015. The pub is described as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.” It won first place in five Best of Dayton categories including, Best dive bar, best bartender and best bathroom.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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Dayton’s ‘Best Dive Bar’ is having some insane food and drink specials this week 

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Tina Hightower was one of the performers at the Dayton.com Best of 2017 party.

Why celebrate your birthday one day when there seven days in a week?

>> One of Dayton's most popular drag queens opens up about overcoming addiction

Mack’s Tavern, one of the biggest winners in Dayton.com’s 2017 Best of Dayton poll, celebrated its third birthday on Tuesday -- but it’s partying all week long. 

>> PHOTOS: Dayton.com’s 2017 ‘Best of Dayton’ party

>> Why our readers say this sports bar is the ‘Best of Dayton’ 

>> As Jeopardy contestants bomb “Dayton” question, Alex Trebek says a prayer

The bar, located at 381 Miamisburg Centerville Road in Centerville, is posting specials to its Facebook page all week long to keep the fun going.  

Pizza specials are part of Mack's Tavern's third year anniversary party.(Photo: Mack's Tavern)

>> 3 ‘hidden gem’ restaurants near Dayton you should try

SPECIALS TO LOOK FORWARD TO: 

Thursday, Feb. 8: $2.50 Miller Light and Bud Light pounders (16 ounce aluminum bottles); $3 cherry and grape bombs; $7 one-topping medium pizzas.  

Friday, Feb. 9:  99-cent domestic beers; $7 one-topping medium pizzas; $10 large one-topping pizza; $3 lemon drops and carmel apple shots. 

Saturday, Feb. 10:  $3.50 domestic pitchers; $7 one-topping medium pizzas; $10 large one-topping pizza; $3 cherry and grape bombs and Fire Bomb shots. 

When we say Mack’s Tavern won big in Best of Dayton, we are not kidding. 

>> PHOTOS: Where you spotted at the 2018 Bloody Mary Showdown?

Owned by MacKenzie Manley, the pub describes itself as “a laid back neighborhood bar with amazingly good food.”

Manley said she is thrilled by the bar’s success. The bar strives to make each customer feels welcome. 

“Come as a stranger, leave as a friend. It is that down home, old-school feel you can’t find anywhere,” she said. “It’s been an amazing ride. It really has been.”  

>> New bar ‘Old Mason Jar’ coming to Fairborn

Mack's Tavern is celebrating its third anniversary.(Photo: Mack's Tavern)

It was voted Best of Dayton in the following categories: 

First place: Best Bar Bathroom 

First place: Best Bartender (Holly Henry) 

First place: Best Dive Bar 

First place: Best Karaoke 

First place: Best Trivia

Second Place: Best Place to Play Pool 

Second Place: Best Place to Watch the Game

Want more? Find out about other Best of Dayton winners here:

>>Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Food & Dining 

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Bars & Nightclubs 

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Outdoors, Lifestyle & Recreation 

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Culture, Music & Entertainment 

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Shopping & Services

Want to go?

WHAT: Mack’s Tavern 

WHERE: 381 Miamisburg Centerville Rd., Washington Twp. 

INFO: 937-813-7217 | mackstavern.comFacebook 

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Love pinball? Then you should probably join this local league

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Canal Street Arcade and Deli is starting a co-ed pinball league in Dayton. PHOTO / Canal Street Arcade and Deli Facebook
Canal Street Arcade and Deli is starting a co-ed pinball league in Dayton. PHOTO / Canal Street Arcade and Deli Facebook

If you’re obsessed with pinball, here’s something to keep you busy this winter. 

>> One of Dayton’s most popular drag queens opens up about overcoming addiction 

Canal Pinball League kicks off on Monday, Feb. 12 at Canal Street Arcade and Deli, 308 E. 1st St., Dayton. 

 >> As Jeopardy contestants bomb “Dayton” question, Alex Trebek says a prayer

The Co-ed Winter Pinball League is, quite simply, “for those who enjoy pinball.” You can join individually -- no teammates required. 

The league will meet on the following dates: Feb. 12, Feb. 19, Feb. 26 and March 19.

>> 3 ‘hidden gem’ restaurants near Dayton you should try

The fee is $30, and includes quarters, a t-shirt, weekly prizes, overall league winner prizes and admin fees.

To register, email canalpinball@gmail.com. More information is on the Facebook event page.

>> New bar ‘Old Mason Jar’ coming to Fairborn

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Want to own a piece of the iconic Gilly’s? You can -- here’s how.

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

This vintage  SUNN Magna 2480 eight channel mixer w/ reverb is among the items being auctioned off at Gilly's Jazz in downtown Dayton.
Worley Auctioneers
This vintage SUNN Magna 2480 eight channel mixer w/ reverb is among the items being auctioned off at Gilly's Jazz in downtown Dayton.(Worley Auctioneers)

The contents inside an iconic Dayton business are being auctioned off.

Gilly’s Jazz, the iconic club at 132 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Dayton., closed at the end of  2017 following the Thanksgiving Day death of its legendary founder, Gerald “Jerry” Gillotti. 

>> Dayton reacts to death of Gilly’s owner Jerry Gillotti

A city worker on Monday was seen changing the locks of the space that housed the club since July 7, 1972.

Cincinnati-based Worley Auctioneers is handing the now open online-only auction.  

A preview will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Wednesday, Jan. 24.

The auction will close at 4 p.m. that day. 

Items must be removed between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 

Items up for grabs include a 1965 Fender Guitar amp and mid-century bar stools. 

“We love auctioning landmarks, and this is a neat one,”  William Hesch, the auction’s manager, told this news organization.

This Fender Guitar Amp is among the items being auctioned off from Gilly's Jazz.(Photo: Worley Auctioneers)

Hesch said he does not know what the fate will be for Gilly’s iconic front marquee or oversized sign. 

>> RELATED: 45 years of Gilly’s 

For more information, Hesch can be contacted at 513-444-6329  or william@worleyauctions.com. 

Bids for more than 139 items — signs; barware; brass rails and partitions; bar equipment; sound and lighting equipment; tables and chairs and art  — are being accepted online at Worleyauctioneers.com. 

The items are being auctioned on behalf of the Gillotti family. 

Items inside of Gilly's Jazz are being auction. The club operated 45 years on Jefferson St. It has an iconic mural and marquee. Photo: Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

The  family decided to close the club following Jerry Gillotti’s death at age 80 after a long illness.

>> PHOTOS: Jerry Gillotti through the years

The club had leased the space on a month-by-month bases for about a year. 

A jazz fanatic, Gillotti established a name for his beloved club in the music industry. 

>> 5 things to know about Gilly’s Jazz, a Dayton legend for live music

Performers booked at Gilly’s through the years include a host of local groups and a laundry list of national acts that include Tony Bennett, Diane SchuurBB King, Wynton Marsalis, Art BlakeyDexter GordonBill EvansGeorge Benson, Herbie Hancock, Count Basie and Bobby Blue Bland.

Gillotti was laid to rest Dec. 1 after a Mass of Christian burial at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

>> Dayton says goodbye to Mick Montgomery 

This stainless steel triple basin bar sink is among the items being auctioned off at Gilly's Jazz in downtown Dayton.(Photo: Worley Auctioneers)

This mid-century barstool is among the items being auctioned off at Gilly's Jazz.(Photo: Worley Auctioneers)

This framed print, "Art Kane Jazz Portrait Harlem 1958," is among the items being auctioned by Gilly's Jazz in downtown Dayton.(Photo: Worley Auctioneers)

This framed print is among the items being auctioned off from Gilly's Jazz in downtown Dayton.(Photo: Worley Auctioneers)

Items inside of Gilly's Jazz are being auction. The club operated 45 years on Jefferson St. It has an iconic mural and marquee. Photo: Amelia Robinson(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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