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Published: Friday, July 07, 2017 @ 11:38 AM
— Jerry Gillotti has seen a lot over the last 45 years as the owner and operator of Gilly’s Jazz in Dayton. However, after suffering injuries from a beating during a robbery last year, he told us he may have to say goodbye.
Gillotti — who recently turned 80 — says his physical rehabilitation hasn’t progressed as quickly as he expected, and that’s kept him away from his beloved music nightspot.
That has the 2013 Dayton Walk of Fame inductee looking at all his options.
“I’ve had a couple of people interested, so I might sell or close the place if the rehab doesn’t work,” Gillotti said.
Jerry’s brother Tom Gillotti has been overseeing the day-to-day operations at Gilly’s in his absence, and the duo had hoped to commemorate 45 years — 40 of them being at 132 S. Jefferson St. — with a special show. Unfortunately, scheduling issues led to Jerry’s decision to recognize the milestone throughout July with the existing schedule instead.
“Traveling in the summer is tough because of all the festivals — unless we get someone real special,” he explained.
But Gillotti looks back fondly on coming up in an age when big band and blues music ruled the world, and he never thought it would turn into a business known far and wide for drawing internationally-renowned artists to Dayton.
“I never dreamed I could get that far,” Gillotti said. “I just thought if you had good sound, good lights and good drink, you could do something.”
Through the years, Gillotti has brought some of the biggest names in music, including Tony Bennett, BB King, Wynton Marsalis, Pieces of a Dream, Kim Walters, Allan Holdsworth, Marion Meadows, Walter Beasley, Stan Getz, Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton and Alex Bugnon to the area.
“When we started, nobody was doing it. (Eventually) people were coming from Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh and Detroit,” he said.
While remembering some of the acts to grace Gilly’s stage, Gillotti related the story of big band legend Woody Herman who, despite dealing with agonizing pain from a 1977 car accident and needing to be helped on stage, chose to continue performing one night in Dayton. It may have struck close to home for the local legend himself.
Published: Thursday, August 10, 2017 @ 11:09 AM
— Dayton’s venue that has morphed to become all things to all people is expanding its schedule. The Yellow Cab Building, which hosts various music, art, food and beer events, announced a new expanded weekly schedule this month.
Starting Aug. 17, Yellow Cab will be open Thursdays through Sundays. Currently, the schedule varies based on special events.
“We’ve loved getting to know so many people through hosting all of the great local events that have called Yellow Cab home,” Tara Moore, co-owner of the Yellow Cab, said in a press release.
Recent developments involving the venue’s capacity to sell alcohol prompted the decision, according to Moore.
“Now with our full liquor license, we’re excited to become a neighborhood tavern for all of our friends.”
Yellow Cab still plans to hold special events throughout the week as they are scheduled. In addition to the new hours, the owners also announced they will be a hub for Dayton Premiere League soccer fans.
“If the Premier League is on, The Yellow Cab will be open. It’s basically getting an excuse to watch a ton of soccer this season with no guilt,” Mark Jeffers, co-owner of the Yellow Cab, said. “After all, it'll be my job.”
You can learn more about the new schedule and related festivities here.
The expanded schedule breakdown:
Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— 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.”
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.
“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.
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 Bathroom, Best Bartender (Holly Henry), Best Dive Bar, Best 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.
Manley said she was particularly proud of victories in the sought-after Best Dive Bar and Best Bar Bathroom.
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.
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.
“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.
Speaking of food, Mack’s menu is far from typical bar food.
The menu includes Chewie Boar Bombs (pork short rib lollipops), a Mack and Cheese Pita Pizza, the Cheesy Roethlis Burger Pizza, Bianco Pizza, Smurf-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.
Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— Why celebrate your birthday one day when there seven days in a week?
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
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.
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.
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.”
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:
Want to go?
WHAT: Mack’s Tavern
WHERE: 381 Miamisburg Centerville Rd., Washington Twp.
Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— If you’re obsessed with pinball, here’s something to keep you busy this winter.
Canal Pinball League kicks off on Monday, Feb. 12 at Canal Street Arcade and Deli, 308 E. 1st St., Dayton.
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.
The fee is $30, and includes quarters, a t-shirt, weekly prizes, overall league winner prizes and admin fees.