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Published: Thursday, May 11, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, July 07, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— Let’s suppose you’re new to the Dayton area and looking to catch some live local music. Or perhaps you’ve lived here all your life, but have been otherwise unaware of the existence of certain venues.
Here is a list of places to catch local music in the Dayton area. Shows, genres and times will vary, so call ahead or research lineups and times.
BLIND BOB’S BAR
430 E. Fifth St., Dayton
Bob’s, remodeled and reconceived from the old Nite Owl jazz and blues club, is a bar in Dayton’s Oregon District with a strong sense of community. Not only do local musicians perform and hang out here, but many are employees. So they take their venue seriously. Regionally touring bands make Bob’s a must on their itinerary. There’s a nice gated patio to cool off on between sets, and the kitchen cranks out great food.
>> BURGER GUIDE: Blind Bob’s has one of the best burgers around town
5418 Burkhardt Road, Riverside
Once known as McGuffy’s House of Draft, Oddbody’s took the old ownership’s model and ran it their way. Well-known national and regionally touring acts who are either on their way up of hanging on otherwise often headline with several local acts supporting the bill. Rock, metal, blues, funk, punk and other genres will be featured on the stage at any given time.
>> DAYTON MUSIC: Daytonian of the Week: Sharon Lane
ROCK STAR PRO ARENA
1106 E. Third St., Dayton
A relatively newer venue in Dayton is Rock Star Pro Arena, which has been very good at attracting major names over the last few years, while giving local acts a place to show what they can do. Located in an unassuming industrial part of town, it may not look like a place to rock out from the outside, but trust me on this. The venue is unique in that it also doubles as a local pro wrestling arena.
>> DAYTON MUSIC: 5 Dayton rock bands who have gone international
OSCAR’S BAR & GRILL
320 N. Dixie Drive, Vandalia
Another newcomer to the list is this quaint bar and grill in Vandalia. Management has put in a lot of time and effort over the last year or so to turn Oscar’s from a dive bar that once had no stage to a favored place to perform and see shows. The menu and beer selection are great and local musicians have nothing but rave reviews for the place.
>> RELATED: Dayton Musicians Co-Op has a new home
JIMMIE’S LADDER 11
936 Brown St., Dayton
Rebuilt from an old firehouse dating back to 1892, Jimmie’s welcomes bands of all genres. This club also has artist residencies from time to time, so if you see a group you really like on a Monday, you can see them all week if you wish. A good craft beer selection and solid menu add to the listening experience.
>> RELATED: The one must-try sandwich at Jimmie’s Ladder 11
104 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs
Peach’s Grill is a bit off the beaten path, but musicians seem to love playing there. Music fans seem to love going there as well. It helps that they are well known for their great food, too. It’s worth the drive to Yellow Springs.
>> RELATED: 5 things to do in Yellow Springs
2931 E. Third St., Dayton
For more than 40 years, Jazz Central has been just that to many music lovers. On any given night you could see a soloist on up to a big band performing. This is about as pure a jazz club as you’ll find anywhere. Their website is not always up to date, so it’s best to call ahead.
132 S. Jefferson St., Dayton
Also primarily known for giving jazz and blues acts a great stage over the years, Gilly’s has opened up its programming more to allow artists from different genres to perform in recent years. Owned and operated by the beloved Jerry Gillotti, the downtown Dayton club has been bringing some of the biggest names in music to town since 1972.
336 E. Fifth St., Dayton
This bar and restaurant has been operating in Dayton’s Oregon District since 1976 and shows no signs of slowing down. Every Friday and Saturday night you can find great local acts playing on the diminutive O.E. stage. Somehow, both the bands and the club make it work, so people keep coming out for the shows. While there, you HAVE to try the pizza.
YELLOW CAB TAVERN
700 E. Fourth St., Dayton
What once was an abandoned old cab garage has become one of Dayton’s best success stories. Years of hard work, sweat and fundraising have transformed this one-time eyesore into a venue that tries its best to be all things to everyone. As such, the music shows are a little more sporadic. So it’s best to check the venue’s website before heading out.
>> MORE: It’s food truck season at the Yellow Cab
ONE EYED JACK’S
2638 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn
Though you’d never know it from the street, One Eyed Jack’s is more than just a bar and restaurant. The venue has been host to live rock, dance bands and open mic nights in the past. However, they seem to be moving in a mostly jam band area these days.
530 E. Fifth St., Dayton
Another gem of the Oregon District, you can hear everything from rock to zydeco and everything in between at Trolley Stop. The patio is arguably the best in the Dayton area when the weather’s right and their food is the bomb.
>> MORE: The BEST patios in Dayton
W.O. WRIGHTS GRILL & PUB
3979 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Beavercreek
Local bands praise the large stage, concert lights and sound system of this sports bar, which has been operation since 1989. W.O. Wrights, located within the shadow of Wright State University, boasts a menu almost as big as its stage.
2529 Patterson Road, Kettering
Possibly the unlikeliest of spots on the list to host live music, Hank’s Pub is the current home of the nomadic Brown Street Breakdown Blues Jam. But the modest no-frills bar known for cheap drinks will seemingly host just about any show despite not having a stage. Metal, folk, country, jam and cover bands all have a place to play at Hank’s as long as they have a PA on a pole.
WINGS BAR & GRILLE
7902 N. Dixie Dr., Dayton
Founded in 1998, this sports bar doubles as a place to see live acts, both indoors and outdoors during the warm months. The outdoor stage is part of a 7500-square foot patio that is a shrine to relaxation. Indoors is more intimate, but with three full-service bars.
1221 E. Stroop Rd., Kettering
Some venues focus on original acts while others seem to prefer hiring cover bands. Katz Lounge in Kettering offers both, so it’s best to call ahead or go to their Facebook site when planning a night out for live music.
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.
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— 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.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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.
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 Schuur, BB King, Wynton Marsalis, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, George 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.