This little dive bar in Dayton has a FREE hot dog bar

Published: Thursday, June 29, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

We take a look at one of Dayton's favorite dive bars.

One characteristic of most dive bars is how light they are on frills. Shroyer Inn located at 1028 Shroyer Rd. where Dayton, Kettering and Oakwood all converge has but a few -- and that’s alright with the regular crowd who pack the place most weekends.

“If it’s not broke, I’m not going to fix it,” owner Butch Elder said.

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Aside from a jukebox, some dart boards and a pool table, Shroyer Inn -- affectionately nicknamed “The Shroyer” -- is a bar that knows what it is and doesn’t attempt to be what it is not. So how does a bar with absolutely zero web presence, no karaoke and no trivia night become a finalist for the Best of Dayton 2016? Word of mouth and little else.

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Originally named the Shroyer Inn when it opened 65 years ago, the bar changed hands -- and names-- two times before Elder purchased the place at the turn of the century, restoring the original name. A chance meeting with an acquaintance who knew he was in the market changed everything. 

“I was looking for a bar to buy. Basically, I just stumbled across it,” Elder said. 

Aside from a fresh coat of paint here and there, new carpet every few years and updated television screens, very little has changed in 18 years. But some big developments could be on the horizon for this Little Bar That Could. Elder says he wants to expand Shroyer Inn into the vacant space next door, and has discussed the possibility with the building’s owner. However, the two parties have yet to come to an agreement.

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APPEARANCE

From outside, Shroyer Inn doesn’t look like much. Stepping inside is like a blast from the past with tall cushy chairs that look they were new when Gerald Ford was in office. All that aside, the place is clean. In fact, you can find Elder cleaning it himself every morning before the bartenders come in. 

A nice, long L-shaped bar greats you as you settle into the low-lit atmosphere.

A bar so small you might miss it, but it's considered one of Dayton's best.(Jim Ingram)

BOOZE & FOOD

Despite not having a real kitchen, Shroyer Inn can heat up frozen pizzas, sandwiches, or a soft pretzel. But one of their best attractions is the free hot dog bar every Sunday. That’s right -- FREE.

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But, if you’ll pardon the expression, Shroyer Inn’s bread and butter is its reputation for cheap beers.

“I’ve got $2 22-ounce drafts. That’s what brings them in,” Elder said.

You might think this is a bad business model, but Elder -- who used tend bar, but now leaves it up to his employees -- says the bar has shown an increased profit every year since he took over.

“I did my time in the first 10 years. I was here 24-7. Then I got it running efficiently. (I have) good employees. It’s been great.”

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ATMOSPHERE 

Shroyer Inn has a built-in crowd of regulars who are always friendly to newcomers. It’s a nice mix of age groups from the twenty-somethings on up. Elder said he worked hard to clear out any problem regulars when he took over and has seen few issues since. 

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As previously mentioned, the lighting is dimmed, but not to the point where you can’t see what’s going on. It’s more comforting than anything else.

When Ohio’s smoking ban went into effect, Elder had a patio built behind the building to accommodate smokers or people who just want to enjoy a drink outside.

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A view of the patio at Shroyer Inn.(Jim Ingram)

PRICES

“The beers are super cheap, like stupid cheap!” one recent Yelp review reads. That’s not a lie and might explain why Shroyer Inn manages to maintain a younger crowd despite the lack of trivia or karaoke. 

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STAFF

Next to the cheap beer, this is probably the establishment’s greatest asset. The bartenders treat rookies like regulars and the regulars like royalty. The staff clearly enjoys working for Elder since all of them have been at the Shroyer Inn 10 years or more.

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“I love the Shroyer Inn. The bartenders there are like family,” regular patron Patrick Berry said. “I know Butch doesn't care for the term 'dive bar', but I love dive bars and the Shroyer has been my favorite for years.”

EXTRA

Whether the Shroyer Inn gets to expand or not, Elder says he has no intention of selling the business anytime soon.

“I’ve got to be here a little while yet. At least I want to be,” he said.

>> Century Bar named 1 of best 8 whiskey bars in U.S.

The Shroyer Inn may not have many frills, but it has plenty of loyal patrons.(Jim Ingram)

THE VERDICT

Despite its small size, this bar is made mighty with its impeccable staff and cheap prices. It’s perfect for getting out of the house for a couple hours for a game of pool and a couple drinks. The place does get packed out on most Friday and Saturday nights, so you may want to get there earlier on those nights. 

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Overall, it’s easy to see why so many people call the Shroyer Inn the best bar of its kind in Dayton. 

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6 bar and gaming arcades to visit in Dayton

Published: Saturday, June 03, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 4:32 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.

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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, DaytonFacebook

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 | Website

 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.

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3.) Hole In The Wall

Hole In The Wall touts itself as "Dayton Ohio's first Bar Arcade." (photo source: Facebook)

423 E. Fifth St, Dayton Facebook

This Oregon District bar bills itself as "Dayton Ohio's first Bar Arcade."

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, DaytonWebsite  

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

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, DaytonFacebook

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). 

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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.

>> Best of Dayton 2017 winners: Bars & Nightlife

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

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5 area bars that know their Scotch whisky

Published: Friday, July 24, 2015 @ 10:07 AM
Updated: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 10:08 AM

Dayton.com reporter Vivienne Machi stopped by a couple of Dayton restaurants and bars to get a Scotch whisky lesson for National Scotch Day. Beavercreek bar King's Table and their bartender Joshua Hawker graciously obliged.

There are conveniently many bars and restaurants in the Miami Valley that have a variety of Scotches behind the bar, but we sought out the places that really know their whisky . They’re spread out, allowing you to enjoy your Scotch no matter where you live.

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Century Bar co-owner Joseph Head with the Summer Cocktail "Remember the Maine," made with Rye Whiskey, Cherry Liqueur, Bitters, Bulleit Rye and Sweet Vermouth. JIM WITMER/STAFF

Ollie’s Place

518-520 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Centerville. (937) 723-8998. olliesplacedayton.com

Ollie’s Place is known for the two “b” beverages — beer and bourbon — but the month-old Washington Twp. craft beer room and eatery also boasts over 45 Scotches on its spirit list, ranging in price from $5 for a two-ounce glass of Ballantines, to $50 to sip on some Johnnie Walker Blue. If you’re not ready to take on a neat Scotch though, ease into the flavor with their signature cocktail, “May The Schwartz Be With You,” an original created by owner Mike Schwartz created with Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch with a sample pour of Great Divide’s Yeti Stout on the side. Let your server explain the drink, but it’s well worth it!
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Jameson whiskey defines the style for many American drinkers. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.(For The Washington Post)

The Dublin Pub

300 Wayne Ave. (937) 224-7822. dubpub.com

Though Jameson may be first on our minds when we head to the Dub Pub, Scotch drinkers have at least 30 options to choose from. True connoisseurs will appreciate the Macallan 25 year on the list, but there’s something for every level of knowledge and enjoyment.

Coincidentally, this month the Dublin Pub’s hosts a cigar event paired with Scotch whisky: stop by on July 28 for four courses of delish food specially paired with Glenmorangie Scotches and Altadis cigars.
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Bottles of whisky on display in the Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection, the world's largest collection of Scottish Whisky on display at The Scotch Whisky Experience on March 19, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Pub at The Greene

39 Greene Blvd., Beavercreek. (937) 320-1199. experiencethepub.com

The Pub is already your go-to spot for all things UK, so it makes sense that you’d gravitate toward it for scotch as well. The Pub serves 19 types of single-malt Scotch alone, and selections from each of the Scotch producing areas. For the newbies, they offer a sampler of three 1-oz. pours of any Scotches under 13 years for $16.

A special treat for the Scotch and water lovers: order a Speyside-based whisky like Balvenie, Macallan or Glenfiddich, and get it served with water from the Speyside region. You don’t even have to buy a plane ticket to have a near authentic experience.

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(Gabi Porter)

King’s Table

2348 Grange Hall Road, Beavercreek. (937) 431-1700. kingstable.co

You know what goes great with King’s Table’s tots? Well, actually probably not a glass of Scotch, but maybe after the tots. The Beavercreek tavern is known for its pool tables, beer menu and yes, those glorious tots, and their full whisky menu is often ignored. Choose from 33 different Scotches starting at $5 for Dewar’s, Famous Grouse, or Johnnie Walker Red. Your eyes might pop a bit as you scan the menu: Why yes, that is a $500 glass of Macallan “M,” a single malt containing whisky from seven different casks, the oldest distilled in 1940. CNN Money called it “the most world’s expensive whisky.” Now, that’s a glass of Scotch.

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

Century Bar

1o S. Jefferson St. (937) 223-3382. centurybourbon.com 

The Century Bar is nationally recognized for its extensive bourbon menu, but they know how to pour a good Scotch as well. Order a Godfather — Scotch with amaretto — and you won’t be sorry.

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Dayton Beer Company is celebrating 6 years with grand opening of outdoor biergarten and stage

Published: Wednesday, May 09, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

Dayton Beer Company held its fifth anniversary bash on Saturday, May 20 in downtown Dayton. PHOTO / Tom Gilliam
Tom Gilliam
Dayton Beer Company held its fifth anniversary bash on Saturday, May 20 in downtown Dayton. PHOTO / Tom Gilliam(Tom Gilliam)

Dayton Beer Company celebrates its 6th year in business this weekend.

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Dayton Beer Company held its fifth anniversary bash on Saturday, May 20 in downtown Dayton. PHOTO / Tom Gilliam(Tom Gilliam)

The anniversary also serves as the official grand opening of the company’s outdoor biergarten stage and bar. This summer the stage will regularly feature live music.

>> Dayton Beer Company closes original taproom in Kettering (2017)

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Live bands scheduled to perform on DBC’s outdoor stage include Nothing But Treble (playing 1-5 p.m.) and Seventh Street (playing 7 to 10 p.m.).

>> 12 must-try Dayton beers

Dayton Beer Company held its fifth anniversary bash on Saturday, May 20 in downtown Dayton. PHOTO / Tom Gilliam(Tom Gilliam)

The event will feature beer releases, raffles, games, and according to their Facebook page — surprises.

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Beer Co.’s 5th anniversary party

Some of the brews being tapped for the party including Deep Sea Diving Sea Salt Stout Barrel Aged in OYO Wheat Whiskey barrels with Peanut Butter. JB Imperial Peanut Butter Cream Stout Barrel Aged in OYO Wheat Whiskey barrels, Hidden Paradise Tart Passion-Fruit Wheat, Hidden Paradise Blackberry Wheat and Gem City Light Lager with Jalapenos. According to a post on the event page, the beers spent 3.5 months in 30-gallon barrels. 

>> Former Irish pub has transformed into a new restaurant location 

Dayton Beer Company held its fifth anniversary bash on Saturday, May 20 in downtown Dayton. PHOTO / Tom Gilliam(Tom Gilliam)

>> Your guide to Dayton’s beer trail 

Want to go?

WHAT: Dayton Beer Co. 6th Anniversary

WHERE: 41 Madison St., Dayton

WHEN: Saturday, May 12 from 12 p.m. to midnight

INFO: Facebook

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Downtown beer house now serving cocktails on tap

Published: Thursday, May 10, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

The Barrel House  in downtown Dayton is now spotlight a cocktail as part of its menu.
Barrel House
The Barrel House in downtown Dayton is now spotlight a cocktail as part of its menu.(Barrel House)

The people who brought you Wu Tang Wednesday are now serving up cocktails on tap. 

The Barrel House, 417 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton, is now offering a specialty cocktail as part of its menu. 

>> Meet the duo whose love for craft beer brought them to popular downtown beer bar

 Co-owner Sara Levin says a specialty premixed cocktail is now being sold on tap. 

The featured cocktail will rotate. 

The Spring Sting is now being featured. It includes lemonade, OYO Honey Vanilla Vodka and Orange Bitters. 

It is a baby step for the beer and wine carryout and bar, Levin said.

“None of us are bartenders, so this is an easy temporary option,”  she said. 

>> Meet the new owners of the Barrel House (December 2017)

 Levin and her partner Gus Stathes bought Barrel House in late November. 

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Sara Levin and Gus Stathes, owners of The Barrel House in downtown Dayton. SUBMITTED(Staff Writer)

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