This rookie brewery in Middletown medaled with Ponderous.
This rookie brewery in Middletown medaled with Ponderous.
Dayton Most Metro has EXCLUSIVE scoop on a free concert coming to the 2017 Garlic Fest Saturday evening, July 22nd.
A Prince Tribute band out of Chicago and Columbus, called “Prince Night” will perform hits from “Cream” to “Little Red Corvette,” and everything in between. There may even be a Sheila E. and Appolonia song or two.
Get ready to party like it’s “1999,” because the concert will go off “Purple Rain” or shine…
The band is set to hit the stage Saturday Night July 22nd at 7:30pm.
The concert is FREE and will take place at the
Sons of Italy Bella Villa Hall
on 2625 County Line Rd,
Beavercreek, OH 45430.
Many of you may know this site from September’s Italian Fall Festa, Dayton’s annual Italian Festival.
Folding chairs are welcome.
FYI no pets are allowed on premises due to insurance reasons.
Come out to the Garlic Festival for an unforgettable night of Food, Adult Drinks, Music, and more.
The Bocce Classic will also be underway, so you can watch one of the biggest Bocce Tournaments in the nation kick off.
Garlic Fest is part of a huge weekend at the Sons of Italy lodge. Here is a breakdown of the weekend’s festivities.
FRIDAY JULY 21st – 5pm-10pm
SONS OF ITALY FOOD TRUCK RALLY
-Food Truck Rally with 15 Trucks
-Beer Trucks & Wine
-Free Acoustic Band
-Beginner Bocce Ball Tournament called the “Bocce Bash” This is for charity and some local celebs will be on hand.
We need teams! Sign up here, but you must be a complete bocce beginner !
-10pm-11pm Food and Beer Vendors shut down
SATURDAY JULY 22nd – 11am-10pm
GARLIC FEST & PRINCE TRIBUTE CONCERT
-15 Local Restaurants & Food Vendors
-Beer Trucks & Wine
-Free Cooking Demos inside the Bella Villa Hall noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
-1pm-4pm Live Band “Blue Caboose”
-5pm Garlic Eating Contest
-6pm Bocce Classic Tournament Kickoff
-7:30pm Prince Tribute Band “Prince Night”
-10pm-11pm Food and Beer Vendors shut down
SUNDAY JULY 23rd 9am – ?
BOCCE CLASSIC BOCCE BALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
–Enter a team in the tournament click here
So “Let’s Go Crazy” on July 22nd when “doves are sure to cry..” Just “Take Me with U” and wear your “Rasberry Beret.”
It’s GARLIC FEST 2017, and we want your extra time and your …. “Kiss.”
Heated discussions have occurred among friends about what constitutes a dive bar. The issues of size, food served, the motivation for going, and even spirit selection has been part of the debate. One thing that came out over time was the bar’s location. It had to be part of a neighborhood or some other small community. That could make it a biker bar, a Bengals bar, or a bar that most of Belmont are seen in after the end of a shift. Certain areas of town just do not lend themselves well to having a dive bar. They are too busy. In the center of it all. A place to go for the whole city to party, not just the people who live in that area. Some bars, like the Time Out Cavern, require a little extra effort to go there. There is one that, if you are not paying attention, you will miss as you head down Wilmington Pike. And King’s Point Pub is not a place you want to miss.
King’s Point Pub (4660 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH 45440) is a well-hidden prize located in the nearly empty Wilmington Height’s Shopping Center. Unless you know it is back there, it may be difficult for you to find. Based on the times that we have been there, plenty of people are finding their way back to this incredible space. The patio that greets you is a fair size, with plenty of room to sit outside and enjoy warm summer nights. Possibly with a game of cornhole. Yes, the patio is really that big. If cornhole is not your game, head inside to the roomy interior for plenty of dart boards and a few pool tables. Summer dart leagues are just starting to get tossing and keep an ear out for the cornhole leagues to begin. They currently are playing some Luck of the Draw games on Sundays at 2 PM, where you put your name into the hat and hope you get a good partner. They have been known in the past to hold the cornhole games inside if there was bad weather. Yes, the interior of the bar is really that big. One their neighboring party supply store shut down, they purchased the space and added it to their pub. There are a few pool tables inside for good measure.
They have a healthy respect for the craft beer scene but are not going to deny a person a cold Coors Light if that is what they are after. They have eight taps ready and waiting for thirsty patrons, typically split between old favorites and the new brews in town. It is not a surprise to those in the know when they host a tap takeover by a brewery every now and then. If you prefer your beer out of a bottle or a can, they have a broad selection of those as well. Their liquor selection does not offer any incredibly rare or unusual. It does offer anything you could possibly want to drink while playing any one of a number of games there. While they do not have a cocktail menu to look over, most of the bartenders there have their own specials they offer to patrons. And if you get hungry from all that dart throwing and bean bag tossing, Troni Brothers Pizza is right next store and ready to help! They offer pizza (of course), wings, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. They will even deliver it to their neighbors! That is some service.
One of the many factors that make a dive bar popular is being an integrated part of their community. The people there know who is coming in and when, and what drink to have ready for them when they arrive. They give back to the people who keep their doors open in ways that go beyond just discounts on
drinks or a place to come when difficulties roll in. They support the causes that are important to the patrons. The staff gets to know the patrons, and the patrons get to know each other. King’s Point Pub is no different. They have a board of all the causes they have helped, including the Wounded Warrior Project (it is a bar that very much appreciates the military), being a top fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Awareness, and various other projects around the community. Speaking with patrons and employees alike, everyone is very friendly and helpful, willing to chat with strangers about this little home away from home. They also support national and local bands by hosting them at their venue (did I mention the place is large?), with acts like Mad Hatter and Full Frontal showing up to entertain.
Taking a few steps off the beaten path is worth it. That is where you find all of the most interesting things. King’s Point Pub offers a great atmosphere with delightful pizza and entertainment for everyone in the family. Whether you go to root on THE Ohio State Buckeye or try your luck at corn hole, this is a pub that is well worth the effort to get to know.
The University of Dayton is an amazing asset for the city. It is one of the best Catholic universities in the country, educating roughly 10,000 students in a variety of disciplines. Their development has helped the city, from their incredible law and entrepreneurship programs to their basketball program with has drawn national attention. The school is continuing to grow, taking an active role in the rebirth of the Arcade downtown and providing a solid foundation for growing businesses around campus. The number of events that occur at the university, from small gatherings in the library to hosting the First Four, are staggering. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say if you go to an event at the University of Dayton, Gretchen Kelly has had some hand in the drinks being poured there.
Gretchen has been working at the University of Dayton for years, starting in the dining halls and working her way up to a supervisor for all of their catering. But when she has the opportunity, she is back with the staff pouring drinks for thirsty guests. To work some of the events there, she has one accolade that few other bartenders in the city can claim; Secret Service clearance. Serving some of the patrons at Flyer games requires clearance by some of the top officers in the country. You may have seen her more recently at The Main Event, the huge gala was thrown by the Dayton Metro Library to provide a sneak peek at their beautiful new library. You may have even noticed her at an Art Ball or two, bartending with Kohler Catering. Her skills are in high demand at some of the top events in the area. They are also in demand at the Oregon Express, where you can find her on the odd night mixing cocktails, pulling beers, and enjoying the live bands that toll through that venue.
If you have not been on the receiving end of her bartending abilities, it is possible you have enjoyed one of her other passions: working with musicians. She has been booking bands for years at notable venues like the Canal Street and her home bar, Oregon Express. Her bartending adventures have taken her as far as Loveland, OH, where she ran the stick for a bar owned by the head cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals. She is still booking talent at the Express, even as she is transitioning to a new format for her radio show. The station and the show will be launching in June. Her one-hour show will focus on up-and-coming unsigned bands from around the world.
Gretchen has been a staple at the University of Dayton for years, and it looks like she will be one for many more. From small breakfast meetings to an UD Arena filled to capacity, she will be there taking care of her guests with a smile. Yet another amazing asset at UD.
After three years as a server at the Oregon Express, they trained me as a bartender. I had four different people train me.
A Chocolate Martini with the chocolate syrup swirled in the glass.
When it’s busy, anything with a blender!
Vodka, because you can mix it with anything.
Too many places to name!
Band members from LIVE and Collective Soul.
Work some of my other jobs. I have an internet radio show (Can I get more information on this new venture?)
It seems more people are drinking Tullamore D.E.W., an Irish whiskey.
I will love any trend that does not require a blender.
The best way to learn is from other experienced bartenders. Then you can develop your own style of drinks.
Tending bar at an event at the Boonshoft Museum and watching my friends slide down the slides while wearing evening gowns and tuxedos.
Too much technology at some places. It takes more time to ring up drinks on a system at times. Some of the pre-measuring takes away from the speed and unique techniques of a good bartender from making the perfect drink.
I had a guy at a wedding once say to me ” If I get too drunk you are driving me home.” I replied, ” Here is your Coke.”
Do NOT to try and get our attention by saying “Hey baby.”
Bartending for me is like breathing. I have to bartend.
Getting Brian Petro to talk about himself is like pulling teeth from a chicken. There have been many times that he has been working on a big project that not even his close friends knew about. He agreed to answer the questions for us, but flat out refused to write anything other than that. We bet we could make him regret that decision.
His bartending journey in Dayton started in 2002, when he was actually getting ready to move home. His first night behind the bar at Jokers Comedy Cafe was supposed to be a slow one; a Sunday night with a relatively little known comic. He was in the weeds before he knew it, and spent the entire evening digging his way out of it.
Yet he came back for the next shift. And the next one. And so on for the next decade. His inner geek took over; he had to learn everything he could about the spirits he was pouring, the way they were produced, the history of cocktails, and anything else he could get his hands on. Did you know that during the height of the gin craze in England, people would pay a dime to suck on the end of a gin-soaked rag? He does. He told us.
One thing led to another, and he started to write about cocktails, beers, and if he had to, wine, for Dayton Most Metro. He started to explore other aspects of the industry, interviewing people in the industry, writing about events, and generally continuing to stick his nose into every aspect of the cocktail culture he could. As he was writing, he was continuing to develop his craft at the Dayton Funny Bone and doing events on the side. He is still writing and exploring the Dayton bar scene, from the dive bars to emerging trends.
Being a restless sort, he left the Funny Bone to explore other opportunities. He has done event work, from large scale productions like Masquerage down to in-home cocktail parties and tastings. He worked for a while at Rue Dumaine, studying with some of the best culinary and bar talent in the city. There are rumors that cocktails classes are coming soon, but we will believe that when we seem them. While he is not bartending regularly anywhere at the moment, you can find him at events in the area like the Main Event, the Dayton Metro Library event for 1400+ people, see him periodically on Living Dayton, or read his work here and in the Alcohol Professor!
When the recession of 2002 hit, I found myself out of a job. I was planning on moving back to Cleveland, but a friend convinced me to stick it out here. I found a job, and a home, at Jokers Comedy Café. I started as a server and eventually worked my way behind the bar.
A classic Daiquiri or a Sidecar. Both are fantastic, classic cocktails.
I once made a chocolate martini with gin and winced pretty hard. Ordering an expensive bourbon or rum and drowning it with pop kills me a little every time. If that is the way you want to drink it, though, enjoy!
No, because I like to experiment. I would love to see brandy and rum make a return to cocktail menus. Both are incredible, flexible spirits. The fact that funkier rums, like what Stillwrights and Belle of Dayton have produced, are coming back into vogue make me happy. I would happily argue that rum is more American that bourbon.
Lately, I have been haunting Flanagan’s in an unhealthy manner. Mainly for the bartenders, atmosphere, and proximity to my home. The patio at the Trolley Stop calls my name more often than not, and they usually have an outstanding beer selection. I seem to end up in dive bars a lot, too.
Working in a comedy club exposed me to more famous people than average. Served a beverage to would be Dave Chappelle, though that is true for many others in the city. I have poured Jägermeister for Dave Attell, vodka and lemonade for Mitch Hedberg, and a weird variety of drinks for Bert Kreischer. I am going to say I worked with Chris Rock, too.
Read about cocktail history. Read about Amari, bitters, liquors, wines, and other odd bits in liquor history. Write about all of the above. Help plan private events in the Dayton area. I also teach and work on my social media ninja guru wizard skills.
The arrival of tiki into the mainstream. Bartenders need to have fun, and those cocktails are just fun to make and to order. Yes, there are ten ingredients in each one, three of them being rums, but they have some flair and some flavor. Lagers coming to craft beer is also a good one. Making some crazy flavored ale is not nearly the same challenge as making a consistently produced lager. You can hide a ton under big flavors. There is nowhere to hide with a lager.
Someone is going to do a big tequila or rum bar. There is just too much variety not to. There is going to be more and more in house bitters, shrubs, and syrups seen in bars. The craftier places have been experimenting with these for a long time, but I think we are going to see a bump as palates expand and Dayton becomes better known for craft cocktails.
Learn the basics. I know that making Manhattan after Manhattan can be boring, but that is where you nail down the craft. Everyone wants to make cocktails with complex flavors and have a make an impact on the scene, but your customers will remember you for that dynamite Martini you make. THEN you can start to play.
The support that the community gives to local establishments. More and more people are spending their dollars at local bars, breweries, and restaurants. Even out-of-towners are choosing to hit the local spots, because they compete on quality with any place you can find in Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati.
I was not behind the bar per se, but I was working the bar at the time. It was a busy night, and I was running drinks to a table to help out. As I was returning to the back of the house, I happened to look over and see the male comic, at some point, has stripped down to just a frog thong. I nearly ran into the wall.
People know more about everything, and demand that the staff knows it as well. Bartending lags a little behind the culinary world, mainly because it is not on television as much, but people want information. It used to be just people drinking wine asking where is was made, how it was made, and when it was made. Now we get that for tequila, whiskey, beer, even vodka.
My favorite one was someone complaining they could not taste the liquor in their Martini. It was not an appletini or espresso martini or anything fancy like that. It was the standard vodka martini. Not sure what they were expecting, but they were fine with the second one I gave them.
If you do not like the cocktail, beer, or wine that is in front of you, get something else. Everyone in the industry wants you to have a good experience at their establishment and forcing down something you think tastes like a boot soaked in cough syrup is not doing it. I would love to make you a different cocktail or grab you a different beer. As long as you are smiling when you leave, I am happy.
Something in the creative fields. I am doing some of that now, but I would be much more involved. I am writing a ton and doing some design, so it is on my radar. But I am too in love with the hospitality industry to completely leave it.
As the world keeps moving along, technology moves right with it. In the 1880’s, the first vending machines were released into the world. They were used to sell a wide variety of items, like postcards, candy, notepaper, drinks, and other small items. One of those items that were sold were cigarettes. As more and more were learned about cigarettes, the less and less you saw cigarette vending machines. They started to go the way of the phone booth and the metal-tipped dart board. All of them are items that started to disappear as the social need for them left as well. The ubiquity of cell phones turned phone booths into WiFi stations, and metal-tipped dart boards are dangerous! Cigarette vending machines disappeared as smoking also became more dangerous. You can still find one of these magical machines in very special places. Theo’s Lounge is one of those places.
Theo’s Lounge (7890 Paragon Rd., Dayton, OH 45459, (937) 813-8580) is not a place you would find if you were not looking for it. The only thing that indicates it exists as you drive down Paragon Road to 725 is a sign above the door. It sits in the shadows of the Paragon Club, and it thrives there. The minute you walk in you can tell it is a comfortable space, from the complete lack of windows to the music quietly playing the background. It is not an incredibly well-lit space or an incredibly large space, but that is part of the intimacy. That may also be why there is a wall of mirrors on the right, to make it look larger. They have a small patio out back as well, which is nice to enjoy on a summer night. Walking into the space, it is nothing but comfortable. Like slipping into an old sweater.
The televisions and conversation provide the entertainment here; there is not room for much else. Certainly not pool tables. In fact, on the lone sign out front states that conversation is one-half of what Theo’s offers. The other half is cocktails, which come with enough variety to satisfy any palate. Is there a menu you can peruse? No, there is not. Every bartender has their own specials, along with a few of the classics that they make. There are so many regulars that the staff “knows three-quarters of the time what they want.” And the cocktails we enjoyed had a healthy pour. The same holds true for the beer selection. The most exotic you can expect is a Sam Adams Boston Lager or a Guinness. The craft movements do not hold much sway here. The food selection is just as simple. The offer fresh-made, self-serve popcorn in the corner, but also offer chips and pretzels for a modest fee. They have pizza if you are looking for something a little more substantial, and tasty snack known as Hanky Panks. They are a combination of rye bread, spicy sausage, and cheese. According to the bartender at the time, they are a “hillbilly thing.” We took her word for it.
Let’s go back to the bar’s atmosphere. The comforting feel comes from many of the little details. Though dark, we could tell they really spent time taking care of the space. It was clean in there. The lack of outside light makes it easy to lose track of time. The dark wood, mirrored wall, and lowered shelves over the bar made it feel like we were walking into the
1970’s. And there could be a reason for that; Theo’s has been at this location, in various forms, since roughly that time frame. There is no opening a new dive bar; it has to be groomed into one after years of love and use. Like that old, comfortable sweater, it only gets that way through constant use. All the conversation was relaxed and casual, and they were set up for some big groups of regulars to come in. They take care of the people that come to their bar.
With the approach of summer, Theo’s is working on adding some events. There is a dart league being created, as well as a Ladies’ Night. The Kentucky Derby is a fancy affair there, with ladies coming in their finest hats and everyone enjoying some food and drink. They have their regulars, including the employees at many local restaurants. You know that if industry workers are going there, the place is low key and the drinks are good. Theo’s not only added events for the regulars, they added spirits. When I asked about a lone bottle of saki sitting on the shelf, the bartender told me there was a regular that requested it. So now they have it. It may be one of the few dive bars we have gone to that has saki!
We are used to things that move at breakneck speed. It is great to know that there are no-frills, no drama places like Theo’s Lounge where the world slows down while we are there, and there are plenty of friendly faces to spend that time with.
Theo’s Lounge is located at 7890 Paragon Rd., Dayton, OH 45459. You can contact them through their Facebook page or at (937) 813-8580. They are open Monday through Saturday, 3 PM to 2:30 AM and Sunday from 3 PM to 1:00 AM.
When you are bartending in a place like Lily’s Bistro, being curious is part of the job. They are constantly exploring what they can do with seasonal, fresh ingredients, meaning their menu is perpetually evolving. As their food menu changes, their cocktail, beer, and wine menus are always changing with it. Amber Brady, head bartender at Lily’s, has been handling that job for a long time and handling it well. She embraces the challenge of keeping up with all the working parts in the cocktail menu, from developing cocktails that pair well with food to navigating the complexities of Ohio liquor constraints.
Beyond her considerable talents, she has a personality that could light up a few city blocks. Her pride in the city she works in is almost a force in itself; she sees the wealth of culinary and bar talent Dayton possesses. The specials that Lily’s offers every evening are for a good reason. Emily and Amber use those to test concepts that, with a little bit of tweaking, could end up on a future menu. The well-curated cocktail, wine, and beer menus have something for every taste. If you love the classics, there are a few explorations of those cocktails. Those that want something more adventurous also have their Funky section to try out. And every new menu offers at least one gin, vodka, tequila, whiskey, and rum cocktail.
Amber also knows how hard it can be to keep up the creativity. She enlists the whole staff to come up with their own ideas for cocktails, or suggestions for beer and wine. They know that there is wisdom in crowds, and they use it to keep their menu lively. The other challenge to the creativity, one that all Ohio bars face, is the state removing liquors to sell. Ohio controls what can and cannot be sold commercially in the state, so some of the bitters and Amari that Amber loves can be lost if they are not robust sellers. She does not lament it, she just sees it as an another challenge. This encourages more experimentation but ultimately is it difficult when a spirit can no longer be sold in a state. While a fine rhubarb liqueur can be replicated, there are subtle nuances that would be lost from a century-old family recipe.
If you have not met this bartending bundle of energy, you need to head over to Lily’s Bistro and experience Amber for yourself. Not only is she one of the top bartenders in the Dayton community, she is a huge advocate for the city where she creates those cocktails. If love is a secret ingredient in a drink, her drinks are filled with them.
I started in the service industry in the kitchens and back of the house. I have worked in several bar and restaurants and had bar-backed some. I had also worked auxiliary bars during high volume events. While I was working at Blind Bobs, Lily’s was born, and I came on as a server from the beginning. This opportunity grew into me bartending full time and eventually becoming the bar manager. I had always wanted to go a bit beyond volume bartending, and more into the culinary side of the craft and learn more about obscure spirits.
What is your favorite drink to make?
I enjoy making most drinks! I have favorites of the moment, however, I just really enjoy finding a good balance, putting it in front of a guest, and getting an honest reaction, hopefully a good one!
Which drink makes you internally cringe?
I don’t think any specific drink does that. Possibly a mojito on a super busy night, when I’m low on mint. We call it the “Mojito Effect”: once one goes out, every guest wants one. However, it’s a great drink that I don’t mind making at all, as long as there is plenty of mint!!
Do you have a favorite spirit you like to work with?
I tried to narrow it down but I just couldn’t! I love bourbon and gin especially, but I absolutely love just about any Amaro you put in front of me. I love being challenged by a spirit that might not be that accessible to most people and I really appreciate the craft that is behind most Amari.
When you go out for a drink in Dayton, where is your favorite place to go?
We have so much bar talent in this city! I have a toddler, so I don’t get out much, but when I do I enjoy great cocktails at Coco’s, Wheat Penny, or Corner Kitchen, or a Porn or Pawn Pepper Ale at Toxic or a flight at Warped Wing. And of course, I love PBR’s on Bob’s patio!
Who is the most famous person you have served?
I made drinks for the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio. Sean Lennon was in Lily’s for lunch one day and I poured his girlfriend a lemonade. I’ve made Dave Chappelle a few mules.
What do you do when you are not bartending?
Spend time with my husband and son. I also go to school, work on a horror podcast and try to find time to play in bands! I’m a busy gal.
What are your favorite trends from the last year?
The resurgence of mezcal! Keep it coming!
Beverage wise, I think more rose, more sour beers, mezcal, and coffee cocktails! And I don’t mean Irish coffees, I mean coffee as a bitter component rather than the main ingredient!
What advice do you want to give bartenders just getting into the business?
Experiment. Keep an open mind. Find balance, speed, and consistency. Use jiggers. Learn as much as you can about everything behind your bar. Have fun with it!
What do you love most about Dayton?
We may be a smaller city, but we have a lot of heart. We find a way to reinvent and persevere and that’s inspiring.
Most interesting thing you have seen from behind the bar?
While I have definitely seen a lot of crazy stuff in this industry, each Hauntfest on 5th that I work brings a whole new set of interesting sights to see!
How has bartending changed in the time you have been in the industry?
I think that we think more of the bar industry than we once did. I think that in Dayton, Ohio, we are keeping up with the bigger cities and not just as bartenders, but as bar patrons. The bartending scene is constantly evolving. The business of booze is thriving. Here in Ohio, we have distilleries and breweries popping up everywhere. Social media has fueled the craft everything trend, including cocktails. As trends flow from bigger cities to smaller ones, we all grow. Our bar guests evolve as well. They are becoming more educated and open minded when it comes to their choices in beverages. I think that rules.
What do you wish customers knew that helped you do your job?
That a bar’s signature cocktail list is theirs, and we don’t all have the same drinks and ingredients. However, I will try my best to make something you’ll enjoy! Talk to us, we want you to enjoy your drink!
If you were not a bartender, what career would you be pursuing?
I am actually attending Sinclair Community College to hopefully one day become a Physical Therapist Assistant. However, it will be hard to get me out from behind the bar completely. I love what I do!
Lily’s Bistro Bar Hours are: Tuesday-Thursday, 5pm-10pm; Friday and Saturday, 5pm-11p. Visit Lily’s at 329 E 5th Street in the Oregon District
Hi there! My name is Tess, a new writer to the Dayton Most Metro Community. I live in Downtown Dayton with my husband Tim. I am a restaurant professional, bartender, home baker and cook, and a food and party planning blogger.
The calendar tells me that it’s spring. However, here in Ohio, “spring” could mean a myriad of things. It could mean rain, it could mean 80 degrees, it could even mean snow. When I was younger I used to spend spring break in Florida, we’d get home, pull into the driveway and see that our tulips had bloomed… and then died of frost. Unfortunately adulthood ensures that I never get to celebrate spring break, so I have to endure the seasons’ “awkward phase” where it doesn’t know what the hell it wants to do. But, I know what I want to do…I want to sit on a freakin’ patio and drink a freakin’ cocktail. So, until the weather makes up its mind and decides to be sunny and 70 degrees, I will just be over here wishing for spring and the delightful drinks that come with it. Here are my favorite things to sip on:
Rosé season is my favorite time of year. Seriously, I don’t care a single bit about Christmas or my birthday…all I care about is that the newest batches of rosé are being bottled and I get to drink them. But also, because I’m basic, I like a good wine spritzer. Spritzers are great drinks for warm weather (and compliment a hangover perfectly!) So combine these two delightful things and you’ve got yourself a rosé spritzer. True to form, I’ve gussied it up a bit:
6 oz. Dry Rosé (not white zinfandel, I’m serious…through that away immediately)
Squeeze of fresh lime
Serve over ice
The elderflower tonic adds nice bubbles, a little touch of sweetness and lovely floral note to your wine. Once rosé season really kicks off, I’ll be listing of my favorites for the year, but in the meantime I poured myself a glass of Italian rosé, known as Chiaretto.
I’m not a huge beer drinker, more often than not I’ll opt for a cocktail or a glass of wine, but if I’m out at a very casual restaurant enjoying “bar food,” beer is my drink of choice. I recently tried Rhinegeist’s Bubbles Cider at Trolley Stop and I have become obsessed. Highlighted with flavors of peach and cranberry, this cider drinks sweet, almost like a sangria. But it’s got a crisp tartness that I love. One sip of this and you’ll be feeling that Spring in your step, guaranteed.
Something about those first few warm days of spring makes me want to sit out on a patio, and sip on something fancy. My sister “invented” this cocktail that sings of spring and is definitely worthy of a long night on a patio, and a basket of chips and salsa. We call it a “Cosmopolita” because it’s all the cosmo fixings, but with tequila in place of vodka. Because tequila is delicious and vodka is boring.
2 oz. silver tequila
½ oz. Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
½ oz. Lime juice
¼ oz. simple syrup
1 oz. cranberry
More than an ounce of cranberry and your drink turns red instead of pink, and I’m not sure if you’ve sensed a theme here…but apparently in spring I only drink pink.
So, now I hope you’re all very thirsty and ready to sit outside with a glass of wine…and possibly a parka.
You can follow more of my party tips, and cocktail recipes on my blog Ciao Vella. Cheers and Ciao!
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, everyone looks to the Irish cultural touchpoints in town. When you are looking for a dive bar that is also Irish, the field goes down considerably. The Dublin Pub is thrown out immediately; it is incredibly Irish, but incredibly lovely as well. Paddy’s Irish Pub falls into the same category at the Dublin Pub. Tremendous and very nice, not especially divey. Harrigan’s Tavern? Difficult to classify it as a dive bar. Their menu is pretty extensive, which digs into the debate of what earns the distinction of a dive bar vs. a diner. At the moment, Harrigan’s still fits into the diner category until someone convinces me otherwise. I would make the same argument for O’Leary’s Pub and Grub, though most of my experience there was admittedly for trivia. Which left us one place suggested to explore: Flanagan’s Pub. This staple is best known for being part of the party atmosphere in Dayton every March 17th, but did you know it was also open the other 364 days of the year?
Flanagan’s Pub (101 E. Stewart St., Dayton, OH 45409) is off the beaten path. But not by much. Nestled on the side of the road with a gas station for a neighbor, it is possible that as you explore the University of Dayton area, you could miss it. It has been a staple in the neighborhood for over twenty-five years, predating most of the shiny businesses that are there now. It has always been a friendly place for hard working people to get a drink, whether your work was done on a factory floor, the streets of the city, or in a library huddled over a book. Before it became the staple it is now; a laborer could get a beer topped with a raw egg and a shot of whiskey for just one dollar. How do you beat that deal? The discount has changed a little: if you are a police officer or firefighter, you can get 20% off your food bill. There are other ways Flanagan’s supports our first responders, but that is for later.
Those that remember the days that Patrick ran the place also remember the beer selection. While favorites like Pabst Blue Ribbon ($2.50 pints every day), Stroh’s, and Red Dog are still available, the rest of the menu has expanded considerably. There are now craft beers of all stripes on tap. From the hoppy Bell’s Two Hearted IPA to the rich, dark smoothness of Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Blackout Stout, there is a little something for everyone. Pull up a stool on Saturday and you can enjoy $3 pints of local favorite Warped Wing all day! They are not afraid to experiment, either. Bubbles, the new rosé cider by Rhinegeist, was provided some space on the lines. There is also still plenty of Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen on draft they would not mind you coming in and finishing off. Possibly for brunch?
Brunches are popping up all over, and Flanagan’s Pub offers a dandy one from 11 AM to 4 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. If you are studying, you can get it (and anything else on the menus) to go back to your dorm. Omelets, sandwiches and specialty Belgian waffles are on the menu, along with any other breakfast food you could want. Their lunch, very popular with the hospital workers, police, and teachers during the week, has just as much variety. Pizza, wings, sandwiches and other bar fare is readily available until 10 PM every day, because you are going to need something to soak up the drinks while you sit and watch the University of Dayton play.
Games pre-empt almost any other event there, and they host the Flyer Feedback Show after each match. Wednesday night trivia, one of their most popular evenings, often loses its home when the Flyers are on the court. If you head in on a Friday or Saturday night, live music will be playing while you enjoy the cozy atmosphere. They are also open to any other events that may suit your fancy. The bar is available for private events. Rates depend on the number of people you are bringing, and what night you plan on hosting your little shindig. A Friday night gathering is going to be more expensive than crashing the place on a Tuesday night. But the opportunity is there, and they may even make a good deal on the food for you!
Of course, all this is nothing compared to the one event they are best known for: St. Patrick’s Day. WTUE makes their headquarters there for the day, and this year they will be joined by ALT 103.9. Doors will open at 6 AM for the festivities that will go on well past the end of the last March Madness first round game. From six to eight AM, the proceeds from the $10 cover fee ($15 if you want in and out privileges) will go to the fine men and women of the Dayton Fire Department. The public will also be allowed to participate in a live auction, also benefitting our friends at the DFD. From 8 AM to 10 AM admission is FREE. That’s right; you can enjoy live local bands and tasty pints of Guinness without having to pay the entry fee. If you need to get out and stretch your legs, maybe give your liver a break, you can catch the shuttle to the Dublin Pub and see what they have to offer. Maybe rush over and see another set by one of your favorite bands. While you are there, you can revisit past St. Patrick’s celebrations by looking over the pictures they have hanging on the wall by the stage. Those images go back decades and are now shown to a new generation of real Irish (for a day) folk.
Sitting on the edge of a neighborhood in the center of a college campus, this emerald has sparkled for everyone. The regulars here still have their voices heard by the new owners, which has kept the feel of the bar the same as it was back in the day. They have had their creations added to the specialty cocktail menu, and they are in just as regularly as always. When the green dust settles on March 18th, and your liver is ready to head back out, be sure to add Flanagan’s Pub to your list of venues. Or just sneak back in for a hearty breakfast the next day. We hear it is the perfect cure for a hangover.
Flanagan’s Pub is located at 101 E. Stewart St, Dayton, OH 45409. They are open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 2:30 AM, and Sunday from 11 AM – 4 PM. You can call them at (937) 228-5776, or email them at flanagansdayton (at) gmail (dot) com. You can follow their shenanigans on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Craft beer lovers who can’t get enough, you have another spot to get your growler filled. “The Growler” is now open in the former “Wright Wing” spot on Wilmington Pike. The same building has housed The Buckin’ Donkey Grille. and Monkeez previously. Food Adventures has the scoop on the new place…
This sports dive is mainly bar seating and booths, with a few dining tables inside. Outside there is one hell of a patio. Other attractions include a killer Happy Hour.
Hungry? Thirsty? Step inside…
Hungry Jax, The Big Ragu, and Chef House are here to tell you …
HERE’S THE SKINNY on THE GROWLER:
—Located at 3808 Wilmington Pike in Kettering, The Growler has a full service bar and plenty of TV’s to catch your favorite event.
—From 3pm to 7pm on weekdays, they have 1/2 off all appetizers and craft beers are only $3.50, tall domestic beers are just $2.25 during this happy hour time too.
—Other attractions: Pinball, dart boards, with live trivia on Wednesdays and Karaoke on Thursdays
—Owner’s Gary and Steve Leasure are lifelong Daytonians, suggest you check groupon.com for special deals.
—They have 10 rotating taps and various domestic, craft and import bottled beers too. By May they should be selling their signature “Growlers to go.”
Good drink is usually followed with good eats, so lets get growlin, Food Adventure fans !
MUST EATS at THE GROWLER:
Served on a pizza tin and foil this MOUND of fries is almost a mountain. Roasted and covered with cheese and bacon, this sinful appetizer is over the top. Get some ranch and ketchup for dipping and find your self closing your eyes and finding your zen. We almost did yoga in our plate.
—THE SPICY PULLED PORK PIZZA:
Unique idea of pulled pork pizza, but they kicked it up a notch with heat. This pig pizza is on fire with flavor and just the right amount of kick. Nice innovation, Growler.
—THE SWEET CHILI WINGS:
A Sweet and Spicy saucy sauce, that is sticky and finger licking good.
—THE ORGINAL SUB: A nice 2 piece sub, with Italian style lunch meat. Salami, Pepperoni, Capiccola, Marinara, Mozzarella and Banana Peppers make this sub a popular choice. Served with potato chips it is a filling lunch or dinner.
Nice and hearty, these breaded mushrooms, are a big order and they taste great.
Now for the craft beers…..
They are always listed on BeerMenus.com: Right now their 10 taps are….
1) Yellow Springs Moon Balloon
2) Warped Wing Trotwood Lager
3) Warped Wing 10 ton Stout
4) Great Lakes Chill Wave IPA
5) The Brew Kettle’s Black Rajah
6) Three Floyds Yum Yum
7) Ace Pineapple Cider
8) Blue Moon
9) Bud Light
10) Miller Lite
Beers waiting in the on deck circle to be tapped…. are …..
-Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Ale
-Madtree Passion Fruit Tart Ale
-Warped Wing Hop Smuggler
-Bear Republic Brewing’s Racer 5 IPA
-Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout
-Platform Speedmerchant White IPA
-Jackie O’s Mystic Mama
JELLO SHOTS! NCAA MARCH MADNESS HOOPS EXCITEMENT!
IRISH CRAFT BEER! BUSHMILL SHOT SPECIALS and more.
Party goes all day Friday, March 17th!
Keep the party going every week right here for feature articles weekly on Dayton Most Metro from the Food Adventure Crew. Growl at you later.