Last week was cold. And snowy. So when we were looking for a dive bar to visit, we wanted something relatively central. There are many in the area that we have been to, but one I had always been curious about but had not explored. Well, not since I moved to the great city of Dayton, and it was better known as Alan’s Billiard’s and Brew. When it was Alan’s, I remember pool tables as far as the eye could see and beer that was exactly what beer should be: inexpensive and cold. I don’t remember much in the way of food, but who needed it? It would just ruin the flow of beer and pool.
Bits and pieces of it became the new Dog’s Breath Tavern (1912 E. Whipp Rd, Kettering, OH), which after a brief stint with a previous owner was relaunched under new ownership just over a year ago. This is where we chose to head over for our Dive Bar Tuesday. We had not heard anything about the bar, but the parking lot was always full when we drove by. People more hip to the Dayton food scene, namely The Food Adventures Crew, explored the food and gave it their stamp of approval. Normally there are football games on, people on stage belting out karaoke favorites, and bands testing the limits of the sound system. The bartenders would be taking care of customers like pros, and games of pool and darts would be going on.
Unless it is a week night during the first real snowfall of winter. Then there are a handful of people chatting warmly at the largely empty bar. Much of what we found out about the weekend shenanigans was from the bartender that night. He was incredibly friendly and informative, as well as multi-talented. Not only was he the bartender, but the cook as well. There are several dart boards for metal tipped play and some pool tables that were enjoying some action the evening we were there. Checking out the signs around the bar, there is something interesting going on every night; beer specials, trivia, 2 4 2’s Day (a wide variety of $2.42 specials on Tuesday evening, and karaoke to kick off the weekend. The one that caught our eye was the food truck rally. They have a kitchen (more on that in a few sentences), but they are willing to support local businesses and bring food trucks to a place where few are going to tread. The only other place I have seen food trucks in this area is Eudora Brewing.
During an evening of drinking, you are going to get hungry. Fortunately, they have a kitchen to take care of that for you. The menu consists of solid bar fare like burgers, wings, and appetizers like jalapeno poppers and cheese sticks. We had to try the burger (of course), their signature Dog Bones (egg rolls filled with an assortment of unique fillings), and one other thing. Since we were enjoying beers that night, we also added the pretzel bites. What goes better with beer than pretzels? The burger (which came with chips) was lovely. We tried the Barbecue Pulled Pork Dog Bones, and were impressed with the flavor, though there was a lack of traditional barbecue sauce. The pretzel bites…well, we were really unsure about them, so we had to get a second order. For evaluating purposes, of course.
Did we mention beer? They had an excellent selection of beer, from the ones you would expect every bar to have to local favorites like Yellow Springs and Warped Wing. Their selection of craft beers is a fine one, and the ones we had went down well. You have your choice of taps which are always rotating, bottles, and cans of other favorites. If you want to keep up with the beers they have, you can find them on BeerMenus and keep tabs on their changes. The bartender knew his way around the taps and bottles, which is a good thing. The impressive chalk board and printed menus on the table had not been updated in a while. There is a cocktail menu as well, filled with comfortable favorites like the classic Dirty Martini and Cosmopolitan. The staff has added their own unique cocktails like the Dog Gone Good Martini and the DBT Bulldog for good measure.
We are planning on making a return trip in the future, and not just because of convenience. The atmosphere was friendly and the food was delightful. Did we mention the pretzel bites? There will be other beers to explore the next time we step in, and a few cocktails to try out as well. I am not sure anyone in our group is going to step up for karaoke, but when the pool tournament starts up, count us in!