Where to get your drink on before and after the game
by Jason Webber
Take it from a Dayton transplant — you guys have it pretty good when it comes to downtown entertainment, particularly on Dragons’ game nights. Not only is your Fifth-Third Field a clean, comfortable ballpark, offering relatively reasonable concession prices and one damn fine hot dog, but quite a few area locales also get into the Dragons spirit. Having only lived in the Gem City for a bit over a year, I’m still discovering the diamonds in this not-so-rough city, but here are a few of my favorite options for pre/post game revelry. If I missed one, email me and let me know — then ask me out for a beer. I’m friendly.
Get on the bus
Tank’s (2033 Wayne Ave., 937-252-2249) holds a place of honor in my heart for serving me one of my very first meals in Dayton. Twenty months later, I can still taste that gleefully sticky PB&J Club. In addition to their mind-boggling beer selection and way-too-good-to-be-bar-food menu, they also offer the total game day hookup thanks to the famous Tank’s Bus. The bus, which is free to ride, shoves off 30 minutes before the game starts and will be parked outside the ballpark following the game to take you back. About 30 people can fit on the bus, but they make as many trips as necessary in order to ensure that everyone gets to the game and back. Flippin’ awesome.
Cool as Ice
Man, you gotta love Brixx Ice Co. (500 E. First St., 937-222-2257). Located just across the way from the ballpark, Brixx is practically the Dragons clubhouse. On opening night, there will be plenty of bands, a whole slew of drink specials and even a special appearance from Captain Morgan himself. Plus, you can fill up on beer, nice and cheaply, before heading to the game — they always have $2 PBR and Rolling Rock. The Dragons-centric menu is a glutton’s wet dream, offering items like Dragon Fire Chicken (definitely puts hair on your chest), the Dragon Toe Salad and the best fish tacos I’ve tasted in Dayton. Go. Now. You have your orders.
Belle of the ballgame
The unpretentious Southern Belle (134 N. Patterson Blvd., 937-461-4536) warms my black little heart every time I walk in. They have cheap drinks, friendly staff and they don’t serve food, so don’t ask. It’s like Moe’s Tavern or the Tube Bar, without psychotic drink slingers. On game days, come in for a crop of drink specials including buckets o’ beer, Dragon bomb shots and the like.
Obviously, listing every restaurant and pub within walking distance of Fifth-Third Field would take too long, so I just want to give a few shout-outs to some of the big hitters.
* Canal St. Tavern (308 E. 1st St., 937-461-9343) Usually the night is still young after the game is over, so head over to Canal Street and catch a band at one of Dayton’s best locations for live music. The Dayton equivalent of Max’s Kansas City, you’ll occasionally find one of the Deal sisters hanging out here (though I’ve always been too shy to get my “Last Splash” CD autographed).
* Therapy Café (452 E. 3rd St., 937-461-4000)This chic watering hole shakes a martini that would make 007 proud and boasts a damn fine menu as well. The contemporary interior definitely provides an upscale yet non-stuffy vibe. They won’t be offering any Dragons-related drink specials, but that’s OK —this is still your go-to destination if you need something a touch classier than beer in a Dragons cup. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; just sayin’.
Opening Day is Thursday, April 7. The Dayton Dragons take on the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Don’t miss out.
Reach DCP freelance writer Jason Webber at firstname.lastname@example.org.