Friday, September 7, 2007

The Century

Downtown Dayton used to have quite a collection of bars and cocktail lounges, at least according to the Sanborn maps and old city directories. There aren't too many old time bars left downtown. I think the Embassy, Bingers, and The Century might be it. The Century is probably my favorite non-music bar in the city.

It was a lunch counter orginally, then became the Century in the 1940s. A pretty basic place, with the usual mixed drinks & hard liqout (including those new single barrel bourbons) and about four or five beers on tap ('Stella', Newcastle, Blue Moon, and I think one or two others...I usually drink Newcastle or Blue Moon)
What makes the place is the absolutely fabulous back bar: heavy carved wood, decorative lights, stained glass, and mirror back, set in this very high ceiling space. It's like you're going to the communion rail and having an elaborate altar as the backdrop. The afternoon barmaid tells me that it was built for the Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati, back in the 19th century, and eventually found its way to this space.
But a bar is only as good as its staff and clientele. This place has very professional yet personable bar staff and the clientele is a real mix. I really don't come here that often, but I notice it seems to get a somewhat older early crowd (late afternoon/early evening), then a younger hipster crowd later at night. The place gets a mix of ages, genders, races and classes, so its not all one way or another, which keeps things cool...the vibe is usually pretty laid-back.

The "C-Bar" has a pretty good jukebox, too. Though this is not a live music place I stopped here after Celtic Fest and noticed they did have some live thing going on, so it does happen on rare occasions.

For more Century intel, check out the bar myspace page. Yeah, even bars have myspace pages now. It is definetly worthy a visit when in downtown Dayton.


Joe Lacey said...

How do I contact Jeffrey to ask if he would post about the meeting of neighbors wanting to save the Wilbur Wright School building?

Jefferey said...

Well, I think you just have. When is the meeting and what is the story behind the school? (this is that one on a hill over in Twin Towers?)

Joe Lacey said...

Wilbur Wright is the middle school, formerly a high school, on top of the hill on Huffman Ave. Your refering to Lincoln, also a building worth saving. Monday night the Dayton Board of Education is meeting with neighbors, alumni, and others concerned about the fate of the Wilbur Wright building. The original building and auditorium were built in 1926. The board had originally planned to demolish these structures with little or no input from the neighborhood but are now planning a meeting to explain their decision. If we can get enough people to this meeting, I think that we can get the board to reconsider.

The board's original decision to demolish was made under the false notion that building renovations must cost less than two thirds of the cost of building new, a ridiculous hurdle for any building, or the state would not allow the renovation.

These and other issues will be brought to light

Monday, September 10, 2007, at 7:00pm
At Wilbur Wright School
1361 Huffman Ave., Dayton

I'd like to send you a picture or two if I can find your email address.

Joe Lacey

Foreverglow said...

I'd like to check the Century out. The place looks pretty slick inside.

Daniel said...

It's as cool as it looks and the prices are good. Just don't go on a friday or saturday your first time, cuz it gets pretty busy, and pretty 'scene' if you get my drift.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see the Century is still open. I used to go there twenty years ago....

Adam BGSU said...

I think I own Century to some degree. Jeff - I have been trying to call you for over 8 hours. Would you please get a second phone line?