135 E 2nd St.
Dayton, OH 45402
For years a popular stop in the rural southwest Ohio town of Germantown, Mudlick Tap House made the unusual decision to pick up shop wholesale and relocate to downtown Dayton as a part of the urban surge that has happened there. Today it operates as a gastropub, hearkening to the Mudlick Distillery begun in 1847 making bourbon before prohibition, and a great flood, took it all away. This new downtown stop is comfortable and with an eye for the higher-end.
The food is a pretty good mix of bar favorites. Note that the menu tends to rotate seasonally, and a different salad and burger, for instance, rotate through. Some of the things I tried:
- Breakfast Burger: A massive half-pound patty of beef, this burger is topped with a generous helping of that lovely chili and an over-easy egg. Beefy, juicy, and gut-busting delicious.
- Chili: Meaty and heavy and just a bit spicy! This is the thick, stewy kind of chili that’s perfect in the wintertime.
- Minestrone soup: One of the choices for soup of the day, lots of celery, lots of carrots and green beans, and chickpeas.
- Crab Hash: A brunch choice. Crab and potatoes, chopped red peppers, onions, potatoes and kale, all under an egg. On the upside, something light like crab needs a delicate touch if it’s going to be paired with heavy potatoes and veggies. They do a great job of seasoning it just right. That said, for $15 a plate, kind of a small plate.
- Market salad: Featuring a nice balance of two very delicious things: pecorino romano cheese which adds a nice saltiness to the dish, and grapes which counteract with a little sweetness. A light vinegar balances it nicely.
Also of note, you’ll wait a bit longer here for food than average. The wait was a bit better during a weekday brunch hour but was a little longer during a weekend brunch.
The atmosphere of the new bar is fantastic. What used to be a nightclub has taken on something of an industrial feel and the tap house has a nice open feeling interior decorated with lots of little accoutrements noting the proud heritage of Dayton and Germantown, and as downtown Dayton sees lots of new restaurants and bars opening their doors, seeing places like this open their doors adds to the vibrancy and the character of the place.
Even in Dayton, I think, there isn’t a lot of awareness of the great things you can find in Germantown, Ohio. So having a restaurant in so prominent a place to celebrate that heritage is really nice. The food is pretty good and the people are great, prices are good and the place retains that original charm while adding something new that feels very Dayton. Well worth a try.
- The tap menu is pretty sizable, and I think the bar is just fine to visit and spend time if you’re not hungry, which is good for a downtown restaurant.
- The menu rotates pretty frequently, so you’ll be able to come back time and again and munch on new things on that menu.
- The chili is amazing.