An Ohio-centered concept with half a dozen locations, Bar 145 tends to find its way into larger new developments, where its entertaining take on the traditional pub makes it a place that supports a few different activities. The location in Kent, for example, has space for a dance floor and hosts regular DJ nights to support that. The location in Dayton, on the other hand, has taken the form mainly as a ‘barcade,’ where classic arcade games can be played for free. But don’t forget the food. Where the bar has focused its energy on building a good menu in recent years, it has brought some great ideas to the table.
Even among the quirky little restaurants that make up the thriving dining scene in the village of Yellow Springs, Winds Cafe stands out as a place where you go to get classic American cuisine with a very conscientious bent; much of the food that you find here is locally grown, much of it is organic, and there is a very strong focus on “slow food,” the local draw that keeps a push firmly on the quality and locality of good cuisine. The food here, per the very picky tastes of this southwest Ohio village, is top notch.
Tipp City is a highway town, and while a lot of the folks who pass it by on Interstate 75 north of Dayton never bother to stop there, if they did they would find a really wonderful experience of a little American town. Houses are well-maintained on the main stretch, American flags are everywhere, and the main street downtown is full of historic buildings and quaint little local businesses. One among these, Coldwater Cafe, is a well known name in the small towns of western Ohio, for its funny past, built in a former bank building. You can literally eat inside an old safe. And it’s a really fun time, too.
Busboys and Poets is an interesting concept for Washington D.C. — it’s more than just a restaurant. This spot is something of a work of art in and of itself, both as a spot where you can buy and read the latest books, and a place where poetry and spoken word can be shared. While I’ve never encountered something quite like it in my travels, it was the menu that brought me to Busboys and Poets, and it’s the menu that really sticks with me since then. What an interesting idea! And it’s definitely worth a visit.
Fallingwater: It’s considered one of the greatest masterpieces of American architecture, and this Frank Lloyd Wright house is sort of off the beaten path in rural Pennsylvania, just outside of Mill Run, and a bit southeast of Pittsburgh. The spot isn’t just home to endless information about Wright’s lifetime and style, it’s also home to Fallingwater Cafe, an indoor-outdoor food spot that serves as the eatery for the house and museum. Odds are you won’d easily find a place that is convenient, or a menu that is as modern cuisine, as this one.
A fantastic dining option in downtown Dayton, De’lish Cafe and Bar is a lot more than the simple facade you see outside. Its interior is a bar concept that looks like it might be fit for a nightclub, except it’s much more a business lunch destination. De’lish serves up a number of different light dining options covering a wide variety of cuisines. I like some of them more than others, but ultimately I would say there are a lot of great reasons to come out and give this Main Street spot a try.
The initial idea of Flyboy’s Deli, which was founded earlier this year, was to bring the taste and feel of New York City to suburban Dayton. Step inside, and you’ll have a hard time believing you’re in downtown Oakwood, the dark wood bar and quick service make it feel like a metro destination. But Flyboy’s has even more to offer than lunch; with an outside porch, a beer bar and activities some nights, This spot has so much more to offer.
With two locations in Cleveland, Erie Island Coffee Company is a sort of corner coffee shop concept with two very different iterations; the downtown one is much more of a metropolitan caffeine spot, right in the middle of the Gateway District, one of the city’s hottest streets for city nightlife. It serves a bunch of different kinds of coffee drinks first thing in the morning as the rest of the shops in the area aren’t open, and it also serves some paninis and sandwiches to go along with. Its the kind of place where you’ll see a lot of people, mostly early-risers, gathering in groups to enjoy a chat.