Ax throwing and gaming, new restaurants, new bars planned for downtown, developer says

“By late summer there should be six new businesses,” spokesman said.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

If things go as planned, downtown Dayton will have a lot more dining options come fall — plus a place to throw axes.

"By late summer, there should be six new businesses — bars, restaurants, fitness and cafes  — in the Fire Blocks," Eric VanZwieten,  a spokesman for Columbus-based Windsor Companies, told this news organization.

A new entertainment venue would include ax throwing.

“It is kind of a new, hip thing to do,” VanZwieten said. “It is a super fun activity to do with a group of friends, corporate (outings) and fitness.”

Windsor took over the development of the Fire Blocks District last summer with hopes of reinvigorating both sides of Third Street between St. Clair and Jefferson streets for commercial and residential use.

>> New Fire Blocks developer starts work on $35M project


The Century Bar announced Feb. 18 that it had signed a lease with Windsor and would relocate next door to the former Dayton Power and Light Building at 18 to 20 S. Jefferson St.

>> CONFIRMED: Century Bar moving to bigger space

The bar dates back to 1942 under that name and at its current location, 10 S. Jefferson St. in the Fire Blocks.

As we reported last weekMaria and Eric Walusis, owners of Watermark restaurant in Miamisburg, are in negotiations to open a new restaurant in space at the corner of South Jefferson and East Third streets.

It would include The Century Bar’s current location, 10 S. Jefferson St.

>> RELATED: Fire Blocks draws interest from restaurants, entertainment businesses


The Fire Blocks developer has declined to identify potential tenants, but says they include an “elevated bar” concept, a coffee shop, a sports bar with a twist, and a games and entertainment destination unlike anything in Dayton.

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One space would be similar to Pins Mechanical Company in Columbus and Cincinnati, he said. It would offer ax throwing, beer pong  and other physical activities.

“It will be stuff to do instead of just sitting around drinking with friends,” VanZweiten said. “It going to be a social hub of downtown Dayton.

Pins Mechanical offers ping pong, pinball, foosball, duckpin bowling and bocce.

VanZweiten said the Dayton venue’s rentable ax-throwing lanes would be similar to those found at Dueling Axes, a Columbus throwing lounge.

Credit: Brooke LaValley

Credit: Brooke LaValley

It will be located below the 71 unit housing project known as the "Huffman Lofts" in what was formerly known as the Huffman Block building.

The loft apartments on the upper levels are expected to open in the fall.

The games and entertainment destination could open in late spring, and other businesses could open in the summer, VanZweiten told this news organization.

Last week, VanZwieten told us two “killer bar concepts” are likely coming into the Fire Blocks District, possibly with the entertainment and games business wedged between and connecting them.

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VanZwieten told this news organization multiple groups met with an architect and began laying out vacant first-floor spaces in the 100 block of East Third Street.

The groups, which included a few familiar faces in Dayton’s culinary scene, are looking to lease storefronts in the Huffman Block building (a.k.a David Building), he said.

MORE: New Watermark restaurant in Miamisburg is open

A fitness studio also is looking to move into one of the ground-floor spaces, and so is a breakfast sandwich shop, he said.

He said a coffee shop from California also is planning to move into a different building on the south side of East Third Street. The Fire Blocks District is centered around the 100 block of East Third Street.

>> RELATED: More than 30 pancake breakfasts taking over Dayton this weekend for a good cause

Credit: Brooke LaValley

Credit: Brooke LaValley


The Fire Blocks will host a fundraiser 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, in a basement used as a speakeasy in the prohibition era, VanZwieten said.

The benefit for the Dayton Victory Project, a non profit after-school program for disengaged boys, will feature Nashville based indie/folk band BRUNS. Local indie artists ISICLE and Noah Fogg will also perform.

A $7 donation will be accepted at the door. Guests will receive the secret code needed to enter the speakeasy after making a reservation on Windsor's website.