This bearded guy has been slinging drinks for 20 years at downtown bar -- and you can celebrate him TONIGHT

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This bearded guy has been slinging drinks for 20 years at downtown bar -- and you can celebrate him TONIGHT

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Century Bar co-owner Joseph Head shows off the bar’s cocktail called “Remember the Maine,” made with Rye Whiskey, Cherry Liqueur, Bitters, Bulliet Rye and Sweet Vermouth. Staff file photo JIM WITMER/STAFF

The co-owner of downtown Dayton’s oldest bar is celebrating a major anniversary of his own. 

The Century Bar, 10 S. Jefferson St., dates back to 1942 under that name and that location.

Joseph Head, the bourbon house’s co-owner with Diane Spitzig, started working there as a bartender 20 years ago. 

The Dayton native became an owner a few years ago. 

big anniversary party will be held starting at 7 p.m. tonight, Feb. 1, and will feature the bar’s Knob Creek Private Barrel. 

Our chat with Joe will be featured next week on the “What Had Happened Was: a Podcast For Dayton” sponsored by Cox Digital Marketing.

Once a rough-around-the-edges, long-haired arrogant youth, Head credits Spitzig, Century’s longtime owner, with taking a chance on him and eventually making him the bar’s manager when Tony Trick, now of Spent Grain Grill inside Warped Wing Brewery, left. 

“It was a way bigger job than I was capable of, or probably deserved,” Joe told us during our podcast interview.

Together, the pair has transformed the Century into one of the most raved-about bourbon houses in the nation over the past few years. 

“One hundred percent this is a bartender’s dream,” Joe told us during the podcast interview. “I’ve been a door guy. I’ve been a bar back. I’ve been a bouncer. I’ve bartended in all sorts of different kinds of bars, but I never would have guessed the 23 year-old me would be sitting here (as) this 43-year-old. I’ve made a ton of mistakes. I grew up in The Century.” 

Joe reflected on his journey in a recent Facebook post:

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