Last summer, an iconic Dayton building got new life thanks to Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, gourmet sandwiches, craft beer and a good bit of elbow grease.
Canal Street Arcade and Deli officially opened one year ago this week at 308 E. First St. in the former home of the much-beloved music venue Canal Street Tavern. The building dates back to 1900.
One thing is clear from the moment you walk in, Canal Street Arcade and Deli is about more than classic arcade games and a banging beer list.
Here are just a few of our favorite things.
👾 1.) The return of The Champ
There was a disturbance in the Sandwich Force when Rob Strong closed Fifth Street Wine and Deli in January 2017.
Fans of his gourmet sammiches wondered if their favorites would make it to the new place.
Good news, friends: The Champ and other sammys perfected at Fifth Street are back... and Rob and the gang have added pizza to the menu.
Canal Street Arcade served samples of the pizzas and sammys during a preview party.
The falafel sandwiches can’t be stopped. The Nuclear Sub will blow your head off.
👾 2.) The windows
Apparently Canal Street and Canal Public House, the business that followed it when it closed in 2013, had windows the whole time.
Canal Street Arcade and Deli has uncovered them to let the sun shine in.
Customers can lounge on comfy chairs set up on the bar’s former stage and catch a few rays while sipping on suds.
3.) The jukebox
Imagine this: a real, old-school jukebox with actual CDs.
The arcade even has a special “Never Tame Your Dayton” option featuring modern and classic music from the Gem City.
👾 4.) The patio
Canal Street Arcade patio will surely get the attention of people heading to Dayton Dragons games or home to the soon-to-be-open Delco Lofts.
>> MORE: 15 kickass patios in the Dayton area
👾 5.) The naughty claw
The restaurant’s five or so pinball machines and claw game are the only things customers are required to pay a quarter to play.
Not every prize in the claw game are for the kids if you know what we mean.. wink, wink.
We mean there are adult-themed items among the stufffed toys in the Hot Stuff claw game.
👾 6.) The stickers
The pews might be gone, but hints of the old Canal Street are throughout Canal Street Arcade and Deli.
None is bigger and bolder than the sticker wall that pays tribute to Canal Street’s green room where stickers covered nearly every surface.
Stickers from bands that played Canal Street greet you right after you turn the corner that leads to the bar.
👾 7.) The bathrooms
They are real nice. You might even want to sit down in them. Big improvement if you remember the old ones.
Ms. Pac-Man is on the ladies room wall and surely approves.
👾 8.) The bar staff
The business has an impressive craft beer list and will serve cocktails created by some of the best bartenders in town.
They plan to do fresh fruit infusions, and watch out for things like Margarita Mondays, Tiki Tuesdays and Whiskey Wednesdays.
“We will be busting out blenders,” mixologist Landon Shayne Mckibben said.
There is still carryout beer and wine.