Daytonian of the Week: Robin Sassenberg

Dayton recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Trolley Stop. Thanks in part to the leadership provided by the Oregon District bar/restaurant's owner Robin Sassenberg, the Trolley Stop is one of the best places to grab a burger, get a drink and have a good time with friends.

It is only fitting that Sassenberg be honored as Daytonian of the Week for her dedication, charisma and connection to the Dayton community, and especially Trolley Stop patrons. recently caught up with her to discuss life in Dayton and being a female business owner.

You've probably seen her at happy hour, but in case you've never had the pleasure, meet Robin Sassenberg, this week's Daytonian of the Week:

What do you do in Dayton?
I manage the Trolley Stop, which is more than a full-time job. I garden. I volunteer (off and on) for whatever needs help. We have a great family; our children are fun to hang out with, and we have many grandchildren to torture. When home, I am a doorperson for our cats and dog.

What do you love about life in Dayton?
RS: First, I have never met nicer people than here in Dayton. They love to talk to each other, and share and help others. I was impressed when I moved here, and still get surprised by how open people seem. Also, it's exciting to watch downtown come back to life. It was sad watching everyone leave town in the '80s, then '90s, but they're coming back. Old buildings are being filled with cool businesses and people wanting to be part of the rebuilding.

What do you wish more people knew about Dayton?
RS: The Oregon District is fascinating; every business is independent, very unique and almost all are run by the actual owners of the businesses. Those (old and new) owners are awesome, and hard working and inspiring.

Favorite Dayton food/recreational activities?  
RS: There are so many wonderful food options. You can be in a sushi mood, a Mexican mood, healthy food mood. We try to only eat at independent restaurants. You can get to know the owners! Also, my husband is the cook at home, and I get food adventures there; in almost 30 years, he has never made the same meal twice.

Recreation? I love walking the neighborhoods, parks and cemeteries with my friend Sam. I also like bike riding when I get a chance. Someone stole my bike seat, so tell them to please BRING IT BACK.

What is a fun fact about yourself?
RS: My favorite activity is hunting… rocks.

What's the your most favorite thing about your job?
RS: It's a toss-up.  I love, love, love the staff. Talented and quirky, fun and smart; I sometimes just shake my head and walk away when they get going. And I enjoy the customers, it's the best part of every day. We have regulars, and old customers that come back and visit; we have people that decide to try someplace new, and we get travelers that love to be welcomed to Dayton. I have met so many cool people here!

How has being owner of the Trolley Stop impacted you?
RS: It's a big responsibility, care-taking this old place.  I've had to polish my people skills, develop a business side and have grown up here. Also, I think I can temporarily fix anything that's not electrical.

How have you felt your ownership of Trolley Stop has impacted Dayton? 
RS: Of course, we have been involved in many community activities and volunteer to help wherever we can. We raise money for lots of organizations. That's a small impact, but we're willing to join in.

But most importantly, this old building has always been a safe and welcoming place that people gather for relaxation, for comfort or to just be with other people.  We work hard to maintain that role, to keep it what it has always been, and Dayton needs places like this.

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