Future downtown speakeasy’s name pulls from Dayton history

Joseph Head of the Century Bar in downtown Dayton. File photo by Jim Witmer

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Joseph Head of the Century Bar in downtown Dayton. File photo by Jim Witmer

If all goes as planned, downtown Dayton will soon have its very own speakeasy.

Construction is underway for Kette's Kandies Spirited Treats, a Prohibition-era speakeasy-themed cocktail bar behind the Century Bar, 10 S. Jefferson St. in the Fire Blocks District.

A Facebook page promoting the long-awaited space has just been launched to wet our whistles.

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Kette's will operate in a 2,000-square-foot space behind the Century, one of downtown Dayton’s oldest bars.

Joseph Head, the Century's co-owner, expects Kette's will be open for business this winter or early spring.

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Between 1909 and 1913, the Century’s site was the home of Kette & Sons whiskey company.

The whiskey company’s building was destroyed by fire during the Great Flood of 1913. Seeing prohibition looming, the Kettes got out of the whiskey business and opened a candy store.

Plans for the Kette's Kandies Spirited Treats have changed significantly since Head first announced the project in late 2015. Preliminary construction began in spring of 2016.

Early plans called for Kette's decor to feature "repurposed bar wood" and tables and chairs different from that of The Century Bar next door.

Instead, the owners are going for a swanky cocktail bar with Kette’s. The speakeasy will have seating for up to 80.

There will be cocktail tables, a granite bar with chandeliers hanging above, a red velvet seating area and a special section for Century’s so-called “bicentennial” members.

Kette's will focus on mixology, while Century specializes in whisky and bourbon.

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Even though the over-the-top speakeasy won’t be open for a few more months, that doesn’t mean you have to wait for its beer.

Kette's Pride, a rye whiskey barrel-aged porter, is the result of a collaboration between the Century and Warped Wing Brewing Co. It will be sold in the brewery's taproom nearby at 26 Wyandot St.

The porter will be the only beer sold in the cocktail-driven, roaring ‘20s themed speakeasy and poured from a “barrel.”

Head said a whiskey barrel-aged beer was intentionally selected to honor the Kette family.

“It was a tip of the hat to a long-standing family in Dayton,” he said.

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