Brewski Barrel replaces the former Side Room near Patterson and Shroyer.

Brewski Barrel to host grand opening TODAY in Dayton’s Patterson Park

***UPDATED STORY (Aug. 9, 2019)***

The Brewski Barrel 446-A Patterson Road in Dayton will host a two-day grand opening starting at noon today, Friday Aug. 9, and again on Saturday, Aug. 10, until 2:30 a.m. on both days.

“We will be serving $2  22-ounce drafts, hot dogs, free Jukebox plays (while credits last), (and) dart games,” the new bar’s owners said on the Brewski Barrel Facebook page. “Please come out and be a part of the Brewski family!”

The bar had its “soft” opening a week ago on Aug. 2.

***PREVIOUS STORY (Aug. 1, 2019)***

The new Brewski Barrel at 446-A Patterson Road in Dayton will open its doors to the public at noon tomorrow, Friday Aug. 2, the bar’s owners announced today on the Brewski Barrel Facebook page

“Guess what my friends, the time has come,” the bar’s owners said. “Our soft opening is tomorrow. ... Come by and see us for drinks, music and fun!”

The space in the Patterson Park Plaza at Patterson and Shroyer roads in Dayton previously housed the Side Room Lounge.

***PREVIOUS UPDATE (June 11, 2019)***

The long-awaited opening of Brewski Barrel has been delayed, according to founder and owner Butch Elder.  

The new pub is located at 446 A Patterson Road in the Patterson Park Plaza at Patterson and Shroyer roads in Dayton. The space previously housed the former Side Room Lounge.

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Elder said he was told by liquor-control officials that it could be four to six weeks before the bar can open. “I think it'll be earlier,” he said.

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Elder, who also owns the Shroyer Inn a few blocks away, said he was unaware the process would take as long as it has.

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“When you buy something like the Shroyer, when it's running, it's easy. You just transfer the license,” he said. “When (the business) is closed up and you file for a new permit, it takes a long time, which I never knew. Now I know.”

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The Brewski Barrel founder said the state requested a few additions, such as a sink behind the bar and other minor updates, all of which will be handled in short order.

“I'm really disappointed. It's a long process. My hands are tied," Elder said. 

***PREVIOUS UPDATE (June 4, 2019)***

A last-minute complication with licensing and permits prevented the Brewski Barrel from opening when its owner originally anticipated last weekend. The bar is now shooting to open this week, if all goes as planned. 

***ORIGINAL STORY (May 30, 2019)***

When a beloved neighborhood bar shuts down, the sense of loss is almost palpable. Old friends are forced to find new local watering holes while trying to adjust to a change of atmosphere. 

Such was the tale of the former Side Room Lounge, located in the Patterson Park Plaza at 446 A Patterson Road at Shroyer Road in Dayton. But that's all about to change next month with the grand opening of Brewski Barrel in the former Side Room space.

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Originally opened in the 1970s under a different name, the family-run Side Room became the Patterson Park area's best-kept secret. Resembling something of a speakeasy, the tiny bar was nearly impossible to see from the road, didn't advertise, and didn’t even have a sign to identify it. Potential customers would circle the block and never find it. 

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Yet still it had a loyal following from people who were in the know. Unfortunately, the owner bowed out of the bar business, and the Side Room sat dormant for more than a year. 

Brewski Barrel will open this weekend in the space that previously housed Side Room Lounge on Patterson Road in Dayton.
Photo: Jim Ingram

But Butch Elder — who also owns Shroyer Inn just three blocks away at 1038 Shroyer Road — had been keeping his eye on the space, eventually deciding it was time re-establish a bar there.  

“I went by and it was closed up. So I called the people that owned the property, and they said if (I got) a license, (I could) open it back up,” Elder said.  

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In rechristening the new business, Elder has done far more than just dusting off the bar and washing a few glasses. With the help of friends, he spent two months — and between $15,000 and $20,000 — remodeling the location and updating its equipment.  

Brewski Barrel will open this weekend in the space that previously housed Side Room Lounge on Patterson Road in Dayton.
Photo: Jim Ingram

Side Room regulars will be comforted to know all the updates have been vast improvements, and have delivered Brewski Barrel from the ‘70s and into today without losing the comfortable basement-bar feel. 

Customers will also have more options. “We do have draft beer now,” Elder said. “They never had draft beer before. It will have a better selection.” 

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Another Brewski Barrel update is removing the air of secrecy the old bar had maintained for so long. 

“They didn't have signs, so I put signs out in the front. If you didn't know about it or where it was, you'd never know,” he said. 

 Brewski Barrel will operate in much the same way as Shroyer Inn, which has built a loyal clientele founded on cheap draft beers and a free hot dog bar for customers on Sundays. Elder will continue the Sunday special at the new establishment.  

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Shroyer Inn “gets jam packed,” Elder said. “Brewski Barrel might get a little overflow.”  

Elder has targeted June 1st as the grand opening date for Brewski Barrel, and says the Side Room regulars are anxious to see the new place.  

“They're excited and ready to come back,” he said. “We would get people who would stop by while we were remodeling (and ask), 'When are you opening?'.”