Diane Spitzig, co-owner of the Century Bar in downtown Dayton, in a photo taken shortly after the relocated bar reopened in early February. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Dayton’s most popular bourbon bar hit hard but will survive, its co-owner vows

‘I’ve been doing this 24 years. I can think my way out of it,’ Diane Spitzig says

The timing couldn’t have been much worse, at least from a business perspective.

Century Bar, the downtown Dayton bourbon destination that has scored national acclaim, had just moved next door into a heavily renovated location at 18 S. Jefferson St. six weeks ago, re-opening on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2. On March 15, all bars throughout Ohio were ordered to shut down due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. No one knows when bars and restaurant dining rooms will be allowed to reopen.

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“We went 32 days closed (without income) before we opened,” Diane Spitzig, co-owner of the Century Bar with business partner Joseph Head, told this news organization. “Then BAM, we are closed again.” 

Spitzig said she is exploring loan options to sustain the bourbon bar through the dark days and weeks some health and governmental officials say are to come. 

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Getting loans would likely be easier if they had not just relocated into a larger space they overhauled with hopes to expand the business, Spitzig said. 

“At this point, God, how do you go asking anybody for money again?” she said. 

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Despite the stress, Spitzig said she is trying to be positive. 

“We will get through this,” she said. “I’ve been doing this 24 years. I can think my way out of it.” 

Spitzig said she is also trying to keep things in perspective. 

“As a country, they say there could be 2 million people dying,” she said. “I guess we can give up bourbon for a little while.”

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