2144 E. Whipp Road, Dayton | Facebook
If you’re looking for a distraction-free zone to get your hard core board gaming on, then you need to head over to Kettering. D20 is a bar that offers an extensive beer selection and over 300 board games that prides itself on not having a single television in the entire place. The bar is even family-friendly during the daytime hours, serving coffee and tea and “mocktails” for kids. Popular titles include Twilight Imperium, Pandemic, Joking Hazard, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, League of Legends, Settlers of Catan, Fluxx, and the more throwback favorites such as Monopoly, Chutes & Ladders and CandyLand.
>> Kettering bar has 300 board games, craft beers and no TVs
2.) Bar 145/Reset
10259 Penny Lane, Miamisburg | Website
At the tail end of last year, Bar 145 opened at Austin Landing offering a nice-sized menu. The restaurant is attached to Reset — a bar within a bar boasting a full slate of vintage arcade games including The Simpsons, Street Fighter, Frogger and Off Road and many others. It bills itself as gastropub specializing in “Burgers, Bands, and Bourbon.” For the most part, the food is just OK, but the sides are a lot of fun if you head there for happy hour and some gaming with friends. Fried cheese curds ($7.99), tempura green beans ($6.99), buffalo chicken dip ($8.99), white truffle french fries ($6.99) and bar nachos ($6.99, with shredded pork, spicy chicken or beef added for $3 more) are good options to split and share. For families, Bar 145 has some nice built-in entertainment options for restless kids who will enjoy the novelty of these old-school hits.
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3.) Hole In The Wall
423 E. Fifth St, Dayton | Facebook
This Oregon District bar bills itself as "Dayton Ohio's first Bar Arcade."
Hole in the Wall is the kind of dive bar where adults can go to find their inner child and a stiff drink that’s priced right.
Fans of the Mario Brothers game will love the bar and the lighting. It’s a fun stop before or after dinner in the district if you are looking for something that’s colorful and different. If it’s packed with people (and you’re a little claustrophobic), steer clear. But if it’s early and it’s open, it’s a fun spot to schedule a stop.
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4.) Canal Street Arcade and Deli
308 E. First St, Dayton | Website
The building that formerly housed Canal Street Tavern found new life over the summer when Canal Street Arcade and Deli opened.
When owner Rob Strong closed his Fifth Street Wine and Deli early this year, I was sad to see his deli sandwiches go, but with the opening of Canal Street Arcade and Deli they are back and better than ever.
Deli sandwiches served up hot come in three sizes — a small half-sandwich ($6.25), a medium full-sized sandwich ($8.25) and a large sandwich ($9.25). Wraps, subs, salads and pizzas, as well as build-your-own breakfast or grilled cheese sandwiches, are also available. This spot has quickly turned into a favorite destination to pick up a sandwich and hang-out on unprogrammed weekends. In addition to the games, this has one of the best jukeboxes in town.
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5.) DK Effect
1600 E. Third St, Dayton | Facebook
This Huffman Historic District hot spot that opened over the summer features 40 beers on tap, a full bar and a slew of classic arcade hits.
Sit at the bar and play or grab a drink and make your way to the vintage gaming titles around the room.
This venue does not have a kitchen, but pizza delivers there and it’s right across the street from the inexpensive and very tasty Taqueria Mixteca (1609 E. Third St., Dayton).
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Grab a large burrito for $6.49 and some of the best guacamole in town ($2.99) and head across the street for your margarita and some gaming. DK Effect has been doing some Tacos and Tequila events where you can purchase Taqueria tacos there and order one of seven specialty margaritas.
Owner Tony Clark has plans to open a spot next door that will serve food, but with that happening some time away, some Taqueria Mixteca will hit the spot for now.
>> PHOTOS: See the stunning transformation of DK Effect
6.) Proto BuildBar
While not your typical arcade, Proto is the world's first BuildBar, a creative experience center featuring hands-on technology experimentation with 3D printing, electronics kits, and micro-computing in a full service café environment. With a stocked bar for when you need something a little stronger than coffee, Proto houses the World's Largest Claw game and their homemade Edison vs Tesla arcade-style game with a shocking twist. If you're looking for a more laid-back vibe, Proto is definitely your place.
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Know of a spot we missed? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org