Downtown Dayton’s stunning new ‘underground’ bar to reopen today

Tender Mercy was forced to shut down just days after its grand opening in the spring.

Credit: r

Credit: r

Tender Mercy — billed as "Dayton's underground avant bar” — will reopen starting tonight for guests who have reservations.

The cocktail bar was forced to close just three days after it fully opened to the public.

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It will reopen at 50 percent of its original capacity to allow for proper distancing between parties while practicing necessary sanitation efforts throughout the space, its owners said.

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Reservations will be required, and walk-ins will not be admitted, the owners said in an email.

Initial hours will be 6 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. Cocktail classes and wine tastings are available. For more information, go to



The bar, located underneath the Avant-Garde Building at 607 E. Third St., is something entirely new for the downtown Dayton market.

It has a slick look and feel that is modern and beautiful. It’s something you would expect to find in New York and surprised to discover in Dayton.

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Credit: r

"Tender Mercy is a concept we’ve been working passionately on for a few years now, and we’re excited to share it with Dayton. We simply wanted to bring an elevated level of hospitality, product and environment to Downtown, to try to 'raise the bar' a bit in our own way, with all of our forthcoming projects. We have some amazing operators in Dayton that do incredible things, friends who have inspired us to do our best work in contribution to our community downtown," Chris Dimmick, managing partner of Tender Mercy and The Idea Collective, told us when the bar launched. "Dayton deserves something unique, something experiential, something that feels like you’ve been transplanted somewhere else for a moment in time. And we’re humbled to have the opportunity to provide that feeling."

The Idea Collective, the hospitality development firm behind Tender Mercy, had this to say on its website: "Tender Mercy harkens back to a transformative time, celebrating the individualism that commandeered a generation and challenged the durability of cultural mores. At once both rebellious and iconic, the experience crafts a narrative of immersion. Indulge in the chill of the underground, the beat of the baseline and the taste of sensual decadence. Part grunge, part glamour with a pinch of groovy, the dark and sexy Tender Mercy isn't just a cocktail lounge ... it's your spot."

Credit: r

Credit: r

The menu includes signature cocktails, a curated wine program led by sommelier Lauren Gay, and a number of hand-selected premium beers highlighted by a rotating Branch and Bone exclusive tap.

"We hope our guests find Tender Mercy to be intentional, in everything it provides. It’s a dimly-lit, energetic, comfortable space with really thoughtful beverages, warm hospitality, and multiple areas to get comfortable and get lost. We hope it feels like more than a bar or lounge, that it feels like an experience," Dimmick said.

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What: Tender Mercy

Where: Lower level at 607 E. Third St., Dayton

Hours: Thursday through Saturday, 6 p.m.-midnight

More information: 937-453-0007 or

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