3 reasons you must visit Rip Rap Roadhouse


How to go

What: Rip Rap Roadhouse

Where: 6024 Rip Rap Road, Dayton

Hours: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-Midnight Friday and Saturday

More information: (937) 236-4329 or www.ripraproadhouse.com

Bike Nights: Wednesday Bike Nights have become a tradition at Jackass Flats and one that Rip Rap Roadhouse plans to continue and build on. It’s one of the largest in Ohio and takes place over 4-5 hours. Bikers start rolling in at 4 p.m., a limited menu is available for order, live music kicks on at around 6:30 p.m. and by 8 p.m. more than 1,000 motorcycles will have filled up the parking lot and field. At around 8:30 p.m. you start seeing people take off and by 9:30 p.m. there are just a few folks left.

On tap: There are currently 16 beer taps in the main bar and 8 in the restaurant. Rip Rap Roadhouse offers around 18 different draft beers total — many of them domestics.

Cocktails: There are plans for a specialty drink menu featuring prohibition-era cocktails, but for now just go with the classics.

DAYTON EATS

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During the summers when the weather was nice, I always loved hitting the bike trails from downtown to go to Jackass Flats on Rip Rap Road for lunch on the weekends.

The food was always just so-so, but the people and motorcycle watching were spectacular. The patio was spacious and the drinks were refreshing. Not to mention the exhilarating ride getting out there.

So when my husband and I headed out to see the latest incarnation — Rip Rap Roadhouse — it was with an open mind, but not necessarily great expectations.

What we saw had us each doing a triple take. This wasn’t just a facelift, it was major surgery and it was more than I could have ever hoped for.

Here are 3 reasons to add this to your places to visit:

1. THE ATMOSPHERE

The 160-year-old barn has been lovingly restored. A 1,000 square-foot commercial kitchen was added and a 1950s inspired family friendly restaurant was added.

Everywhere you look, every surface, floor, wall and fixture has been thoughtfully updated with a look that invites you to sit and enjoy. There’s no question if you had been here previously that this is a far, far cry from the predecessor. The bathrooms are not even recognizable.

Restored Indian motorcylces including a 1937 Indian Junior Scout behind the main bar and a 1920 Indian Powerplus behind the restaurant bar are appointments that would make the American Pickers proud.

2. THE SERVICE

The bartenders and servers were friendly and helpful on repeat visits and quick to serve up a generous cocktail in a squat mason jar inside of the bar.

3. THE MENU

The applewood smoked wings ($5.75 for six) were flavorful and can be eaten without sauce, although the sweet Thai chili was a nice option that packed some kick.

The meatloaf ($7) was tender and delicious. Upgrade any meal with some sides like the robust cowboy beans ($2.25) that strike a nice balance on flavor and rely on the beans to bring the bulk of the flavor to the dish. The cheesy potatoes ($2.25) are everything you would hope they would be and the Roadhouse gumbo and white chicken chili are also flavor-packed add-ons to bring some heat to any meal.

The sandwiches and burgers are all worth ordering, and the sides are equally strong. The broasted chicken was solid, but could use more flavor, less salt and wasn’t as tender as I would like it. Marinating it longer prior to frying might help soften it up.

A flatiron steak is a great value at $12.50 and is made with “Indian Jim’s Secret Steak Seasoning.”

The menu is still a work in progress and the kitchen is continuing to improve. It’s nice to see that as much thought and attention was put into the menu and the meals being served as was put into the restaurant updates.

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