Celebrate the beginning of autumn in downtown Dayton with shopping, dining, music and more

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

As autumn begins to transform our surroundings, the Downtown Dayton Partnership is here with a nearly endless supply of ways to celebrate the changing seasons during their monthly First Friday event on Oct. 1.

Beginning today at 5 p.m., visitors to downtown Dayton can enjoy art installations, drinks and food on the patio, live music, special shopping deals and more.

For starters, though, a few downtown Dayton businesses are celebrating their big accomplishments this weekend as well. Flying Pizza, located at 223 N. Main St., will be celebrating 50 years in business. Friday will mark the final day of their week-long celebration, which includes giveaways of T-shirts, sweatshirts, treats and 16 big-screen televisions.

Today, Zen Lounge & Sushi Bar, located at 121 N. Ludlow St., on the ground floor of the Talbott Tower, will open its doors for the first time. The brand new restaurant will be offering a wide selection of sushi and a full-service bar. The hours of operation for Zen Lounge & Sushi Bar are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Here is the rundown of what’s going on during October’s First Friday, according to the Downtown Dayton Partnership:

🎇Art, Dance, Music and Film

Black Box Improv Theater, 518 E. Third St.: The Black Box will be reopening with its first show on Friday, Oct. 1. Two shows will be offered at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are on sale now on the Black Box Improv Theater’s website. Proof of vaccination is required upon entry for all patrons and performers. Masks will also be required while inside the theater.

The Contemporary Dayton, 25 W. Fourth St.: The Contemporary Dayton will be hosting three installations by Dayton-based artist Mychaelyn Michalec (“From A Basement On A Hill”), New Jersey-based artist Nina Chanel Abney and Brooklyn-based artist Sara Cwynar. A special live “Artist Talk” with Michalec will also take place on Friday. Exhibits will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N.: Special exhibit “Photography Through Time” will be open until 5 p.m. Through showcasing early photographic processes to contemporary artworks that expand your notion of the medium, this exhibit features photography in its many forms. The exhibit features examples of daguerreotype, cyanotype, albumen, gelatin silver, chromogenic, photogravure and inkjet photographs.

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance - Dayton Philharmonic: There will be an 8 p.m. concert of “Beethoven’s Eroica: A Salute to Heroes” by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra at the Schuster Center. The Works by Austin Jaquith, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven. The show will feature a salute to the heroes of the pandemic — the first responders, medical personnel, delivery drivers “and all those whose jobs suddenly carried greater risk” — with works by Austin Jaquith, Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St.: The gallery will be open from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday.

Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave.: The pub, located at 300 Wayne Ave., will be hosting live music as a part of its Irish First Fridays series. A happy hour will be taking place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and seating will also be available on the extended patio.

Edward A. Dixon Gallery, lobby of 131 N. Ludlow St.: The Edward A. Dixon will be open until 6 p.m. during the First Friday event. Visitors can shop the gallery online by visiting shop.eadgallery.com.

First Friday at Front Street, 1001 E. Second St.: Visitors can spend an evening at the First Friday Art Hop with more than 40 art studios and galleries across the campus, live music from The Flashback Band and dinner by Rolling Oasis. The event will also feature an opening reception for “Between Realms” by artist Chip Williamson from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Building 100, CD Hall.

iMadeThis DIY Art Studio, 411 E. Fifth St.: iMadeThis offers hundreds of design-your-own activities for adults and children. The art studio is open until 9 p.m. on Friday.

K-12 Gallery and TEJAS, 341 S. Jefferson St.: This Friday will be the opening night for the K-12 and TEJAS exhibit “Artists in House,” with a variety of pieces by the K-12 Gallery and TEJAS teachers, staff and interns. Guests will particularly enjoy the Scarecrow Market, Hot Glass Pumpkins and the professional pumpkin carving demonstration from Rock on Ice. Tickets are $20 per person.

The Neon movie theater, 130 E. Fifth St.: Guests can indulge in the offerings from downtown Dayton’s independent art theater, located at 130 E. Fifth St., and beer and cocktail specials during First Friday.

Picture Perfect Paint Parties, 123 N. Ludlow St.: Take-home Paint Party Kits will be available for buy one, get one half off.

Skeleton Dust Records, 133 E. Third St.: Customers will find a variety of rock, punk, metal, R&B, hip hop, blues, jazz, electronic, experimental, reggae and world music in vinyl, CD and cassette form at Skeleton Dust Records. The shop is open until 6 p.m.

Toxic Brew Company, 431 E. Fifth St.: Visit Toxic Brew Company for a pint of local brew and for a chance to enjoy a new art display by local artist Dylan Sage.

Out on Fifth in the Oregon District, Fifth Street: Fifth Street will be closed to vehicular traffic to host live musicians, performers in the streets, restaurants and bars with extended patios and the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in the Oregon District.

Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St.: The comedy club will be hosting a special event with Heywood Banks, a “songwriter-comic-singer-poet-musician” who is equal parts “genius and buffoon.” The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are only available online or by calling (937)224-JOKE.

Yellow Cab Tavern Art Gallery, 700 E. Fourth St.: the Yellow Cab Gallery will again be hosting a monthly residency with local artists. The gallery opening party will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday with a special concert featuring Gulliver’s Travelling Medicine Show. The concert begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 pre-sale and $10 at the door.

🎇Dining and Drinks

Bozack’s Cocktail Lounge, 142 E. Third St: This urban upscale cocktail lounge will be open on Friday and serving up delicious drinks alongside live music.

Choice Juice Boxx, 31 S. St. Clair St.: They will be hosting a Friday Juice Happy Hour with a free wellness shot, which will be available until supplies run out. Choice Juice Boxx offers healthy and natural alkaline juices and drinks that promote a healthy lifestyle.

Jollity, 127 E. Third St.: Starting Labor Day weekend, Jollity will begin Saturday brunch from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Jollity is a new restaurant in The Fire Blocks District with a full-service new American and Midwest cuisine with global influence.

Local Cantina, 501 E. First St.: The restaurant will be offering $5 Mustache Ride Margaritas and $3 draft pints from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Lily’s Dayton, 329 E. Fifth St.: Open for dine-in, delivery with 937Delivers or carryout. Lily’s Dayton will be serving up local food and hand-crafted tiki or traditional cocktails.

Mudlick Tap House, 135 E. Second St.: Mudlick Tap House will be hosting Happiness Hours from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with $2 off glasses of wine, a $6 cocktail feature, $2 off draft beers and half off shareables.

Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St.: Oregon Express will be hosting a happy hour with deals from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and music from the Linda Prevo Band. Dine-in, carryout and curbside pickup available.

Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St.: Happy hour at Salar will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with cocktail specials, $5 house wine pours, $1 off of all beers, and bar bites specials. Available for dine-in or carryout.

Salt Block Biscuit Company, 115 E. Third St.: Salt Block has expanded dinner hours, with a special dinner menu for in-house dining, or your favorites to-go to enjoy at the Levitt Lawn. Find specials listed on the Salt Block Facebook page here or order for pickup on their website.

Third Perk Coffeehouse and Wine Bar, 146 E. Third St.: Friday nights are Cigars, Cocktails and The Patio at Third Perk from 7 p.m. to midnight. Enjoy your favorite coffee drinks or specialty cocktails with their full-service bar.

Troll Pub Dayton, 216 Wayne Ave.: Every Friday at the Troll Pub is part of W.T.F Happy Hours: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring half-priced pints and appetizers, $4 Fireball shots and $4 Wheatly vodka specials.

Table 33 Dayton, 130 W. Second St.: Fridays are wine night at Table 33, with $3.33 wine pairings with any entree.

Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.: Customers can enjoy a half-off happy hour!

Two Social Dayton, 123 E. Third St.: From drinking to games (and, well, drinking games), Two Social is the ideal hangout to meet new people, gain friendships and have a wonderful time in Dayton. Guests will find axe throwing, video games, bocce ball and more at the space in downtown Dayton. Reserve your axe throwing lane on their website.

Winans Chocolates and Coffee, 221 N. Patterson Blvd: Enjoy a First Friday at Winans with a special offer of $15 wine flights and a free piece of chocolate with the purchase of a latte. Open until 9:30 p.m.

Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St.: Come to the Yellow Cab Tavern for Pizza Bandit, drinks and special guest I Heart Ice Cream from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

🎇Special Shopping Deals and Activities

Choice Juice Boxx and Varsity House gallery, 31 S. St. Clair St.: Stop by the shop to grab a fresh juice or smoothie, or take a look at the offerings at Varsity House, which features local artists and makers.

Connect E-Sports, 212 Wayne Ave.: Stop by Connect E-Sports gaming in the Wheelhouse to play your favorite console or computer games in online tournaments or with your friends. Any new account at Connect E-Sports will receive one free hour of gaming on First Friday.

Grace Lane Boutique, 133 E. Fourth St.: Stop by this boutique to shop the latest in ethical fashion brands.

Vidia’s Closet, 27 S. St. Clair St.: Vidia’s Closet is having a First Friday Sale with 25% off all in-store inventory, and a free bottle of wine with all purchases of $100 or more.

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