Remember Dayton’s Upper Krust? It quietly lives on at Jimmie’s Ladder 11

What better way to celebrate a Dayton restaurant’s milestone anniversary than with some delicious Dayton foodie history.

On Nov. 11, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 turns 10 years old. Situated in the restored 1892 firehouse at 936 Brown St., the restaurant and bar is named after the former firehouse, which boasted one of the city’s first ladder trucks.

Today, the establishment is known for its signature sandwiches, several of which pay homage to a bygone spot that was once a hub for local foodies. Upper Krust, a beloved, Dayton-rooted restaurant with several locations, including the popular North Main Street location, was co-founded by Jack Rouda. The deli, full of charm and character, was known for its over-stuffed sandwiches available until late in the night. In fact, it served up one fine sandwich known as the Philadelphian, featuring pastrami, corned beef and cole slaw stuffed between two slices of great rye bread.

Though Upper Krust has been closed since the early 2000s, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 keeps several of its recipes alive through some of Jimmie’s favorite menu items.

Rouda, now deceased, was a longtime mentor and dear friend of Jimmie Brandell, founder of Jimmie’s Ladder 11. To this day, Brandell and Rouda’s children still get together for a meal on Father’s Day.

In celebration of and leading up to the big 1-0, a special “appreciation post” will be posted to Jimmie’s Ladder 11 Facebook page, highlighting menu items and special one-day deals related to the history of both restaurants.

“It was a place that wasn’t just like a place to get a sandwich,” said Nick Brandell, son of Jimmie Brandell and general manager at Jimmie’s Ladder 11. “It was kind of like a community center where all walks of life, all people, would come together and appreciate this thing that happened to be in the middle of Dayton.”

Jimmie’s Ladder 11 is the last link to enjoying some of Upper Krust’s original recipes in the Dayton area or anywhere, according to Brandell.

For example, the Ladder 11 sandwich is the same recipe as the aforementioned Philadelphian sandwich.

“It’s kind of a monumental thing for a restaurant to be around that long after a pandemic and just the general failure rate of restaurants,” Brandell said. “So, we are ecstatic about being able to do this in a community that has always been supportive of the things that it likes, but if it doesn’t like something, then it usually doesn’t last too long.”

In addition to the appreciation posts leading up to Nov. 11 anniversary, classic Dayton band, Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers, will perform during the evening’s dinner service. There’s no cover to see the show, though dinner reservations are recommended. The restaurant is also asking guests to stay for only one set in order for other guests to dine-in and enjoy the show.

Brandell said the Jimmie’s Ladder 11 team couldn’t thank the community enough for its continuous support, especially through the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more Jimmie’s Ladder 11 anniversary information, follow the Facebook page



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