Cheap Eats at Sea Jax in Kettering

By Amelia Robinson

Staff Writer

Sea Jax Tavern has deliciously stable land legs.

The nautical-themed restaurant and ‘drifting always again in Margeritaville-ish’ pub at 5900 Bigger Road in Kettering is not the sort of place you want to go to on a full stomach.

Image Source: Sea Jax Tavern/Facebook


The laid back ‘neighborhood joint actually owned by the neighbors’ belongs to Ron and Christy Sweeney, the founders and former owners of Sweeney’s Seafood Restaurant. That restuarant is now Sweeney’s Seafood Bar & Grill and owned by Larry and Holley Thompson of Springboro.

Sea Jax's uncomplicated menu is pack with bar nibbles, burgers, sandwiches and house takes on New Orleans and seafood classics.

Great food and you can still afford Netflix after buying it.

In other words, the grub is affordable.

I recently joined a group of friends there for a meal that was far from typical pub food.

Here is a look at some of what on the menu:


  • Something wet

    Cheap Eats at Sea Jax in Kettering , item 1
    The Bikini Dropper (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson


    Sea Jax has an extensive list of craft beers bottled and on tap, including Ohio and local favorites - Fat Head, Madtree , Great Lakes, Warped Wing, Yellow Springs Brewery and Dayton Beer Company.

    →Dayton's craft beer: A guide to breweries←

    The full bar features specialty cocktails like the pictured Bikini Dropper. The blend of Captain Morgan spiced rum, Amaretto, orange juice, pineapple juice with Myers's Dark Rum is a refreshing summer beverage.


  • Exploding Shrimp

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    Boom Boom Shrimp at Sea Jax. Staff photo by Amelia Robinson

    Just as the name implies, Boom Boom Shrimp ($10.99) explode in your mouth. These battered and fried crustaceans maintains their crunch despite being covered in a spicy buffalo wing-like sauce.

  • Half Shelled

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    Oysters on a half shell at Sea Jax. Staff photo by Amelia Robinson

    If you are going to have explosive shrimp, you might as well have oysters ($2.49 each) too. Sea Jax sells them from the Jax steamer bar. We had them the old fashion way - raw on the half shell with horseradish, cocktail sauce, lemon wedges and crackers. You can also order them fried. The bar also several Baked Oyster Rockefeller (4 for $10.99), mussels ($9.99) and peel and eat shrimp (9.99).

  • Wing Night

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    Sea Jax wings with spicy garlic sauce. Staff photo by Amelia Robinson


    Wings are 65 cents each at Sea Jax on Thursday. My dining companions took full advantage of this and recommended wings with the spicy garlic sauces. You can see the garlic on the wings and feel it in your throat. Other sauce options include mild, medium, hot, savage, dry rub and bourbon BBQ.

    VIDEO: crowns the chicken wing king


  • Big fish in town

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    Sea Jax's Fish Tacos. Staff photo b Amelia Robinson

    This isn’t your typical Fish Taco. Sea Jax’ fish tacos ($12.99) - a patron favorite according to our waiter - is highlighted by giant pieces of crispy ad delicious grouper in soft shell with pico de gallo, shredded cabbage, lime juice and the aforementioned Boom-Boom sauce. Oh and there is also rice and beans. Nummy. The grouper also comes on a black and bleu sandwich for $9.99.

  • Old Creole

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    Beer battered Sea Jax onion rings and Shrimp Creole. Staff photo by Amelia Robinson.

    Sea Jax dips its foot in to the Big Easy with Shrimp Creole (shrimp served with white rice and garlic toast) and shrimp, sausage and chicken Jambalaya.

  • Trendy Fries

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    Poutine at Sea Jax. Staff photo by Amelia Robinson


    There are no cheese curds, but Sea Jax’s honors Quebec with its version of the very trendy poutine.

    Delicious brown gravy, shredded cheese and tender top round beef cover crispy French (Canadian) fries ($12.99).

    →Dayton’s 6 most unique and yumtastic French fries←


  • Burger, burger, burger

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    The Buckeye - a burger topped wiht cheddar cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce, and a large onion ring - with beer battered fries. Staff photo by Amelia Robinson


    The eatery is as much about burgers as it is anything else. You can get a regular “Jax Straight Up Burger,” but there are no less than 10 signature burgers to try. They range from the house made quinoa and cannellini bean-based veggie burger to the Octoberfest burger, sauerkraut, grilled onions, pickles, pepperjack cheese and mustard. The Sticky Fingers burger — bacon jam, peanut butter and jalapeno cheddar has the perfect name. Burgers are $4.99 to $11.99.


  • The Details

    Cheap Eats at Sea Jax in Kettering , item 9
    Photo by Amelia Robinson


    Sea Jax Tavern, 5900 Bigger Road, Kettering; 937.439.1664,

    Connect: Facebook —; Twitter —; Instagram —

    Restaurant hours: 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 11:30a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday and 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday

    The bar stays open 30 minutes longer than the restaurant.