November 21—Hank’s Local, a hole-in-the-wall bar that was recently updated and transformed into a restaurant with elevated bar food, darts and live music, celebrates 45 years of being part of the community of Dayton.
Christopher Shay became the owner of the restaurant and bar almost four years ago after the original owner, Hank Duff, decided to retire. Shay explained that Duff’s nephew, Mike Mantia, had helped her run the bar for the past few years.
Shay and his sons, Chadd and Jesse, used the extra time they had during the coronavirus shutdown to revamp what was once a darts room into a kitchen serving made-from-scratch comfort food, one-of-a-kind sandwiches, pizzas and more.
“We have a lot of cool stuff that highlights the history of the area,” Chadd said. “I’m really proud to be from Dayton.”
Chadd, who serves as general manager, explained that he graduated from Ohio State University, moved to Denver, but eventually returned to his hometown to breathe new life into the longtime facility.
The menu offers several items such as Dayton Triangles (nachos), Wright Bros. Pastrami or the Patterson Pulled Pork Sandwich showcasing the town’s history. Other menu items include wings, salads, burgers, specialty macaroni, sirloin, salmon, hand-cooked stone-fired pizzas and more. The restaurant also serves Dayton and Cincinnati beers in addition to their premium scotches and bourbons.
“It’s a diamond in the rough,” Chadd said. “It’s one of those places where you walk in from the outside, you don’t know what to expect and you walk in and you’re amazed.”
He explained that the establishment had grown from a dark, holey bar to a warm, welcoming restaurant “with a really cool, hip vibe where you almost feel like you’re part of a speakeasy.”
Shay said the establishment fits several niches, from sports bar to social club.
One of the things the family is really proud of is their ability to promote and support local businesses. For example, Shay said his bread and pretzels come from Big Sky Bread Company in Kettering.
Going forward, he said they plan to close their patio, update the exterior, host more private events and parties, and offer pizza delivery using a newly refurbished truck.
“We just want to grow the business where we satisfy the community,” Shay said. “We want this place to feel like home.”
Hank’s Local, formerly known as Hank’s Pub, has been a second home for many patrons over the years, including their longtime bartender Tammy Freeman who has worked at the bar for almost 40 years.
“We have a lot of regulars who are here every day no matter what,” Chadd said. “You know them by name. You know their life story.”
The family said they are lucky to be involved with a facility that has such a long history in the Dayton area.
Hank’s Local, located at 2529 Patterson Road in Dayton, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. The restaurant opens early on Sunday for brunch from 9:30 a.m.
The family plans to celebrate the facility’s 45th anniversary next month with a special event. For more restaurant and bar information or a list of upcoming musicians and bands, visit www.hankslocal.com or its Facebook or Instagram pages.