What traveling sisters experienced when they opened their ‘Complimentary Bar’ in the Oregon District

Texas women offer reflections after visit that allowed them to experience the food, drinks and people of Dayton community.

A pair of Texas sisters who serve up compliments from their makeshift bar, say the Oregon District made more than a little impression on them.

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San Antonio-based sisters Krissy and Heather Stiver recently brought their interactive art project, The Complimentary Bar, to Dayton as part of a partnership with their cousin,  Wendy Stiver, the Dayton's police major in charge of the Central Patrol Operations Division, which includes downtown and the Oregon District, her own neighborhood.

>> Who is Wendy Stiver?

The sisters built a rustic-looking saloon and began traveling across the country, serving up positivity.

Heather shared some of her impressions of Dayton’s entertainment district:

The Oregon District is one of those eclectic neighborhoods you wish you lived around the corner from.

It’s a place you want to bring all your friends to, but at the same time keep secret so it doesn’t get overrun and lose its authenticity.

>> 10 reasons to love Fifth Street and the Oregon District

The roads are bricked, the sidewalks shaded, and quirky shops and eateries line each block. From bookstores, to hat shops, adult toy stores to beauty salons and a Goodwill smack dab in the middle, there’s something for everyone. 

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We literally ate, drank and shopped our way through the District and were still discovering new nooks and crannies before our time was up.

A few of my favorite things from my visit: 

• The Trolley Stop’s back patio that feels like you stumbled into a secret garden 


• Toxic’s light & airy openness and late-night fire dancing 

• Blind Bob’s hula hoops: basically deep fried pineapple rings dusted with powdered sugar 

• Heart Mercantile’s snarky inventory. Seriously… you can’t walk out of this shop without laughing out loud at least once 

• The large dance floor & swings at Ned Pepper’s 

• Crafted & Cured’s friendly staff 

>> Oregon District undeterred after mass shooting

>> DAYTON STRONG! Oregon District shop and bar raise boatload for victims of summer tragedies 

This unique blend of cafes, pubs, thrift stores, & boutiques, each with its own individual vibe are, I hate to say it, a tourist’s dream! But it’s more than that. After spending a few days in the District, you’ll see that it’s a flourishing little family. 

>> Lily’s offers one of Dayton’s best restaurant patios

The people that call this area home support each other’s endeavors and genuinely seem to like hanging out with each other. It wasn’t uncommon for us to run into off-duty employees from Heart Mercantile or Lily’s Bistro kicked back enjoying cocktails at Blind Bob’s; or the owners of Toxic and Lush chilling on the sofa at beck + call.

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And almost everyone in the district had stopped by either Rebel Rebel or Gem City Tattoo to get some Dayton ink therapy (myself included). Watching this frequent overlap of characters popping into each other’s businesses made me realize how close-knit this community really is and how lucky I was to get a sneak peek into their lives. Thank you for taking us in Dayton, we love y’all and can’t wait to come back.

 >> The best spots for casual, late-night eats in the Oregon District


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