Some large-scale projects dominated the headlines in 2018. But there were a bunch of smaller business moves that have and will continue to help transform downtown.
Troll Pub at the Wheelhouse. The restaurant and pub at 216 Wayne Ave. made a big splash when it opened on St. Patrick's Day in 2018. The restaurant has a wide selection of beers on tap, lots of flat-screen televisions showing sports and a large menu with dishes including wings, sandwiches, burgers and pizza. The giant troll statue out front of the business has become a popular Dayton photo opportunity.
MORE: Troll Pub Dayton to host grand opening on … wait for it … St. Patrick’s Day!
Grace Lane Boutique is a new women's clothing, apparel, accessories, footwear and jewelry store at 133 E. Fourth St., in the ground floor of the St. Clair Lofts. The shop sells "sustainable" and "ethical" brands like FEED purses and bags and Toms footwear. The business has a soft opening a couple of weekends ago, but the grand opening is March 1, as part of downtown Dayton's First Friday activities.
White Anvil Tattoo has opened in a space at 135 E. Fourth St., next to Grace Lane Boutique. The tattoo shop has a rustic industrial-type atmosphere, with a pool table, reclaimed wood tables and seating, hanging Edison bulbs and animal taxidermy.
MORE: Dayton Funk Museum’s grand opening is sold out — but you can visit on Saturday
The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center had its grand opening in February 2018. The new center, at 113 E. Third St., has a collection of funk-related memorabilia, like artists' costumes and instruments, records and concert posters.
Bar Granada, a "scratch kitchen" and tapas bar, has opened in the former Wine Gallery space at 5 W. Monument Ave. The restaurant offers drink and food options with tastes of Spain. The tapas bar, on the banks of the Great Miami River in downtown, is part Spanish deli, part European cafe, its co-founder said.
MORE: New Spanish-themed tapas bar now open in downtown Dayton
Victoria Theatre Association's PNC Arts Annex is a new theater at 46 W. Second St., across from the Schuster Center. The Arts Annex has a 200-seat theater and interactive and flexible spaces for shows and other special events. The theater is the new home of shows by the Playground Theatre and Dare 2 Defy. The Arts Annex will host four of the VTA's "Discovery Series" shows as well as some family series shows.
NEW: Works begins on new Arts Annex, a downtown Dayton theater
Picture Perfect Paint Parties combines the fun of making art with the fun of alcohol. The business, at 123 N. Ludlow St., is a social and corporate paint party company. Customers can buy wine, champagne and light liquor drinks. Picture Perfect provides the art supplies including the canvases, paints, brushes, easels, aprons and plenty else. Customers choose a piece of art from the company's gallery. An artist guides customers through the steps of creating a painting of their own.
MORE: Downtown’s newest activated space: Picture Perfect Paint Parties
A+ Cleaners opened at 105 E Second St. in a long vacant space in the first floor of the JP Flats building. The dry cleaning business has other locations in Centerville, Miamisburg, Sugarcreek, Kettering and Trotwood.
The White House Events Center is a new event space at 101 E. Second St., next to A+ Cleaners in the JP Flats building. The multi-purpose venue is targeting smaller weddings, receptions, birthday parties, business meetings and other special events.
MORE: 2 new businesses coming to downtown Dayton
Speakeasy Yoga opened a second location in the ground floor of the Wheelhouse Lofts at 210 Wayne Ave. Speakeasy's first location opened at 510 E. Third St. in the Cannery loft apartments in 2016. The studio offers classes that range from gentle to challenging.
MORE: Speakeasy Yoga expands to second location in downtown Dayton
Crossfit Involve is a new gym and fitness studio at 150 S. Patterson Blvd., next to the Arby's and the Oregon District. Clients can take Crossfit classes led by a trainer that combine weightlifting, gymnastics and cardio exercises.
BodyGarage Daytonsays it is a "regenerative bio-boutique" at 123 Webster St. focused on improving health and vitality by removing "emotional trauma" from the body. Services include cupping therapy and a nutritional IV that feeds vitamins, minerals and amino acids into the bloodstream. The company's cosmetic services include cryo-laser and high-vibration therapies.
Tangram Flex is occupying space at 444 E. Second St. Founded in early 2018, the firm says it modernizes systems engineering and works with customers on the safety and security of cyber-physical systems.
MORE: Oregon District medical marijuana shop design criticized: ‘This looks like Wendy’s’
Strawberry Fields is a new medical marijuana dispensary coming to 333 Wayne Ave. in the Oregon District. The new dispensary is opening in an old auto service shop that has been vacant for years. The shop was a travel agency in the 1980s. Strawberry Fields has dispensaries in Colorado and Maryland. Construction is underway on the property.
Samantha Joy Events, a wedding and event planning business, committed to downtown. The business says it helps brides bring their vision to life.
Chelsea Hall Photography, which occupies a suite at 204 S. Ludlow St., specializes in wedding and portrait photography.
Olive Mediterranean Grill developed a loyal fan base when it opened several years ago on Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp. Last year, the restaurant, which specializes in Mediterranean and Greek food, moved into a vacant space at 44 W. Third St. The restaurant is a multi-time winner of one of Dayton.com's Best of Food and Dining awards.
MORE: Dayton’s best Mediterranean restaurant open in its new home downtown
Silver Phoenix Design renovated an abandoned garage and car restoration facility at 305 S. Patterson Blvd., which is across the street from the historic Armory building and close to the Oregon District. The firm offers small business branding, website design, photography and marketing.
Reza's Downtown is a coffee shop that is expected to open soon at 438 Wayne Ave. It will join several other coffee shops on Wayne, including Ghostlight Coffee, Press Coffee Bar and Wholly Grounds. Reza's investment is one of the reasons that people are starting to call Wayne Avenue a "coffee trail." The shop belongs to Audria Maki, founder of Reza's Roast coffee roastery in Fairborn.
UPDATE: ‘Reza’s Roast’ to open its 1st retail coffee shop on Wayne Ave
Westchester K-12 Publishing Services has offices at 411 E. Fifth St. The company's services include content development, art and design, production and project management.
N-Ovation Technology Group, an IT firm, moved into a space in the KeyBank Tower at 10 W. Second St. In addition to IT, the firm offers business services to clients in government, commercial, educational and health care industries.
Origami Madeis a software development consultancy group at 22 S. St. Clair St., in the first floor of the Lofts on St. Clair condos building.
Randi Levinson Sex & Relationship Coaching provides sex and relationship help by phone, video conferencing and in person. Randi Levinson says she is a certified clinical sexologist and has a master's in clinical psychology and marriage and family therapy. Her business is on Monument Avenue.
RELATED: This local woman launched a sex podcast, and it’s taking off
Berry Network had one of the largest downtown job announcements last year. It announced last fall that its 100 employees will take up about 19,000 square feet in the former PNC Bank building at 6 N. Main St. The company, which moved from Moraine, offers digital marketing and advertising programs and expertise. The business helps customers with media planning strategies and creative design.
US Census Bureau also announced it would occupy space at 6 N Main St. The Census is gearing up for the 2020 Decennial Census.
BREAKING: Large downtown tenants, Berry Network and U.S. Census, to boost Dayton’s core
Agape Media is a video production company located on Brown Street in the Oregon District. The company helps clients create social media content, wedding videography and real estate photography, high-definition video tours other media content.
Brooksource is an IT firm that 0ffers software development, technical support, network and system engineering and project management.
Energy Optimizers, USA last year announced it was moving into a newly renovated facility at 620 E. First St. The company specializes in developing, engineering and implementing energy-efficient and energy-savings projects for educational, government and commercial customers.
MORE: Tipp City energy firm to renovate Webster Station space
Lisse's Beauty Bar has moved into a space at 21 W. First St. The salon's services include hair cuts and styling, facials, body waxing, pedicures, manicures and nails.
E-Nor Inc.A data analytics company has a consultant with a downtown presence.
Comfort Keepersis a provider of in-home care services in the region. The company, which will occupy space in the 111 W. First St. building, provides light housekeeping, personal care and meal preparation. Comfort Keepers of Dayton also offers companionship support, dementia and Alzheimer's care, hospital to home transition, end-of-life care and respite support.
RSM US, an accounting firm, moved from Moraine into a building at 10 S. Patterson Blvd. in late spring. The firm, which has about 70 employees, occupies about 14,000 square feet of space in the top two floors of the building. The firm has a young workforce and wanted to be near downtown's amenities to attract young talent.