The Century Bar, downtown Dayton’s nationally acclaimed bourbon destination, is now opening an hour earlier every day as its owners attempt to navigate the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
A state-mandated 10 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales at bars and restaurants, designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19, has taken a deeper bite into sales of pubs and establishments trying to regain their financial footing following a forced shutdown of dine-in and bar service.
At The Century Bar, sales had plunged to only about one-quarter of what they had been before the coronavirus pandemic, and after the 10 p.m. sales curfew was established, sales dropped even further, to about 15 percent of pre-pandemic levels, Century Bar co-owner Diane Spitzig told this news outlet.
Spitzig said The Century Bar is now opening one hour earlier every day, at 3 p.m. during the week, and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Century Bar relocated to 18 S. Jefferson St. on Feb. 2. But the bar and all others were ordered closed six weeks later, on March 15, due to state efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It reopened June 12, with restrictions and a limited menu.
The Century Bar scored a national shout-out last year from The Bourbon Review as one of America’s Best Bourbon Bars 2019. It was the seventh consecutive year that The Century Bar had earned recognition from this industry publication, which decided in 2019 to expand the pool of recipients a bit from the previous year’s America’s 100 Best Bourbon Bars.
The continuing recognition from Bourbon Review is not the only national acclaim that has been heaped upon The Century. In February 2015, Men’s Journal magazine’s website declared The Century one of the “10 Best Bourbon Bars in America,” describing it as “a small bar with a huge bourbon list, The Century is as devoted to the whiskey as any other place in America.”
And in October 2014, The Century made a list of the 15 best bourbon bars in America assembled by travelandleisure.com.