AUGUST 31ST, 2022

Last month, Glasshouse Realty Group kicked off our “Get to Know the Oregon District” series by visiting four of the bars local to the great city of Dayton, and in doing so, we discovered just a taste of what this community has to offer! This month, we chose to shift our focus to restaurants within the district. So come along and perhaps you’ll find your new go-to spot to grab a bite!

Our first stop is Jay’s Seafood Restaurant, which can be found at 225 East 6th Street. We were fortunate enough to get in contact with the owner, Amy Haverstick, who told us that Jay’s opened their doors on February 26th of 1976, and that it “was the first business to enter the Oregon District. My father Jay studied hospitality management at Michigan State, when Jay’s opened he had another restaurant in Centerville called the Yankee Tavern.”

Amy provided us with some of the history of Jay’s as well, saying that items such as the bar and the light fixtures are historical items from previous establishments. The bar, for example, was initially commissioned by James Jacob Ritty in 1882 and existed in Ritty’s Pony House Restaurant, which went through several name changes over the years before closing its doors in 1967 and being preserved by William H. Eicher of United Moving & Storage, Inc. of Dayton, and then reassembled in Jay’s. They also exist in what was formerly the Dayton Corn & Grist Mill, with the building having been constructed in the 1850’s, even having the original floors to this day. 

When asked what the most popular item on the Jay’s Seafood menu was, Amy said, “Our number one seller is our Bourbon Salmon.  It is a blackened salmon served over horseradish mashed potatoes and sweet potato purée, topped with our house made bourbon sauce.” She also mentioned that Jay’s tends to bring in seasonal fish, and currently they’re offering walleye and halibut. Jay’s offers a wide range of market available seafood, as well as a few items to appease those who may prefer chicken or red meat. Their menu can be found hereWhile a visit to Jay’s is highly recommended, you can also find them on Grubhub and Doordash!

Their current hours are as follows: closed on Monday-Tuesday, Wednesday-Thursday open from 5pm-9pm, Friday-Saturday open from 5pm-10pm, and Sunday open from 5pm-9pm. 

Reservations are recommended, and you can visit this page to make your reservations, or you can call 937-222-2892 on Wednesday-Friday from 10am-9pm, Saturday from 11:30am-10pm, or Sunday from 3:15pm-9pm to make your reservations or to find our more information!

Next, we take a short walk to 400 East 5th Street where we’ll find Salar Restaurant and Lounge. Owner and Executive Chef Margot Blondet came to the US in 2005 from Peru and opened a restaurant that, “serves up a love-enhancing menu bursting with the rich flavors and passion of Peru, from a heady cocktail to a super-healthy vegetarian entree, and, of course, dessert.”

Their website lists French, Mediterranean, and Peruvian influences present in their menu. Salar offers brunch, dinner, and some delicious desserts as well as a large amount of cocktails, wines and beers to choose from! I tried their Faroe Island Salmon, which their menu describes as, “pan seared salmon filet served with roasted baby carrots, yuca cakes, and arugula tossed in a Champagne sauce.” It was fantastic and I highly recommend giving it a chance! But their menu is broad enough to have something that should appeal to anyone you may want to bring with you, from vegetarian options to lamb shanks and ribeye steaks! Their brunch menu also provides many choices to choose from, ranging from dishes like their Eggs Benedict (grilled Brioche bun with choice of grilled ham or filet mignon, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce, served with roasted potatoes), to Shrimp Étouffée (shrimp stewed with onion, celery, and peppers and served over creamy polenta), as well as traditional brunch drinks like mimosas and bloody marys!

It is a fantastic spot in the Oregon District that offers up a menu rich with options you won’t find many places around here!

Their kitchen opens at 4pm daily, and closes at 9pm everyday except Friday and Saturday, when it stays open until 9:30. They’re also open from 10am-2pm Saturday and Sunday for brunch!

Their website has a reservations section with a pop up to select the date and time, or you can call them at 937-203-3999 to reserve your table! For parties of 12 or more, they say to call 937-660-8999 to book a reservation. They also allow you to order delivery through Doordash as well, or you can call 937-321-4384 to order carryout!

Our final stop this month is just on the other side of the street at 329 East 5th Street, which is where you’ll find Lily’s. In 2013, Lily’s originally opened as Lily’s Bistro, but in 2020 due to Covid, they changed some of their strategies and rebranded as Lily’s Dayton. They describe their menu as including “favorites like our local, free-range fried chicken, shrimp & grits, deviled eggs, and other American Southern dishes with eclectic Polynesian and tropical flavors like bao buns, pork belly or vegetarian ramen, and bahn mi/po boy sandwiches designed to pair with our tiki-inspired craft cocktail program.”

Their dinner menu, which can be found here, is just as varied as that description suggests! I tried their fried chicken with their loaded mashed potatoes and it was great! Their pork belly ramen is next on my list to try! They also offer brunch on the weekends, with options ranging from their Fried Chicken & Waffle sandwich to Buddha Bowls. They also have a large bar menu that includes cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks and brunch options as well!

Lily’s is a casual spot that offers up outdoor seating as well, but they still try to limit seating due to Covid. They do take reservations, and those can be made here. For more information, you can call the restaurant at 937-723-7637. Their current hours are as follows: closed Monday and Tuesday, open 4:30pm-9pm Wednesday-Thursday, 4:30pm-10pm Friday-Saturday, and 4:30pm-9pm on Sunday. They’re open 10am-2pm Friday-Sunday for brunch as well! You can also order contactless curbside carryout or delivery within 5 miles here!

I highly recommend visiting all three of the businesses covered in this month’s post, but there are plenty of other options we didn’t cover that are absolutely worth a visit! Some of those include Roost Modern Italian, The Oregon Express Pizza Tavern, Thai 9 and more! 

Check out their websites or reach out by phone to find out more, and don’t forget the Out on 5th event, as several of these businesses participate in that as well.

Just be sure to visit with an open mind and an empty stomach, and you’ll surely find a new favorite dish!

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Authored by Sean Frost

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