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Final \'last call\' for Dayton bar at historic location | Taste: Dayton food and restaurants

Home > Blogs > Taste: Dayton food and restaurants > Archives > 2011 > October > 25 > Entry

Final ‘last call’ for Dayton bar at historic location

Here’s a sneak peek at a story scheduled to run in Friday’s Dayton Daily News:

DAYTON — If the walls of Jimmie’s Cornerstone Bar and Grille could talk, stories would flow like — well, like beer from a bottle.

The bar at 1001 Brown St., which traces its history back to the 1860s, will serve a ceremonial “last call” on Halloween Night — Monday, Oct. 31, according to Jimmie and Sue Brandell, the bar’s owners. The bar will close at the end of business Monday night.

In early November, the Brandells will move the bar caddy-corner and just down the street from its current location to 936 Brown St., where they’ll open Jimmie’s Ladder 11 in a structure that formerly served as a Dayton firehouse. The Brandells are gearing up for a grand opening of their new venture on 11-11-11, and are planning a ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. that day.

The firehouse that houses the new bar and restaurant dates back to 1892 and is believed to be one of the last Dayton fire houses to use horse-drawn apparatus. It was in continuous use until the new Fire House No. 11 opened at 145 Warren Street in 1987.

But the existing Jimmie’s Cornerstone Bar, which has been purchased by Miami Valley Hospital, has its own long and colorful history. Jimmie Brandell has found a hand-written deed to the property from 1867 and a liquor license from 1887. It was a bar during the late 1880s, and later, in the 1930s through about 1950 or later, was a cafe that served thousands of NCR workers.

“This is such a neat place. There’s so much character here,” Brandell said. “I didn’t realize it until people started coming in and sharing their stories.” One Dayton-area man comes in every holiday season to toast the place where his great-great grandparents met and later married, Brandell said.

Brandell himself said he was in the bar on his wedding night 26 years ago, and bought it about four years later. Two sons work at the bar, and one of his sons, a student at Sinclair Community College’s culinary school, is helping to shape the menu for the new Jimmie’s Ladder 11.

Miami Valley Hospital agreed to renovate and sell the former firehouse to Brandell as part of a deal in which the hospital bought the Cornerstone property. The hospital earlier had purchased the property next door to Jimmie’s Cornerstone that housed Wah Fu restaurant, and demolished the building. Hospital officials say they consider buying properties that are contiguous to the hospital. MVH spokeswoman Nancy Thickel said earlier this week that the hospital has no current plans for the Jimmie’s Cornerstone property.

The Brandells, on the other hand, have big plans for Jimmie’s Ladder 11, which will seat about 125 on the first floor, 60 to 80 on the second floor, and another 100 on two patios. Artisans have carefully restored and re-used many of the firehouse furnishings, including a wooden fire pole and the grates from steam-fed heat. The menu will include fresh fish, steaks and pasta dishes. Employment will jump from 15 to as high as 50, Jimmie Brandell said.

“There is nothing like this in Dayton,” Brandell said. “This is going to be great for the city.”

How to Go:

What: Last call at Jimmie’s Cornerstone Bar and Grille

Where: 1001 Brown St., (at Wyoming Street), Dayton

When: the evening of Monday, Oct. 31

Why: The bar is closing to move down the street to 936 Brown St.

More info: (937) 424-1784


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