My whole world is made of stone; I crunch numbers, analytics, and demographics and make decisions based on them. Luckily, there are some things you can’t measure.
One of my favorite lines from Shawshank Redemption is Andy Dusfresne talking to Red about his harmonica and hope, saying “... there are places in this world that aren't made out of stone. That there's something inside... that they can't get to, that they can't touch.”
There are two Dayton establishments that come to mind when I think of that quote and do things just a little bit differently; Yellow Cab Tavern and Toxic Brew Company
On their own, cities can be a magnificent testament to great planning, and awesome architecture. However, without culture and community those assets are nothing but pieces at an outdoor museum.
If you like unique things, you’ve probably been to Yellow Cab for an event. The brainchild of the Dayton Circus Creative Collective, Yellow Cab was where Dayton finally found a home for food truck rallies, an annual art show, live music, the night market, this year’s BBQ Rodeo and a slew of other events. The group has continually found ways to make the most of the old headquarters for Dayton taxi services.
My first experience at Yellow Cab was Sideshow, the creative collective’s signature annual event and art show. It was 2014, and honestly I didn’t even know I was attending Sideshow, until I sat down to talk with Tara More to talk all things Yellow Cab this time last year.
I was lured there to see a friend’s band and like many people who have made the walk down 4th street after midnight, my group was skeptical of their surroundings.
Vacant buildings surround the premises, which make for quite the contrast once you arrive at Yellow Cab.
Upon arrival at Sideshow we made our way through the building, surrounded by art displays, and welcomed by a bar serving plenty of local Dayton beer. Music blared loudly as people enjoyed whatever part of the event that pulled them in. As I mentioned, I had no idea what Yellow Cab was, who the creative collective was, or even what sideshow was, but it was a moment where the crowd knew something great was happening here.
Ran entirely by volunteers, Yellow Cab has created life where nothing but idle and decaying buildings exist...for now. With neighbors sleighted to move into a new development next door, new opportunities arise for a group at the forefront of creativity.
There is no denying creativity is great, but sometimes you wanna just get weird. Many of you reading this know Toxic is s great place to do it.
In November of 2014 I wrote my most popular blog post that detailed my experience with friends coming home for the first time and experiencing the grandeur of Warped Wing.
In that blog post, I carelessly called Toxic “just a blip on the radar” (For the record, I also called the Schuster & Dayton Dragons blips too, which probably wasn’t the most thought out of words).
“Blip” really doesn’t make their contribution sound all that important, and that’s not fair to Dayton's first brewery in over 50 years.
Early last month I stopped by Toxic’s first block party of the year (For the record, their 2nd anniversary block party last summer was my favorite event of the year). The party was equipped with live art, a DJ, playground style four square, food trucks and of course beer. The weather didn’t really cooperate, It was in the low 40s and the wind definitely had a bite.
NONE OF THAT MATTERED.
It was packed. Tumbleweed across the street? Way busier than it should be on a Sunday. We ate at Trolley Stop afterwards and the poor server was getting destroyed because they were more busy than they have ever been on Sunday. Toxic’s small block party, invigorated the whole district.
From their ownership, to the guys and girls behind the bar, Toxic’s laid back and weird atmosphere is everything that’s great about Dayton.
Whether you want to hang out and listen to some 90s hip-hop (WuTang Forever)or try an ever expanding list of beers and on-draft cocktails, Toxic is the place to do it. Even if you don’t like fun, there’s still shuffleboard, popcorn and the bar cat and always a pup or two on hand.