Nestled in a snug turquoise storefront, the Little Art Theatre festoons its silver screen with independent flicks and films helmed by local auteurs. Cineastes can treat peepers to current and upcoming features, such as the Ewan McGregor–starring dramedy Beginners, or Buck, a moving documentary about Buck Brannaman, the inspiration for The Horse Whisperer and its sequel The Horse Whisperer 2: Whisper Harder. Crafted by an artist more than 50 years ago, six stoic houselights preside over enraptured audiences cushioned in the intimate 180-seat theater. Two cartons of buttery popcorn grease up thumbs for swift up-or-down critiquing, and curious patrons can eat while pondering the projector room’s celluloid secrets.
The first Funny Bone was born more than three decades ago after a comedy show left cofounder Gerald Kubach's sides aching so bad that he knew he had to get into the standup business. Now in more than 25 cities, the clubs have played host to such luminaries as Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, and Roseanne Barr. In Dayton, while patrons practice projecting their laughter toward the stage they can quash hunger by digging into a menu of pub fare.
Subdued lighting and the click of rolling pool balls set a classic pub scene inside Dog's Breath Tavern, a neighborhood spot with cold drinks and satisfying eats. Patrons sip beer or cocktails as they nosh on burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas from nearby Cousin Vinny's Pizza. If they're not playing pool or listening to live bands play, guests can also watch sports games on seven 42-inch flat-screen televisions and three flat-screen televisions that broadcast at a whopping 120 inches.
Angie's Firehouse Tavern is owned by a former Dayton flame-fighter and his family, who serve up a menu loaded with comfort fare made from scratch daily for lunch and dinner. Savory sandwiches ($5.25+), soups ($2.49+), and signature fare, such as the comforting cabbage rolls served with mashed potatoes ($8.99), frolic across dining-room tables as guests ogle the eatery's massive 73-inch television, which stands taller than most adult men and sasquatches with poor posture. Customize a hand-shaped third-pound burger with your choice of toppings ($5.99+), or conquer the spiciness of the five-alarm burger, topped with buffalo sauce, jalapeños, pepper-jack cheese, and crispy onion straws ($6.99), while cooling down on the patio or diligently cataloguing the dining room's firehouse-themed décor in hopes of finding a functioning hose.
The DVIDA-certified instructors at Always Ballroom Dance Studio believe that dance can benefit anyone, and uphold a policy of total acceptance across experience levels. On the glossy scape of blond hardwood floors, they monitor shimmies in both private and group lessons, prepping couples for their wedding-dance debut or showcasing a stock of nightclub moves. Pupils needn't reserve a spot or have a partner to attend most group sessions—the studio provides everything down to airsickness bags for soaring spins, and accommodates diverse tastes with more than 20 dance styles on its syllabus. Special events such as lock-ins and Salsa Saturdays top off the swinging schedule.
For $10, you get two tickets to see Mike Lukas on Friday, August 5, at 9 p.m. (a $20 value). For $12, you get two tickets to see Mike Lukas on Saturday, August 6, at 8 p.m. (a $24 value). For $12, you get two tickets to see Mike Lukas on Saturday, August 6, at 10:30 p.m. (a $24 value).
Boston's Bistro and Pub takes beer seriously—17 taps pour a rotating selection of global craft brews, and the beer list teems with more than 100 bottles. A beer garden gives its brews a place to roam outdoors, and an onsite brew school teaches beer enthusiasts the finer points of brewing while instilling etiquette and charm into rowdy porters and stouts. Owner David Boston balances this passion for beer with his family's Hungarian heritage, serving a bistro menu of traditional magyar kolbasz sausage, pork kraut, kosher soft pretzels from Rinaldo's Italian bakery, and Zwack slaw and incorporating European meats and cheeses into paninis, pizzas, and spinach salads.
David Boston and his pub trace their history back through the coal mines of West Virginia and the factories of Ohio, en route to West Dayton, where in 1927 David's ancestors set up their own business, the Ole Time Bar, on Fifth Street. Boston's Bistro and Pub is the family's latest culinary enterprise, now carrying the torch for fine, frothy brews and Magyar delicacies for more than 30 years.