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The Tropics has what Fraze Pavilion ticket holders need

By Alexis Larsen - Contributing Writer

There are plenty of great restaurants located near the Fraze to grab dinner before a show — Figlio and Hawthorne Grill being some of the best among them. But for those planning dinner before a concert who want to be able to know where things stand on stage without entering the Fraze, there’s only one destination that will offer, food, drink and the ability to know when the opening band is wrapping up — The Tropics.

Featuring a spacious patio that overlooks Lincoln Park and the Fraze Pavilion, The Tropics is the closest dining venue to the Fraze, offering up to 50 patio diners the opportunity to hear the sounds of concerts wafting in the breeze.

The restaurant, which seats 235 inside in a mixture of booths and tables, offers a full bar, wine list and 18 beers on tap in addition to menu items featuring pizzas, sandwiches and salads. It also offers 10 entrees ranging from $13.95-$24.95 for those looking for a more robust meal.

The food presentations and ingredients are straight forward and stick with classic restaurant menu items that nearly all customers will be familiar and comfortable with — Turkey Club ($8.95), Reuben ($8.95), Pulled Pork sandwich ($8.95), Cheddar Burger ($8.95), Veggie Burger ($8.95), Guinness Beer Battered Cod ($12.95), Prime Rib ($19.95), Veggie Pasta ($13.95), Chef Salad ($10.95) … you get the idea.

Although there is no cover — even on nights featuring live entertainment — the restaurant has a patio policy on evenings of Fraze shows that customers spend at least $10 per hour per chair at their table. Get there early because, not surprisingly, seats fill up fast.

The independent restaurant is owned and operated by Bill and Annette Mangan, who have a long history in the restaurant business. They previously owned the Peasant Stock Cafes from 1987 through 1996 with locations at both the Dayton and Salem Malls. From 1997 through 2005, they owned the Oasis Café in Xenia, and the couple still own and operate Cherry House Café in Beavercreek.

So, where to go if you’re looking for a drink after a Fraze concert?

You could do Harrigan’s Tavern or another nearby bar, but we’d stick with The Tropics. It’s close, you can walk there and you can wait for the traffic to subside.

The bar menu features six specialty tropical drinks including the classic Pina Colada and Hurricane priced at $6.95 each. The 18 beers on tap include the usual selection of domestics as well as Blue Moon, Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Ale, Guinness, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Stella Artois, Unibroue, Kona Brewing Co.’s Coco Brown, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Bells 2 Hearted Ale, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter and Fox Barrel Pear Cider. Heavy beers for a tropical bar, but delicious nonetheless.

During Fraze shows the bartenders are a blur with cocktails and beer flying off the shelf. They do a good job of doing a quick turnaround during the high-volume moments that we were there to witness. On evenings of Fraze shows, they always have a band and they also seem to do a good job with bringing in acts that sound tight and are fun to listen to if you are looking to keep your musical experience going.

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