The Canal Street Tavern, the legendary downtown Dayton music venue, will undergo extensive modernization, get a new beer and food menu, and soon could telecast live shows in the tradition of Austin City Limits, the pending owner of the business said in an exclusive interview with the Dayton Daily News.
Shaine Sullivan, 44, of Dayton, said the plans are to continue the business as a music venue in the same eclectic tradition, with acts ranging from Americana-style folk music to jazz and rock. But the business will get another name, he said, that won’t forsake historical tradition.
It will be called the “Canal Public House,” in honor of its location along the old Miami-Erie Canal route, and offer craft beers and ales along with unique smoked meat sandwiches. A large smoker — big enough to accommodate two hogs — was delivered from Georgia this summer. The kitchen will be redone soon. The last show under the Canal Street Tavern name will be Saturday.
The tavern will not be transformed into a sports bar or establishment with any other theme, contrary to rumors, Sullivan said. The business at 308 E. First Street, will stay true to its live musical traditions.
Bill Daniels, owner of South Park Tavern and The Pizza Factory, purchased Canal Street from Mick Montgomery in 2012. Sullivan said Daniels will continue to own the building housing Canal for the time being, but he will purchase the business shortly.
Canal founder Mick Montgomery, who began the business 32 years ago, worked with the two for a time, but is now parting ways, Montgomery said. “We are parting ways as of Dec. 1,” he said.
A fund-raising campaign to defray Mick Montgomery’s hospital bills following an extensive stay for heart-related problems is underway at GiveForward.com. With 119 days left, it has reportedly raised $2,580 of the $10,000 goal. Montgomery said Wednesday that he’s home now.
Sullivan worked with Daniels as the General Manager of South Park. Sullivan hopes to build on that success with the new business.
“The papers are drawn up and ready to sign,” he said.
Sullivan added: “I want to keep the music in the place and the atmosphere of what it is. We are picking up on what Mick wanted to have done — move the bar, make more seating, fix up the sound system and update things. Fix up the restrooms. We’ve already redone the heating and air and we put in a patio.”
A Facebook page and official website under the new name “Canal Public House” is coming Monday, Sullivan said.
The first show under the new business name will be Jordan Hall, a folk singer who does original compositions, on Dec. 6.