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  • Kandis Mascall

Brewing Company Slated to Set Up Shop in the Gem City

Despite a global pandemic and an economic nosedive, Downtown Dayton is slowly blossoming into a hub for dining, entertainment, and housing. According to a report by the Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP), the Gem City has seen $1.9 billion in private and public investments. One of the newest businesses coming to the neighborhood is the award-winning, Little Fish Brewing Co.

In an Instagram post, the Athens, Ohio-based business announced that they signed a letter of intent to open a second taproom and brewery on Webster Street directly facing the 2nd Street Market, a prime downtown location. Nearby landmarks include Riverscape MetroPark, restaurant and urban living community, the Fire Blocks District, and the home of the Minor League Dayton Dragons baseball team, Day Air Ballpark. The buildings Little Fish acquired include the historical 112 Webster Station formerly known as Midwest Tools.

“We’re excited to become part of the vibrant restaurant and brewery scene and to bring a piece of the spirit of Athens to this wonderful community,” said Little Fish co-founder Jimmy Stockwell in a press release.

Despite being based more than two hours away, Little Fish is a Dayton favorite. Beer expert David Nilsen wrote in a PorchDrinking.com article, the company "has been distributing bottles to the Dayton market for years and has long been one of the most respected breweries in the state."

Construction, spearheaded by The Windsor Companies, is slated to begin next year in the spring, which is only a few months away. “Downtown is really growing into an exciting hub for small and independent restaurants and bars, shopping, entertainment and living,” said marketing director Carli Dexter in a press release. “We couldn’t be more excited that Little Fish is going to be a part of that.”

The Windsor Companies is playing a major role in the revitalization of Downtown Dayton, as it currently has several projects underway in the area. The company is responsible for the aforementioned Fire Blocks District and the city's first modern high rise, Grant-Deneau Tower.

Photo courtesy of Downtown Dayton Partnership via Instagram

Dayton is just one of many urban cities across the nation hoping to rebuild and revitalize. According to PPP Knowledge Lab, "A revitalized urban space, with effective infrastructure, can create the conditions for an efficient city, capable of promoting innovation, a higher quality of life, and economic development with shared prosperity and environmental respect."

The downtown area was once marred by boarded-up businesses and vacant streets, a problem that was feared to be exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, a string of relief efforts launched by government and private organizations have helped to keep progress steady, with several construction projects being completed this year, according to the DDP report.