JUST IN: Former Dayton police officer opens bourbon bar in his hometown


A retired Dayton police officer has returned to his hometown to open a new bar geared toward bourbon and whiskey lovers, and he’s already working on an adjoining cafe to add to the experience.

The Old Mason Jar Tavern is located at 606 W. Xenia Ave. in Fairborn, a community where former Dayton police officer and Clark County Municipal Court bailiff and probation officer James L. Baker grew up and went to high school. 

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The new bar, which seats about 50, opened quietly just before Thanksgiving, Baker told this news outlet.

“We’ve had nothing but positive feedback so far. We have a nice, friendly atmosphere,” Baker said. “There’s really nothing quite like it around here.”

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The Old Mason Jar Tavern includes an upstairs space that has a “Speakeasy” feel, Baker said. 

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While acknowledging that “We’re no Century Bar,” the Old Mason Jar Tavern boasts an extensive list of bourbons and whiskeys, including several small-batch and single-cask offerings. 

Plans call for opening a cafe in an adjoining space in the months ahead. It will be open to the public in addition to serving as the bar’s kitchen, Baker said.

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The tavern’s hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Saturday noon to 1 a.m.

The bar will be deeply involved with the community and will follow a service-oriented philosophy similar to that of the Independent Order of Odd Fellow Fellows organization, a chapter of which was previously housed in the very same West Xenia Drive building that is home to the Old Mason Jar Tavern, Baker said earlier this year.

“I’m seeing a lot of positive movement in Fairborn, and I want to be a part of that,” Baker said.

>> EARLIER COVERAGE: Here’s what owner says about new bar ‘Old Mason Jar’ coming to Fairborn


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