There are some things that just define a place.
At the Century Bar, co-owner Diane Spitzig says one of those things is the historic bar.
>> Then and Now: Historic photos of the Century Bar
It was no wonder that fans of the nationally recognized bourbon bar were concerned about the fate of the grand old bar when Joe Head, Spitzig’s partner and longtime Century employee, announced Monday that the business would move a door down from its current location to 18 to 20 S. Jefferson St., the former Dayton Power and Light Building.
>> RELATED: Century Bar moving to bigger space
Spitzig said the stained-glass bar helps give the Century Bar its ambiance and is part of its spirit.
“I wouldn’t go anywhere without the bar,” she said. “It wouldn’t be the Century without that bar.”
The bar at 10 S. Jefferson St. has been called the Century Bar since 1942, but the back bar’s history goes beyond that.
Frank Steffen is said to have purchased the back bar around 1924 for Steffen’s, a male-only “coffee shop” that opened in the Century’s space three years after the Great Dayton Flood of 1913.
Constructed in 1862, the bar had been in Gibson’s Hotel in Cincinnati.
It is highlighted by dome lights and carved maidens similar to figureheads found at the bow of old ships.
Spitzig said the bar will be the last thing moved to the new location when the business moves this summer as part of the renovation of the area dubbed the Fire Blocks District.
“As soon as the bar is moved, the Century will close,” she said.
When it reopens, the often-packed business will be in a much bigger space.
If all goes as planned, the first floor of the three-story Dayton Power and Light Building will be the Century Bar’s new home and house its historic bar.
A yet-to-be named second floor of the bar’s new building would hold a separate cocktail and wine lounge.
The third floor will be managed by the Century Bar as part of a partnership with Windsor.
The bar will be taken apart in pieces over three to six days with the help of experts.
Spitzig, who purchased the Century in 1996 from Jim Menker, said the pieces are said to be numbered.
There have been updates to the bar in recent years.
A copper top was added to the bar in 2011 as the Century made renovations as part of its transition into the bourbon bar it is today.
Last year, additional bartender stations were added.
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