Canal Street Tavern

Located at First Street and Patterson Boulevard in Dayton and known at one time as Evelyn’s Corner Cafe, the Canal Street Tavern became the listening room for acoustic music in Dayton when Mick Montgomery bought it in 1981. The size of the room (225 seats) was a blessing when it came to good listening but it also limited the acts to local groups, national acts on the verge of making it, acts from the past, and single performers. Bluegrass, traditional country, cajun, folk, and rock all had a place there. Bluegrass perennials the Dry Branch Fire Squad played two nights every year around New Year’s. Bluegrass legend Frank Wakefield played the Tavern several times, as has bluegrass guitar superstar Tony Rice, the New Grass Revival, the Seldom Scene, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Red Allen and the Allen Brothers, and John Hartford. The western group Riders In the Sky played there numerous times, as has Cajun legend D.L. Menard and western swing group Hot Club of Cowtown. One-time local TV personality and country yodeler Kenny Roberts has played the Canal Street, as has Ohio-born country star Bobby Bare. In 2012, Mick Montgomery sold Canal Street and the new owners renamed it Canal Public House and took the venue in a different direction. It was closed in 2016 when the new owners lost their liquor license.

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