Paradox: a Unique Homage to Dayton’s History

The Fire Blocks District is the home to Paradox, a unique bar and restaurant with a one-of-a-kind menu. “We really wanted to dig deep,” said Eric Walusis, the co-owner and manager, when asked about coming up with the name. “We wanted to do something a little less common, with Dayton you always get something about the Wright Brothers and aviation.” The solution was found when Eric read the Paul Lawerence Dunbar poem “The Paradox” and was moved.

The Sweets of “Salt Block Biscuit Company” Ready to Become a Staple of the Fire Blocks District

The Sweets of “Salt Block Biscuit Company” Ready to Become a Staple of the Fire Blocks District

A café is coming to the Fire Block District with a very unique focus-- country style biscuits. “I never hear anyone talk bad about a biscuit,” laughs Justin Mohler, the owner and chef of Salt Block Biscuit Company. The biscuits come in multiple flavors and will be served with a variety of jams, preserves and spreads in the morning, pairing wonderfully with the french-press coffee.

New bakery coming to downtown Dayton

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A new bakery that will feature a variety of flavored biscuits, cookies, cakes, cobblers and meat pies is coming to downtown Dayton’s Fire Blocks District.

Justin Mohler, founder of Salt Block Biscuit Company, told this news outlet he has signed a lease to open a small bakery and cafe at 115 E. Third St. The 1,000-square-foot space will seat 20 to 24 and could open as early as this fall, Mohler said.

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Martin Sexton is coming to town and we are giving away two free pairs of tickets to the show Thursday April 11th at 8pm.


This is what John Mayer has to say about Martin:

"The best live performer I’ve ever seen. I may just quit my job and go follow Martin and make a fuss everywhere I go, just to make sure that people don’t go their lives without hearing this man sing to them."

Get Free Tickets!

Comment on our Facebook page if you want a free pair of tickets to see one of the best live performers on the planet!

The show is Thursday April, 11th at 8pm. We will let you know if you have won a pair of free tickets on Wednesday.

Find out more about Martin Sexton.

Nine months in, developer makes significant progress on Fire Blocks project

Transforming the Fire Blocks District, which involves the adaptive reuse of several downtown buildings, is likely to take years before the vision is fully realized, but substantial progress has been made since a Columbus developer took over the project last summer. Read more →

A sneak peek behind the scenes of the Fire Blocks Lofts... 9 Months into the project and the Fire Blocks District urban lofts have made significant progress.

For loft leasing information and to learn about the history of the Huffman building click here

Framing Started On FBD Urban Lofts


Over the past couple of months, the revitalization of the Fire Blocks District has made significant progress.  Over 140 dumpsters of debris have been removed from the first phase of the Fire Blocks District.  In the past few weeks framing started on the fourth floor of the Huffman Lofts which is in the center of the Fire Blocks District.


The Huffman Lofts will consist of 72 loft apartments highlighting the historical architecture while providing modern conveniences.   The layout options will include one bedroom, two bedroom, and studio floor plans.  A couple dozen rental requests have already been submitted and the rest of these units are expected to be reserved within a couple of months.  Submit your apartment reservation request here and be entered to win a free month of rent for a limited time.


The fourth-floor framing is complete and construction has started on the third floor.  Framing for the entire building is planned to be done by mid-February.  Huffman Lofts will represent the cultural and economic core of this newly revitalized urban neighborhood.  Loft residents will enjoy the conveniences of a walkable district with many retail, lifestyle, café, wellness, and restaurant & bar concepts.  The FBD is conveniently located within walking distance of many downtown employers in addition to many entertainment options including the stadium, the Levitt Pavilion and the Schuster Center.

The Huffman Lofts building represents the rich history of Dayton's founding families and Daytons spirit of rebuilding.  Originally nicknamed the Huffman Blocks due to Dayton’s Huffman family’s involvement in bringing downtown Dayton back to life after the devastating fires that followed the Great Flood of 1913. Click here for more history on the Huffman Lofts.


One of the 30+ redeveloped “fireproof” buildings erected after the flood, the Huffman Lofts is a prime example of historic commercial structures, erected with materials and construction styles with lifespans meant to be measured in centuries.  The Huffman Lofts represent the vibrant core of what the district will become, loft apartments will be move-in ready in the Fall. Click here for more information on the Fire Blocks District lofts.

Fire Blocks District restaurant & bar concepts, as well as lifestyle & wellness concepts, will be announced soon...

Follow our Facebook page for regular project updates.

The Fire Blocks District Hosts DABR CIC Happy Hour

The Fire Blocks District hosted the DABR CIC happy hour last night to rave reviews. Crafted & Cured provided libations and charcuterie followed by a bourbon tasting in the historic basement speakeasy. Guests had a private tour of selected spaces in the 124 Building as well as the Elks and Huffman Lofts buildings.

Renovating the Neighborhood

The Fire Blocks District right now is one the last large concentrations of mostly inactive space in the northeastern part of downtown Dayton.

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But the district’s new developer says that will change soon and it is “very close” to reaching deals with what would be its first new commercial tenants.

The success of the Fire Blocks depends on creating an “ecosystem” of high-quality live, work, eat and play opportunities, and key pieces of that puzzle are very close to coming into place, said Eric VanZwieten, head of marketing and public relations with Windsor Companies, the developer.

“It’s not going to be just any play or any eat — it’s going to be very good stuff,” he said. “Most people build a building or develop a building — we are doing an entire neighborhood.”

The Fire Blocks District, centered around the 100 block of East Third Street, is finally showing signs of life.

About 40 construction workers are clearing out and renovating multiple buildings in the district to create new apartments and commercial spaces.

Windsor Companies is on track to open about 70 new loft apartments in the empty Huffman Block building come fall of 2019, VanZwieten said.

The company has already started accepting online reservations for the apartments here. Workers of downtown employers CareSource, Taylor Communications and Premier Health get first preference.

Windsor Companies is in negotiations to bring a California coffee roaster, a food and beverage business and an “elevated” restaurant and cocktail concept to the district, VanZwieten said.

Click here to read more.


Uncovered Speakeasy

We found a forgotten gem in the basement.


An unusually decorated basement room out of sight from the public in an East Third Street commercial building could be a hidden piece of downtown’s Prohibition-era history, an inquiry by the Dayton Daily News shows.

Stories about secret underground speakeasies have been passed along and have achieved legend status among local history buffs. But up until now specific locations haven’t been pinned down, said local history author Curt Dalton of Dayton History, Montgomery County’s official historical organization.


Queries posted on Dalton’s website request information about 1920s-era speakeasies, or illegal drinking places, as well as bookie joints for illegal betting, and other “secret rooms” alleged to have been accessible by underground steam heating tunnels that criss-cross downtown.

Speakeasies multiplied during the Prohibition Era, which began in 1920 after Congress passed the Volstead Act banning the sale, manufacture, and transport of alcohol.


Interest in Dayton history is peaking this year with the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Great Flood. But this year also marks the 80th anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal in 1933.

Dalton, who has spent decades researching local history, said interviews for his books uncovered a few recollections, mostly of home-based speakeasies a parent operated, or a restaurant that sold alcohol under the table.

“It was like the restaurant that had stuff behind the bar, or the house where they made the alcohol,” Dalton said. “When police showed up, mom would flush the booze down the toilet to get rid of as much as possible.”

Click here to read more.

More Good News for Downtown

Two New Tenants to Move into Former PNC Building

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A downtown Dayton building will soon welcome two new tenants.

The former PNC Bank building at 6 N. Main St. will welcome the U.S. Census Bureau along with a local office of the Berry Network/DexYP within the next year. Tracy Rutherford of Crest Commercial Realty represented the building's owner, Canadian real estate firm Olymbec, in the lease transactions.

The deals will bring more workers to downtown Dayton, which already is seeing a flurry of activity including major building renovations, new housing, and its first new hotel in decades.

The terms of the leasing for the deals were not disclosed. Rutherford said the Census Bureau will assume a 7,000-square-foot office in the building, while the Berry Network, a division of DexYP Media (formerly known as Yellow Pages) will move into a space that's just over 19,000 square feet.

Click here to read more.

The Huffman Lofts


We're working on the Huffman Lofts NOW!

The Huffman Lofts are scheduled to be move-in-ready by fall, 2019. Loft availability is limited, so if you want to secure your space, be sure to sign up today. Click here for more info and to secure your space.

We'll See You Tomorrow

We'll see you tomorrow!

We've been busy all day cleaning up around the offices: sweeping floors and polishing glass. We are so excited to welcome you to our Fire Blocks home! In an effort to make sure you have the best experience possible, we wanted to make sure you knew about the FREE PARKING in our two district lots. Guests are invited to park for FREE in our lots behind the 124 Building and Huffman Lofts. In addition to those parking lots, metered parking is free after 6pm. 

Please reference the attached map so that you are sure to park in one of our lots and not an adjacent lot.

Mark Your Calendars


Mark your calendars for this Friday, August 24 starting at 4pm!

Mingle with senior leadership of the Windsor Companies for an open house experience never before seen in Dayton. This will be the perfect opportunity to meet our team. 

We will have roaming entertainment both inside and outside the building, featuring local talent as well as an AV presentation followed by Q&A for inquiring minds. What the Taco, Good Golly Miss Molly and Sugar Sweets by Peeks will be on hand to tickle your taste buds.

Information packets will be available at the event with additional details on the redevelopment plans for the Fire Blocks District. 

Space is limited. RSVP online today:

The Windsor Companies