Dayton's Soviet-style vodka bar reopening after pandemic closure

·2 min read

Jun. 10—Dayton's Red Star Vodka Bar and Cocktail Lounge, which opened just before the coronavirus pandemic restrictions began in Ohio last year, will reopen on June 18, according to a post by the business on Facebook.

Red Star, which replaced the Proto BuildBar at 534 E. First St., opened in February 2020. The Facebook post said: "After a far too-long hiatus, we're back, baby. June 18. Let's go."

The space is bathed in red velvet and the light is moody but designed and deliberate.

The 3,000-square-foot facility has plenty of soft comfortable furniture as well as booths and bar seating.

"I think I've said it's cross between the opulence of Soviet-era Kremlin and a punk rock dive bar ... a space that only your Ukrainian grandmother could fully appreciate and love," Chris Wire, president of Real Art and founder of Proto BuildBar and now Red Star, told us last year. "There's not much around here like it. It will be a place to come and have a great time with friends. There's a great sound system and a turntable (and) vinyl that guests can select themselves. We have four legit real dart boards ... they didn't have fancy electric dart machines in Russia in the '70s and neither do we."

The bar will feature house infused vodkas served either by the shot, in flights, or included in traditional cocktails transforming them into truly unique creations. Additionally, they will have a fully stocked bar and rotating selection of eight craft focused beers on tap.

Alex Todd, co-creator and bar manager, personally develops the recipes and does the infusions.

Wire hopes guests "laugh, have fun, be comfortable, leave pretentions at the door, create new experiences that encourage conversations and wonder."

The business also posted that it is looking to hire staff as it reopens. Contact


What: Red Star Vodka Bar and Cocktail Lounge

Where: 534 E. First St., Dayton

Hours: 5 p.m.-midnight Wednesday and Thursday; 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

More info: 937-474-9418 or Facebook

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