The Dive Bar Tourist was contacted by Jimmy, the owner of The Old Mason Jar Tavern in Fairborn, Ohio. Of course the owner of a bar would write in to say his is the best around…but is it true?
DBT did some digging, and all signs point to yes! Customers use our favorite dive bar terms in their reviews: friendly, welcoming, inviting, old school, laid back.
Jimmy takes pride in the fact that his bar is not as upscale as its fancy-pants competitor, The Century Bar. However, it still boasts a wide selection of bourbon: 250 different kinds, in fact. Not into whiskey? There are plenty of craft beers to choose from, and you’ll find dive bar fan favorites like Bud Light and Yuengling on tap.
The Old Mason Jar Tavern is setting itself up to become a pillar of the community by hosting events like the usual bar parties and live music, as well as meet & greets with local politicians. If you’re not participating in the weekly Queen of Hearts raffle, you’re missing out. Every Wednesday, someone is picked to draw a card and if it’s the Queen of Hearts, that person wins some cash.
Come here to drink, socialize, and maybemake back all that money you just spent on bourbon.
Some of Jimmy’s favorite customers are the members of the band Mad River Dogs. They describe their music as “Americana” and pride themselves on their spontaneous, in-the-moment performances. Jimmy says they’re “great people” and you’ll find them performing at his bar more often than any other group.
The look of the place is pretty much what you’d expect: old park benches outside and a lit-up sign that says Budweiser just above a bigger sign that says Tavern.There’s room for about 50 people on the lower level and a speakeasy-style bar on the upper level. Jimmy, a former police officer who decided to move back to his hometown, only opened the place about two years ago. It hasn’t had a lot of time to be worn in yet, but we know it’s headed in the direction of a true dive.
The history of The Old Mason Jar Tavern is fascinating. The building, built in 1925, was originally a tobacco warehouse. It had a third life as an antique store, and much of the old-timey décor was taken from that store’s stock. You’ll find things like oil lamps, a washboard, and a taxidermied deer head. The whole place is designed to make people feel at home.
Are you wondering about the building’s second life? It was a lodge for The Independent Order of the Odd Fellows, whose triple-link motto is, weirdly, exactlythe same as The American Dive Bar Association’s*: Friendship, Love, and Truth.
Check this place out the next time you’re in Fairborn!
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Be sure to try: some bourbon!
*this association does not exist; we made it up