Dayton’s Not Dead: The Troll Pub at The Wheelhouse brings Dayton history to life

Photograph by Shelby Prenger/The Guardian.
The Troll Pub Under the Bridge first opened its doors in Louisville, Ky in 2011, but in March 2018, the Troll Pub at The Wheelhouse re-opened at a historic Dayton Building. Built in the late 1800s, the Wheelhouse was originally a factory that built farming equipment, called Farmer’s Friend.


The pub then continued to change with the times as it became a car manufacturing plant, producing what General Manager Chad Werra referred to as the “Dayton version” of the Ford Model T.

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“From the 1960’s to about 2013, Dayton Plumbing Supply took over the space,” Werra said. “For about four years there was nothing. Within about three or four years, they started to break ground and started to fix the building, they tore down as little as possible. The building itself has been here for a very long time and we definitely don’t want to take away from the building.”

The history in the building is evident in every corner of the Pub. After refurbishing the roof of the building, the beams from the ceiling were used to make the tabletops in the dining room. The revitalization of the building has also contributed to the revitalization of the Dayton area.

“Dayton is a great opportunity for sure,” Werra said. “It’s kind of a collective effort for this whole area, this is just kind of the cornerstone or the starting point. In the next five years, this is hopefully just the start. We did the same thing with the Louisville store, when it first opened there were probably about three restaurants around and there are probably about 15 there now. The area down there is booming and everybody is just busy all the time. What we are really trying to do is bring business to the area not take away from it.”

Photograph by Shelby Prenger/The Guardian.

The pub offers several discounts. During happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, the pub offers half-price pints on draft, only $2.50 each, half-price appetizers, $4 wines and $4 flavored vodkas.

The pub also offers a kid’s menu which includes wings and chicken tenders.

“It’s definitely a place that everybody can come to,” Werra said.

The Troll Pub at The Wheelhouse has also hosted events including animal adoption rallies, Justice on Tap – a fundraiser which raises money to pay for legal funds for those who can’t afford it, and even a wedding. The Troll Pub is a great example of Dayton’s rich history, which continues to grow.