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Canal Street Legacy To Continue Under New Ownership

Shelly Hulce

Earlier this week, Canal Street Tavern received a new name, as founder Mick Montgomery ended his 32-year association with the venue. This is the first of several changes patrons will see in the coming months.

The tavern will now be called Canal Public House. New owner, Shane Sullivan, says he chose the name because it gives the bar a new identity, but pays homage to the legacy of the Canal Street Tavern, which has been a destination for music fans for more than thirty years.

Sullivan is the former manager of South Park Tavern, which is owned by Bill Daniels who also owns Pizza Factory. Daniels purchased the First Street building which houses Canal Street Tavern earlier in 2013, and he'll sign over the ownership of the business to Sullivan within the week. Montgomery was to stay on as the venue's booking agent for five years after the sale, but that deal dissolved in November.

Sullivan says he's “proud to be the one to step in the shoes [of its former owner]," adding that "it’s a big task in front of us. I hope we have the support from everybody in Dayton, and nationally.”

Sullivan wants to accommodate more national acts by increasing the number of available seats. Other changes planned for the venue are a revamped kitchen, a new patio, an updated sound system, and adding video equipment for broadcasting performances.

“It’s nice to reminisce about the past, but we’re just going to try to keep what was there and build upon it,” Sullivan said.

Patrons of the Canal Public House should see slow progress over the winter months, but Sullivan hopes to have most of the bigger renovations done by spring 2014.