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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Fraternal Order of Eagles opens new Aerie in Dayton

Randi Bydash, vice president of the Dayton B.O.E. Ladies Auxiliary, works behind the bar at the new Eagles Grill Room.

Grand opening of the new facility in the former Kenton Café at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28 
The Dayton chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) will have a grand opening ceremony at its new Aerie at 1101 Third Avenue at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28.

The public is invited to the ceremony and to join in the celebration afterward at the Eagles Grill Room and a block party on a closed-off portion of Kenton Street next to the Aerie.
The new F.O.E. facility is located in the building that formally housed the Kenton Café. The Eagles moved to this new building after selling its former location at 638 Fifth Avenue in 2020, where the organization had operated since 1906.
“We loved our building on Fifth Avenue, but it was big and old and maintenance nightmare,” said John Fogelman, vice president of the Dayton F.O.E.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have the money we needed to properly maintain the property. Instead of continuing to spend a lot of money to maintain that building, we decided it was better to spend that money helping kids in our community.”
Fogelman said that the board of trustees looked at about eight or nine different locations in Dayton before purchasing the old Kenton Café.
“It took a lot of work to bring everything up to code and modernize the building, but it was worth the effort,” Fogelman said. “We are deeply appreciative of those who donated their time, money, and materials to this effort. We couldn’t have done it without Chris Enslen, who did much of the work on the project, and dedicated volunteers like Randi Bydash and others who pitched in over the past year to make this a reality.” 
The Eagles Grill Room is the first phase of a multi-phase project for the organization. Now that the bar has been completed, Fogelman said that the organization will focus on the exterior of the building and rehabbing its second floor, which will likely house the F.O.E. offices and an apartment. Another phase will be rehabbing a building behind the Aerie and constructing a beer garden between it and the Grill Room. The organization hopes to start that phase of the project next spring.
The Grill Room has five flat-screen TVs, a Touch Tunes jukebox, a Golden Tee Golf machine, and three standard “E-Tab” charitable-gaming machines and five portable “E-Tab” tablets. The current hours are from 4 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday through Thursday and from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. It’s also open on Sunday from 4 p.m. to midnight but may start opening at 12 noon on Sundays to accommodate professional football fans. It’s closed on Monday. 
The F.O.E. was founded in February 1898 in Seattle and the Dayton chapter started just six years later, making it one of the oldest F.O.E.’s in Kentucky. The Fraternal Order of Eagles includes nearly 800,000 members with more than 1,500 locations across the United States and Canada. The Dayton chapter has about 100 members.
The Dayton F.O.E. is a membership-only organization. To become a member, two members must sponsor an applicant, who must pay a $15 application fee. The application then goes before an interview committee for a decision on membership. Once a member, you can visit any Eagles facility in the country by simply showing your membership card. If interested in joining the organization, ask for an application from a bartender at the Eagles Grill Room.
“The Dayton Eagles is a great way to meet people in our community and to give back to our community,” said Randi Bydash, vice president of the Dayton B.O.E. Ladies’ Auxiliary. “Our charitable activities focus on children in our community, particularly those at Lincoln Elementary. We sponsor families at Christmas, donate computer tablets and ice cream for the annual ice cream party, and provide other needed resources for the children who attend this school.”

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