Bucher’s Bests

 Bucher’s Bests

Jim Bucher OK boomer! Yep, I’m one of them folk.

But no matter what generation you claim I hope you’re enjoying Dayton Magazine’s “Best of” edition.

Now, since I’m a born and raised dude here in Dayton I thought it would be fun to compile a list of “Best of” from days gone by.

For you nonboomers this will make no sense, but I bet your parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents would remember.

So, put the phones down, or maybe you’re seeing this on the newest mobile device—at any rate, feel free to sit down with older members of the family and let them take you way back … well, maybe not that far.

This of course is not totally complete, ya’ll have your favs and I’m a bit biased living in Dayton’s Five Oaks neighborhood so things close by will be “hittin’ the list.”

If you’re ready everyone here’s “Buch’s Best of Historical Edition.”

OK, Xers, Zers, millennials, see what you missed?

BEST place for Asian cuisine: The Tropics on North Main Street.

BEST place for a lobster: The Brown Derby.

BEST place for ice cream: Sherer’s. The Best.

BEST place to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show: The Victory Theater. (Now the Victoria of course. Back then you could bring stuff and throw at everyone including the screen. That’s a no-no today.)

BEST place for a hockey game or concert: Well, nowhere else but Hara Arena. (Poor Hara. It survived all those years, was in limbo with revived interest and now the Memorial Day tornadoes pretty well sealed its fate.)

BEST place for broasted chicken: The Keyhole on Salem Avenue. and speaking of…

BEST mall: Salem Mall of course. (This place was THE BOMB to visit during the holidays. Plus, all the shops, stores, food court and Santa. And you could catch a movie there too. Miss it.)

BEST department store: a tie, Rike’s and Elder Beerman’s.

BEST outdoor holiday display: Ludlow Falls. (But currently I’d have to go with Clifton Mill’s Legendary Lights, a 32-year tradition and still going strong!)

BEST place to wander around and check out little shops, stores etc.: The Arcade. (Before the 1980s and current renovation. Back then the dome was covered up and very dark. Good to see things happening.)

BEST locally produced kids show: Clubhouse 22. (Although WHIO’s Uncle Orrie and Channel 12 out of Cincy’s Skipper Ryle, close seconds.)

BEST salad bar: Ponderosa Steakhouse. (Gosh are there any open anywhere around the country?)

BEST place to buy a car: Stenger’s Ford.

BEST place to hang after a long day covering news at WDTN: John Bull’s in Moraine. (My longtime former colleagues know what I’m talking about.)

BEST place to watch a movie: Kon Tiki. (Remember the enormous shells used as sinks in the bathrooms? Of course you do.)

BEST nightclub: Suttmiller’s

BEST place for an indoor swim: The old YMCA downtown. (Every Friday night was dad and son swim and you could do it nude! Don’t ask.)

BEST hardware store: Another tie, Graeff’s on Wayne Avenue and Miami Hardware on Salem. (The latter you could find every size nail or screw manufactured on the planet.)

BEST place to buy pianos and appliances: BHA (remember the jingle? BHA means better home appliances, better home appliances, better home appliances. BHA means better home appliances, music and appliance store once more, music and appliance store … BHA. Right Tobey?)

BEST place for swimming, recreation and an outdoor movie, plus some great food: NCR’s Old River Park.

BEST hamburger and secret sauce: The Goody-Goody

BEST Italian: Anticoli’s was the Best. (Family owned and Gloria Anticoli’s lasagna … simply off-the-hook! Also, a killer Shirley Temple—with extra cherries of course.)

BEST grocery store: We have another tie: Liberal’s and Stump’s. Remember the jingle? “Here come the Stump’s …”

BEST car wash: Still the reigning champ … my driveway near the garage. DIY!

BEST recreation park owned by Frigidaire. Sorta’ limits the choices, right? Frigidaire Park.

BEST drive-in: This is one of the few still around: Dixie Drive-In. (Still have a pretty good hamburger.)

BEST discount department store: Concord City, “See you pleaseeeeee.” Did I watch too much TV or what?

BEST record store where you could buy other “stuff.” (No comment.) Golden Rod Music.

BEST way-back-when cafeteria with an awesome cheeseburger: The Mezzanine at Rike’s!

BEST local TV sports broadcaster: WDTN’s (WLW-D) Omar Williams “The Dean of Dayton Sports!”

BEST miniature golf course: Well, again delving from personal experience, but would have to go with NCR’s Old River Park. (It was so fun to hit a ball through the giant cash register and windmill. Great times.)

BEST place to ride your bike for a thrill: Dayton Art Institute hill. (This also remains Dayton’s Best View.)

Well, I’m out of space, but hope you boomers enjoyed this little look back.

For the rest of the generations out there … hope you learned a bit from the past.