Ye Olde Durty Bird makes its mark downtown

I have continued to make an effort to head downtown with the kids more often during all times of the year. However, we still love “Summer in the City”. There’s something about walking the streets and seeing all the people out and about in Hensville, Uptown, down by the river, or somewhere in between. As summer winds down, we recently enjoyed a
leisurely afternoon in downtown Toledo.

Every day in the city

I am Toledo proud. My children are Toledo proud. As a matter of fact, I’m quite certain it is my daughter’s mission in life to spread the word to those around her about all there is to do in Toledo and the countless great restaurants this town has to offer. I’ve made a concerted effort to be sure my children see and experience the plethora of great things their hometown has to offer outside the ‘burbs.

Recently the four of us made the short jaunt downtown and spent some time meandering around. Downtown isn’t just for the weekends, it’s for EVERYDAY. And as we made our way to Ye Olde Durty Bird for a bite to eat, that was evident. The patrons weren’t just those on their lunch hour; rather we saw moms with little ones in tow, couples, and friends just enjoying the afternoon.

Not the same old “Bird”

It had been years since I had last been to the Durty Bird. Friends kept telling me what a great place it was, yet I still conjured up “bar” in my head. As it turns out, it’s not the same old Durty Bird of days past. In 2011, two proud Toledo sisters, Linda Ball and Julie Ketterman, bought the Durty Bird and listened to what the people of T-Town wanted.
On the corner of Washington and St. Clair streets the 1867 building that was once the Grand Hotel is home to the gastropub. With exposed brick and wood floors it is tastefully designed. The open air room adjacent to the patio has high top table seating, a bit of a modern feel, and is used year round. The Bird also boasts of live entertainment NIGHTLY.


Local flavor

The words “local flavor” means a couple things at Ye Olde Durty Bird. The sisters say they choose local ingredients first. They tout their local support of the arts and the music community.

As for the flavors tempting your palate, you won’t be disappointed. The kids’ menu offers grilled cheese, hot dog, or chicken strips all served with fries for $6.49 and $7.49 plus drink. Crayons and activity sheets are available as well. Much more expansive, the adult menu offersnine salads, 18 sandwiches, 15 burgers and chicken sandwiches, soups, and their well-known smoked Gouda mac n cheese with bacon and tomato. (Of course we had some on the side and fought over every bite.)

Most sandwiches were just under $10 and came with chips and a pickle. However, for an upcharge of only $1.99 you can substitute the chips for a side. We loved that option and shared French Onion soup, fries, and the mac n cheese. Delish! Always hungry for burgers the boys enjoyed the colossal size Durty Burger and Pimento Cheese Burger.

My daughter tried the Vegetarian “Fauxlafel” Burger which was rather interesting; as it wasn’t a burger at all. It was full of veggies, their take on fried falafel with tzatziki sauce in a lettuce wrap. Eying the Reuben, I decided to venture out and tried the Caprese Bird (chicken sandwich) instead and wasn’t disappointed. The sandwich is described as grilled chicken breast infused with balsamic & basil, then topped with fresh mozzarella, tomato & basil, served with basil aioli spread and a balsamic reduction drizzle. I can’t wait to have it again!

Bottom Line:

Stop in and see why people have been flocking to Ye Olde Durty Bird. Born and raised T-Town sisters have what it takes to provide Toledo with the perfect combination of great food, attentive service, a comfortable atmosphere, and diverse entertainment. It’s family friendly and even offers live jazz Sunday afternoons. If you can’t recall the last time you stopped in, it’s time to reacquaint yourself.

The Short Course

Kid-friendly: Yes
To avoid wait: Anytime but parties of 8 or more they recommend reservations
Noise level: Moderate to loud depending how busy they are
Bathroom amenities: Changing station
High chairs: Yes
Got milk? Yes, as well as chocolate milk
Kids’ menu? Yes
Allergies: Alert your server prior to ordering so precautions can be taken in the kitchen

Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH. She can be reached in c/o .

Ye Olde Durty Bird
2 S. St. Clair St., Toledo | 419-243-2473
Sun-Thur: 11am -11pm Fri-Sat: 11am -12am

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