Open Daily! 11:00am – 3:00pm
Carillon Historical Park
1000 Carillon Boulevard
Dayton, OH 45409
A Taste of Dayton History!
In 1902, Charlotte Gilbert Culp, a young widow with six children, began baking and selling bread, cakes and rolls by having her children go door to door in their West Third Street neighborhood. Soon they had a stand at the South Main Street market with the “Culp’s Cake” being a best seller. Her eldest son, Howard Gilbert Culp, leased space in the Arcade, and expanded the business selling poultry, eggs, cheese, and dill pickles at three lunch counters where downtown workers could purchase a complete lunch for 35 cents!
In the 1930s, the Culps opened a cafeteria in the Arcade across from Keith Theater. The cafeteria specialized in home-cooked food and was famous for its pies and pastries. Dayton’s population boomed in the 1940s and Culp’s Cafeteria served as many as 5,000 customers a day. Culp’s was the first restaurant in Dayton to have air conditioning and had the first electric Hammond organ in the area. As the downtown area changed due to the development of suburbs and the popularity of television, the Culp family reluctantly sold the business in 1960. The spirit of this family-operated restaurant lives on here at Carillon Historical Park with Chef José Calzada managing Culp’s Café 7 days a week, offering a typical menu of the 1940s.
Culp’s Café is available for private events. For more information, please call (937) 299-2277