Well, the time came in February for a big announcement! Andy Christensen and Ray Fogg announced their revamped Put-in-Bay bar and restaurant at Put-in-Bay, Ohio will open this May as “Reel Bar.” The bar, which will be located in the historic building formerly known as Tony’s, is being completely remodeled to offer a rustic setting honoring its island roots. As the name suggests, Reel Bar will feature décor focused on fishing, boating, and Lake Erie island life.
Over the off-season, the new owners had time to prepare the bar for an exciting new direction, yet one that is respectful of South Bass Island’s “old ways.” In a tongue-in-cheek play on their new name, they say it will be a “Reel New Bar in a Reel Old Place.” Andy and Ray say the decision to re-brand their business in this historic building was difficult. Ray said, “I think people know I was very fond of the original Tony’s Place. But, while many of us miss the old Tony’s, we know that those days are gone. Andy and I thought it would be wrong to put Tony’s name through yet another transformation, taking it further from its past. It seems we can better honor the name “Tony’s” by allowing it to live in a special place in our memory, untainted by repeated changes.”
When you step into Reel Bar this spring, you will notice the building has been remodeled in a manner which celebrates this treasured old building. Great care has been taken to keep a comfortable “lived-in” feel, utilizing natural materials such as reclaimed barn wood, real stone, recycled antique lighting and lots of cool old décor. A tribute will be paid to the building’s past as Tony’s with old signs, photos, as well as the beautiful original back bar, which has remained.
Andy says, “We will have a new staff, with some faces familiar to those who frequent the island. I’m really looking forward to introducing an exciting new food and drink menu featuring great burgers, unique sandwiches, Lake Erie fish, fresh salads, sixteen draft beers and fresh squeezed cocktails. We’ll be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, I’m equally enthusiastic about the line-up that will fill our stage including The Womack Family Band (great Americana), Cats on Holiday (Zydeco), Hey Monea, as well as island favorites like Bob Gatewood and The Ray Fogg Show.
The intimacy of our stage will make performers accessible to the audience, creating a great entertainment experience.” Watch for an announcement regarding the grand opening party in May. You won’t want to miss it! Visit The Reel Bar at www.reelbar.com