Round House Bar
The Round House Bar Particulars
The Round House Bar is the definition of summer on Put-in-Bay, all accommodated in one classic, historical bar. An island establishment of over 150 years, everyone gathers here when they see the bright red “Whiskey” light ignited. That signifies that frivolity is about to commence.
This historical round saloon is open daily from 12 pm – 2 am during the busy summer season. Centrally found directly on Delaware Avenue across from DeRivera Park and just a short walk from the Edgewater Hotel.
Easily identified by its red, white, and blue exterior and concave porch packed full of people having the time of their lives, the Round House incorporates a full bar and an even more extensive entertainment program. From live music to special occasions, something is always happening here.
Live Entertainment at The Round House Bar
Regional and local performers play here daily.. The lineup includes island native Ray Fogg, Killer Flamingos, and Mike “Mad Dog” Adams. A Round House Bar favorite, Mad Dog is living confirmation that “Every Day Above Ground Is A Gooood Day.”
His legendary concerts are always extremely popular. Be sure to visit the Buckett Shop on-site for numerous Round House Bar-branded clothing items and souvenirs.
The Roundhouse Bar is the ideal place to spend a summer day. The indoor/outdoor feeling is sociable and entertaining. Drinks are constantly flowing, and live music is always on point.
Grab a bite to eat at the famous Chicken Patio on site serving their famous wine-basted chickens. Home to the best BBQ on the island, Chicken Patio has served over 1 million dinners!
The Edgewater Hotel, a few steps away, is a lovingly remodeled hotel that offers quaint, affordable lodging and the island’s best location. The Red Moon is a sophisticated speakeasy located next to the Round House Bar.
This whole area of Put-in-Bay offers a fantastic peek into the past with some of the most stylish entertainment on the island.
History Of The Round House Bar
According to an article in the Sandusky Register, the Round House Bar opened for business as the Columbia Restaurant in June of 1873. The Columbia Restaurant served refreshments, including beer, wine, and meals. Nevertheless, the fundamental pleasure in those days was freshly made ice cream and cottage cheese. There was no electricity, so the ice had to be harvested in blocks during the winter months and stored in sawdust in the Ice House (currently found on the Put-in-Bay Winery Estate), allowing for this summertime favorite.
Flags for ice cream extended from The Round House across the roadway to De Rivera Park. Initially, the structure was white, and the front patio had stairs with no handrails stretching across the front of the structure.
Nobody is really certain how the bar was renamed The Round House Bar. An 1888 paper establishes one of the first proprietors as George F. Schmidt (or Smith). Folklore has it that G.F. was nicknamed “Round House” Smith… or perhaps because the pub was round, he was called “Round House Smith.” It also notes that G.F. built the Park Motel some fifteen years later. The Park Motel was first called the Park (Deutches) Hotel.
In 1944, the Greunkes bought the Round House Bar for $11,000. They had the circular bar constructed in Toledo by a Cincinnati Brewing Company. They clipped the bar in half and pushed it to its present location. Mrs. Grenke was a pianist who performed in the Round House Bar but did not enjoy playing “in the round” with her back to the patrons. Therefore the basis of the bar is now found where it is today.
The Greunkes are also responsible for adding the canopy, which was gold and red back then. The cloth canopy was erected to catch the falling plaster from the walls and ceiling and improve the room’s overall acoustics. Today’s canopy is not a parachute, but the flame-retardant fabric was cut and hand stitched by two island girls.
The McCann family bought the Round House Bar in the early 1950s and painted it the now-famous red paint.
The entire building is wood construction and, for the most part, all authentic, except for the internal floors and the front verandah. The plastered walls have always been a part of the structure and are now painted with Canoe Bob’s murals. A rear bar expansion, outside terrace, and retail store have now been added to the historic Round House Bar.
The Round House Bar has forever been known for its neon “WHISKEY” lamp above the front entrance, live entertainment, and beer buckets.