Did You Know That The Round House Bar Is Put-in-Bay’s Oldest Operating Bar?
It would not be summer by any definition without the iconic Roundhouse Bar, The Round House Bar is summer on Put-in-Bay all contained in one classic, round historical bar. This island institution has been in operation for over 140 years, When it comes to live entertainment, everyone flocks here to enjoy many of Put-in-Bay’s finest musical acts when they see the red “Whiskey” light lit up. This historical sign means the fun is about to begin! The annual Whisky Light ceremony is held in April of each year to signify the start of the new summer season at Put-in-Bay.
The Round House Bar Particulars
This bright red round tavern is open daily from 12 pm – 2 am during the busy summer season. The Roundhouse Bar is easy to find, centrally located right on Delaware Avenue, Jist across the street you’ll see DeRivera Park and the popular Put-in-Bay downtown docks. Depending on which way the wind is blowing, and from which direction you are coming, you may well smell it before you see it!
It’s located next to the Chicken Patio known for wines basted chicken cooked street side, and the Red Moon Saloon, The Round House Bar is always on everyone’s must-see summertime itinerary as are the storied entertainers there. It is easily recognizable by its red, white, and blue exterior, and the open wrap-around porch packed full of folks having the time of their lives, the Roundhouse offers a full bar and an even fuller entertainment schedule. From special events to live music, there is always something going on here.
Local and regional musicians play here every day of the week in season. The lineup includes island favorite Ray Fogg, the Flyin’ Jays, Killer Flamingos, and Mike “Mad Dog” Adams. A Round House Bar favorite, Mad Dog is living proof that “Every Day Above Ground Is A Gooood Day.” His legendary performances are always very popular. You may view the complete Put-in-Bay Entertainment schuldule by clicking here:
The Round House Bar History
Originally housing the Columbia Restaurant, this building opened in 1873. Back in the day, there wasn’t a good way to keep things cold. Thanks to intrepid island dwellers including Valentine Doller, they figured out a way. The Columbia Restaurant served up cottage cheese and ice cream using the blocks of ice that were gathered from Lake Erie in the winter months and stored in the ice houses covered in sawdust. Located in what is now the Put-in-Bay Winery, the winters ice kept things nice and cold.
The famous circular bar was then built in 1944 the Cincinnati Brewing Company by the Greunke family. It was dubbed the perfect place to hold concerts “in the round,” with Mrs. Greunke who was the featured pianist at the time. The stage was moved to its current location so that the performers wouldn’t have to play with their back to the audience.
The McCann family has owned the Roundhouse since the early 1950s. Most of the building is original, with the exception of the floor and front porch. The original plaster walls have remained. They were also responsible for painting it its signature red, white, and blue along with artist Scott LoBadio painting the outside. The Roundhouse walls feature murals by Canoe Bob a well know Put-in-Bay local.
Summers at The Round House Bar
The Roundhouse is the perfect place to spend a summer day. The indoor/outdoor feel is friendly and fun. Drinks are always flowing and live music is on tap. Grab a bite to eat at Chicken Patio next door. Home to the best BBQ on the island, Chicken Patio specializes in wine-basted chicken.
The Park Hotel is a lovingly preserved hotel that offers quaint and affordable lodging. The Red Moon Saloon is a sophisticated speakeasy located inside the hotel. This entire area of Put-in-Bay offers an amazing glimpse into the past with some of the most contemporary fun on the island. There is ample parking for Put-in-Bay Golf Carts in the rear of the Round Hosue Bar building.