It's time to turn on the Whiskey Light at the Round House Bar

Any business can have an open and closed sign, but there’s only one that boasts a “whiskey” sign to let its patrons know the doors are open for, well, patronage.
John Benson
Apr 10, 2013

You guessed it, that would be the famous Round House Bar at Put-in-Bay, where this weekend the switch is flipped and the “whiskey” sign goes on, signaling spring is here and, more importantly, summertime is not too far behind.

Want to go?
: Turning on of the Whisky Light
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14
WHERE: The Round House Bar, 60 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay

Funcoast talked to Round House General Manager Paula Garsteck about the annual rite of passage of lighting the “whiskey” sign.

Funcoast: First of all, what’s taking place this weekend?
Paula Garsteck (PG): The “whiskey” light is the official kickoff to the 2013 summer season. It’s going to be Sunday. At 2 p.m. Ray Fogg is playing. He wrote “Look for the Whiskey Light” song. That’s what the celebration is all about. Now, our opening night is actually Saturday. We’re having a red barn hoedown. We’re going to make the bar look like the inside of a barn and have a country theme. The Killer Flamingos will be playing Saturday night.

Funcoast: Why a hoedown? 
PG: Our opening party always has a theme. It’s a different theme every year. It’s what I picked this year and there’s no reason behind it. I’ll be wearing cowboy boots.

Funcoast: How long has the Round House had the “whiskey” light?
PG: As long as I can remember. The “whiskey” light is actually our open and closed sign, but instead of that, if the “whiskey” light is on we’re open and when it’s off we’re closed. We turn it off on our last day of business around Halloween. We turn it off and it stays off until now.

Funcoast: So what’s it like when you have to turn off the sign in the fall?
PG: Honestly? I think we’re happy that we had a safe season and everyone is ready for a winter vacation.

Funcoast: OK, but how soon are you itching for the light to be turned back on?
PG:I think by springtime everyone is ready to go back to work and see their friends and customers. So the feeling to turn it on is just the excitement for a new season. We’ll get to see all of our loyal Round House customers and friends and family. And everyone is ready for spring after a cold winter. Also, the Round House is celebrating our 140th anniversary this year. This year we’re doing something special to the building. Let’s just say we’re giving the Round House building a facelift.

Funcoast: It just sounds like the whiskey will be flowing and the beer chasing this weekend?

Funcoast: Um, will the thunder roll?
PG: Whatever.

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