BLUE RIVER - It had been over two years since Blue River had a bar, but that all changed last Friday when Casie Rowles opened the River Bottom bar in the former Community First Bank building on Highway 133.
Casie started the process last winter, but due to engineering delays and receiving state approval for her plans didn’t begin full renovation work until June. Two and a half months later the project is complete and she’s open for business, just in time for Autumn Fest weekend.
“Once it was in my head it never went away,” Rowles said. “I’m determined. Once I say I’m going to do something I do it.”
“I’m so happy that many of the area bar owners are here to help her out,” added bartender Pam Luttig, singling out Jody Wolfgram of Wolfy’s and Dan Behrens of Honker’s. “This bar is bringing Blue River up a notch. I think it’s going to be a bar for mature adults.”
Starting a new business is always a challenge and this project took sacrifices.
“I took my kids’ college fund to start this, so I’m working to replenish it through this venture,” Casie said. “My kids say this is ‘our’ bar now.”
“It’s a family affair,” added Pam, whose daughter Abi is also bartending at the River Bottom.
Why the name?
“Besides being a mom, fishing and bartending are me passions, and I missed out on a lot of fishing this summer,” said Casie, who has past bartending experience in Muscoda and Boaz. “I was going to waitress for Honker and he made me bartend instead, and I love it.”
This is a big weekend coming up for Casie and her crew. They will have live music Friday night by the Dayton Ridge Boys, a DJ Saturday night, and more live music Sunday both before and after the 2 p.m. Autumn Fest parade. A Grand Opening celebration is in the works, probably after she gets a permit to serve food, which should be soon.Hours at the River Bottom are Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m.-close; Friday, 11 a.m.-close; and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to close. For more information, call 537-FISH.