Ratzkeller was host to Chamber during Business After Hours event Jan. 31

HOSTED CHAMBER MEETING–Ratzkeller owner James Ratz is pictured addressing Red Bud Chamber of Commerce members at a recent Business After Hours event he hosted there.

On Jan. 31, the Red Bud Chamber of Commerce held a Business After Hours at Ratzkeller Bar and Banquet, with owner/manager James Ratz giving the presentation “Ratzkeller – Present, Past and Future.”

He noted that the building itself had started off as a building located at a fort in Missouri. In 1950, the Red Bud VFW purchased the building and moved it to its current location at 1019 Veterans Street. 

In 1958, the bowling alley was built as a separate building next door. In the 1960s, the two buildings were connected.

For years the VFW ran the bar, hall and bowling alley. Later they sold it to a private individual and moved into their current post home located on South Main Street. The former VFW became The V, but later closed.

In 2015, the Ratz family bought the building. “It had potential and had been a staple of the community,” Ratz told those in attendance at the meeting. 

The Ratz family (parents William and Julie, brothers James and Jonathan, along with James’ wife Jaime), then began the long process of doing extensive renovations on the building. 

“Two and a half years of work later, we made it what it is today,” Ratz said. 

The Ratz family had lots of help from other family, friends and local businesses on the project. “A lot of people were involved,” Ratz said. “It was an extensive renovation with a lot of stuff done.”

For more on Ratzkeller, please see this week’s print edition.