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Rum Runner’s changes name

Liz Harter | Thursday, January 15, 2009

Students who tried to head out for 75-cent well drinks at Rum Runner’s last night may have been surprised to find a plastic sign reading J & S Pot-of-Gold Bar and Grill covering the usual tropical-themed sign.

The Bar and Grill, owned by Shirley and John Witmer of Niles, Mich., which became a Rum Runner’s franchise in 2002, is no longer associated with the Raleigh, N.C. based company.

Shortly after the new year, the Witmer’s dropped the brand name, in favor of their legal business name, according to a recent article in the South Bend Tribune.

J & S Pot-of-Gold Bar and Grill manager Casey Constant was quoted by the Tribune saying the Rum Runner’s franchise “required three to four nights a week of [the dueling pianos] to maintain the franchise name.

However, at the 236 S. Michigan St. location, the dueling pianos show only took place on weekends while there was occasionally other local entertainment scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday nights.

“In a major metropolitan area you could do that every night. But we see a lot of regulars who go out the same night every week so you need to change it up,” he told the Tribune.

The restaurant is still going to host a live piano bar show on Saturday and Sunday, with the entertainment starting at 8 p.m. and the doors opening at 5 p.m., according to the voice mail message received when calling the location.

It will also continue to offer 75-cent well drinks on Wednesday nights and Thursday will be $2.50 You-Call-It with no cover charge. There will also be karaoke on both nights.

The location’s hours will remain the same: opening at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday with a closing time of 2 a.m. The restaurant is closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night.

A new Web site is under construction according the voice message, but anyone interested in the entertainment schedule can call the location at (574) 288-5977.

If you’re a diehard Rum Runner’s patron and want to hear genuine franchise entertainment, the nearest location is in Fort Wayne, Ind.