Clay Rominger

Merrie, Ric and Clay Rominger will be operating On the Rocks, a new bar on the southeast corner of the Square in Indianola.

The doors are open at Indianola’s newest bar, On the Rocks.

Located at the corner of North Howard and West Salem on the southeast side of the Square, the bar takes the place of the former Dirty Bird, but owner Ric Rominger says the new place has no relationship with the old. The new place opened March 4.

“It’s a whole new entity,” said Ric. “We’re opening our own establishment.”

His son, Clay, will be running the bar on a daily basis, he said.

Clay Rominger, a 2005 graduate of Indianola High School, said he worked in a bar for a little over two years before moving to Wells Fargo financial services.

“That was. . . um, fun,” he said. Within a few years, he was back in the bar business, working at the Liars Club and Jokers.

“It’s what I’m good at, it’s what I know,” said Clay. The family became interested in buying the bar when Kerry McKasson at Kerry’s Flower and Creative Touches across the street, suggested the idea.

Ric and his wife, Merrie, live in the Lake Rathbun area, but lived in Indianola for many years and now visit family here regularly.

Clay will be one of the main keys to success for the new place, said Ric Rominger. “The owner will be standing right there behind the bar,” he said. There are few other changes, he said. The interior will remain much the same, with the addition of a lighted liquor display and minus a pool table.

They’ll offer an assortment of beers and plan to offer a large whiskey and bourbon selection as well as an assortment of craft cocktails.

“We’ll have a menu based off of whiskey and bourbon cocktails,” Clay said. But beer and sports will be the mainstays of the establishment. They may offer food options later but will start with snacks, such as chips and nuts.

Clay said he’s looking forward to getting to know new customers and providing a service beyond liquor to his customers.

“You meet new people every day,” he said. “You can come in and crack jokes, or if you had a bad day and you need somebody to talk to, you can come in and talk to your bartender.”

On the Rocks will be open Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., then on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Clay plans a grand opening Friday, March 15.

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