A simple place to shoot the breeze
SWISHER– He did it, but he’s not really sure why.
Rob Pudil and his wife Gena recently purchased Melsha’s Tap from Loraine Melsha and renamed it Shooters on Second.
“I honestly don’t know why we did it,” Rob said. As the owner of Affordable SoftWater, he’s no stranger to running a business. He also worked in a bar back in the 1980s. “The opportunity came up (to buy the bar) but there was no rhyme or reason to it.” Rob said he shot Melsha an offer, and a month later Melsha asked Gena if he was serious.
“I told her he was,” Gena said. So was their son Cody, who was particularly excited about the prospect. In fact, the whole family lined up in support. “We told the kids it would take a lot of effort from all of them,” she said.
That effort translated into eight intense days of remodeling in preparation for opening day on Friday, Dec. 9. The result?
“I’m exhausted but it’s good,” said Gena, who also cleans houses for a living. “I’m running in circles right now, but I’ll find my ‘normal’ and it’ll all be good.”
Their first night the place was wall-to-wall with patrons, much to the Pudils’ surprise.
“It was overwhelming, but we handled it,” Rob said with a smile. Gena described it as fun. Another surprise came Saturday morning when the couple realized they had to order more beer just in time for another large crowd.
The Pudils anticipate more crowds with special events as the new year unfolds, such as the Hawkeye Insight Bowl party they held on Dec. 30, and the New Year’s Eve party the next day. They hope to have live music at least once per month and might even give karaoke a go.
Some may notice that the theme of the bar is that there is no theme. The name Shooters can be applied to a move in euchre, shooting pool or recreational shooting and hunting.
“It’s just a bar. It’s nice and simple,” Rob said, the kind of place a person can have a beer and just relax. The décor is simple too: knotty pine throughout, a handful of beer signs and little decoration. “I wanted it clean and simple. It’s nice, it’s light, I love it.” Most noticeable on the walls are several large televisions that are usually tuned to sports, a music channel and the Outdoor Network.
Simple also describes the menu of Shooters on Second, which is limited by not having a kitchen. Free popcorn is available, while patrons desiring something more substantial can get nachos or a pizza. A hot dog and brat machine is due to arrive shortly, as are hamburger patties that can be heated up in the pizza oven. Opening for lunch may be an option in the near future as more and more people request it. Currently Shooters opens at 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Shooters on Second features nightly specials throughout the week ranging from deals on cans, bottles, mugs or pitchers of domestic beer, well drinks and even margaritas on Thursdays.
Despite the new look and new atmosphere, it’s still the local bar with cold beer and great prices.
“A lot of the old familiar faces are still in here,” Gena said. “It’s going to be the same small town bar it’s always been, with a friendly atmosphere.”
Shooters on Second is located at 72 Second St. SE, in downtown Swisher, across from Shelton’s Grocery.