New owner, same fun at Fountain Inn - Republic-Times | News

New owner, same fun at Fountain Inn

By on November 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Fountain Inn owner Bill Griebel stands behind the bar with his wife, Shelby. (Sean McGowan photo)

Waterloo native Bill Griebel has set up shop as the new owner of Fountain Inn near Valmeyer, and hasn’t missed a beat in providing a great experience for customers.

The Gibault Catholic High School graduate took over operations from Jeanette McClellan in September, making it official with a grand reopening. Griebel said business has been steady during deer hunting season.

“Everything’s going great,” he said, adding, “I’ve been keeping pretty much the same things (McClellan) did.”

One noticeable difference, as soon as a patron walks through the door, is a Chicago Cubs white board posted on the back wall of the bar. Still, the locals seem to be accepting Griebel into the community.

“(The grand reopening) had a great turnout,” he said. “There were bands all day, a food truck. It was great.”

Located at 1912 Fountain Road, the bar is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; and 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Contact the bar at 618-935-2266.

Fountain Inn has been open for 22 years. The bar serves beer and liquor, and even sells Imo’s frozen pizzas as well as a few snack foods and other items.

Biggest Buck and Doe contests have been held at Fountain Inn during deer hunting season in previous years. Additionally, meat shoots organized by the Valmeyer Lakers baseball team are held at the business. The bar regularly features live music.

After bartending for six years at JV’s Downtown Bar & Grill in Waterloo, and at Schorr Lake Winery for a time, Griebel said he felt ready for the next step. 

“I’ve always been a bartender and I knew I would get my own bar eventually,” he said, adding, “It’s what I expected.” 

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.