Outdoor Bar Floats Away in Grand River


(Photo Credit: Charles Brown Jr.)

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GRAND RIVER, OH -- Overnight storms swept across Northeast Ohio overnight, but many were surprised to find an outdoor bar floating down the Grand River.

"I can't believe it," said Brecksville resident Tim Calvey. "I'm actually kind of surprised that at this time of year, end of July, we're still having flooding."

The outdoor barge is a fixture of Pickle Bills Lobster House for 20 years. Owner Jerry Powell said he got a call from the U.S. Coast Guard Saturday morning informing him that their dock was damaged and the bar broke free.

"It's a wayward barge," Powell joked. "I told everybody I'd put an Amber Alert out for them."

Yet, Powell said this is not the first time the barge has broke free from its home at 101 River Street in Grand River.

About 5 years ago, a similar storm helped the floating bar break free. However, Powell said the most surprising getaway was 17 years ago, when the barge broke loose and floated all the way to Erie, Pennsylvania.

”It just has a mind of its own and it was tired of the same thing, so we’ll give it another challenge,” Powell said.

Now, the challenge may be getting the bar back. With the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies, Powell said they are working to find a way to pull the bar back to the restaurant.

The Coast Guard tells us they will have to wait until the currents in Lake Erie calm down. They said it’s too dangerous at this time.

“They said they could not put a line on it because of the difference in height of their boat and the barge. So right now, it’s a loose baby out there and I’m sure it’s very lonely,” Powell said.

The restaurant is open for business. Other than the dock, Powell said there were no damages.

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