Bill and Babes reigns as the oldest family-owned tavern in Indiana

Bill and Babes reigns as the oldest family-owned tavern in Indiana
By: Kali Beatty Last Updated: November 11, 2019

Since 1954, Bill and Babes Riverside Inn has been a local Pulaski County favorite. Overlooking the river, the tavern is home to many local regulars but also a sought-after attraction for travelers passing through. Known for their fresh fish and juicy handmade burgers, it’s no wonder this family-owned bar and grill holds the title for the longest standing family-owned tavern in the state of Indiana. 

The Pulaski County Community Development Commission (PCCDC) is a proud supporter of Bill and Babes. According to PCCDC Project Coordinator Krysten Hinkle, Bill and Babes remains a cash-only establishment. Hinkle also noted their location to be a plus, sitting right across the street from the PJ Gilsinger & Co. John Deere Museum in a town that isn’t even big enough to call a town. 

“What Pulaski does is put together a little Christmas light show that you can drive through right by Bill and Babes, and there’s always a good turn out,” Hinkle said. “So when we promote it, we always put something in about stopping at Bill and Babes to enjoy a bite to eat.”

As a community staple, everyone knows about Bill and Babes. Between word of mouth and a prime location on the river, people from all over come to town to enjoy a tasty meal, especially in the summer. In 1999, Dan Reutebuch, son of Bill and Babe, took over ownership of the tavern and kept all of the traditions going. The only thing he’s done differently is add a broaster to the kitchen.

“Everyone who works here is family, and we have people from everywhere, it’s not just local. Some people drive 50 or 60 miles to come see us,” Reutebuch said. “One of my favorite stories to tell is that I have a husband and a wife who happened to come in here from Milwaukee and have a burger, and now they ride their motorcycle down every summer to come have a burger all the way from Milwaukee.”

Bill and Babes secret to being a sought-after tavern for more than 60 years is simply customer service. Allowing customers to feel as though they are a part of the family is what keeps people coming back again and again.

“I love just being around all of the people, the customers, and my family,” Reutebuch said. “It’s a lot of long hours but other than the people make it worth it.”

Bill and Babes is open for people 21+ seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Their menu offers fresh walleye, basa, smelt, blue gill, and yellow lake perch, plus the very best hand-breaded broasted pork chops and broasted potatoes. In addition, they offer handmade burgers, fresh, never frozen steaks and wings, and great handmade pizza available for takeout. There are also 20 craft beers, domestic beers, and a number of wines available. 

Check out Bill and Babes at 5658 S. Main St. in Winamac, Indiana, (574) 595-0536.