Born Phoebe Anne Mosey Aug. 13, 1860, Annie Oakley, as she was later known, learned to shoot at the age of 8. In the fall of 1875, she was invited to take part in a shooting contest in Cincinnati against Frank Butler, a professional stage shooter. The following year the pair were married and they traveled around the world together. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL ANNIE OAKLEY CENTER AT THE GARST MUSEUM
The project is the brainchild of the Riffle family, including Andrew Riffle, who owns and operates the Whistle Stop pub in Ansonia; his father Daryl, who served as the manager of the Darke County Fair from 2005 to 2017; his brother Adam, and other family members, the Riffles said 11 months ago, when the project was first revealed.
The change of venue was the result of a conversation between owners of the two businesses.
>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Annie Oakley-themed 'Sure Shot Tap House' coming to historic building
In late November 2019, Daryl Riffle and Bistro owner Ted Abney “ran into each other and sparked up a conversation about the building,” Andrew Riffle said in the release. “So my wife Kalie, Dad, and I met with Ted at the building and looked over his operation. We felt like we could achieve the same goals we wanted to achieve in our original South Broadway location but accomplish it much quicker and more cost effectively. The building is truly a beauty, similar to every downtown building, and offers just as many attributes as the original location, so we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Abney said in thee release, “We want to thank the community and our employees for their many years of support and dedication. I have enjoyed being a part of the downtown Greenville landscape. I am getting older and felt like the timing was right. I am excited to see what Andrew and his team have in store for the building.”
Sure Shot’s founders plan to start the remodeling process immediately, and within the next few weeks, will unveil its “founders club” that will allow members of the community “to get involved with the massive project and receive some really great benefits in return,” the Riffles said.
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As for the original South Broadway street building, which goes back to at least the early 1900s, the Riffles said, “Once we complete the Sure Shot Tap House project and the dust has settled a bit after our grand opening, we will get back to the drawing board with that project. We love the location and feel it’s a great downtown building with a ton of potential.”
The Riffles are a fifth-generation family in the Darke County village of Ansonia, and when the project was first announced last March, Andrew Riffle said, “My wife Kalie and I love what’s going on in downtown Greenville and visit frequently. The Downtown Greenville events are growing yearly and bring a lot of people to the area. I have also been watching what is going on in Bellefontaine and other comparable downtowns very closely and finally decided I was ready to commit to investing in Greenville.”
>> What to know about Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Anne Oakley Moses on a farm in rural Darke County outside Greenville. She learned how to shoot a rifle at age 8, and when she was 17, she entered a contest in Cincinnati, where she defeated her future husband, Frank Butler, in a sharpshooting competition. From 1885 to 1902. she and Butler toured with "Buffalo Bill" Cody's Wild West Show.
To follow the progress of Sure Shot Tap House, check out its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SureShotTapHouse.