ANSONIA — Andrew Riffle has taken on another challenge in his young lifetime, and he is proud of and thankful for his new acquisition, The Whistle Stop.
“Today was the takeover,” said Riffle Sunday as he took a break from bartending/serving. “I’m nervous. The Whistle is The Whistle. It doesn’t matter who owns it. It is a very exciting part of the community. It’s been here for generations.”
According to Riffle, he plans no changes in staffing or pay.
His sister-in-law, Jessica Riffle, will run the day-to-day operations, as Riffle will continue his position at Crown, where he has worked for five years and is now supervisor in the distribution/shipping center.
“Jennifer will do the scheduling and payroll, and I will bartend, work the kitchen and be on the floor more,” he said. “And, my parents [Daryl, secretary of the Darke County Agricultural Society and a former Ansonia School Board member, and Mary, Brown Township’s new fiscal officer and an employee of Darke County United Way] will probably get involved.”
Riffle himself wants to do more marketing of his new establishment, where people have been known to come from all over to eat their pizzas, their signature sandwiches and other food items that are prepared there.
“It will still be active in the community and will sponsor, such things as basketball,” he said. “It has been a good, family environment that I remember from my basketball days.”
Riffle feels strong ties to The Whistle.
“My grandpa [the late Jim Riffle] had the ice cream and milk route and made deliveries there, and some of my mom’s family owned it back in the day,” he said.
In fact, Andrew worked at The Whistle for 10 years and has waiter and kitchen experience.
Riffle is a bachelor, but said his girlfriend Kalie Sanders is supportive of his latest investment.
The 2005 Ansonia High School graduate was active in golf and basketball in high school. He also earned the Eagle Scout award as well as the American Farmer degree in FFA.
There probably won’t be any immediate changes, but Riffle does have some ideas brewing in his mind.
“I have been throwing around ideas of maybe starting a delivery service on weekends or serving draft beer or maybe offering Saturday night specials,” he said. “I thought about getting small acoustic bands in here on occasion.”
Riffle is no stranger to work or entrepreneurship. Ever since graduation, he has operated a mowing/landscaping and snow removal business and he also has rentals.
“I live in town and I’m staying local,” said Riffle, who studied business at Wright State University’s Lake Campus for two years.
His goals, he said, include possibly siding the whole building but keeping the scene on the north side, and to add new flooring and maybe even Keno.
He said he enjoys golfing and attending Eldora races, and currently he is taking part in the no-shave November campaign that seems to be going around in this area.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity to take the reigns here,” he said. “I”m happy. I learned a lot from all the previous owners.”