- COMMUNITY LINKS
The historic Elk Casino is hosting the third stop of the Straub Brewery Charity Pub Crawl beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
"We like to support the community and we have done a lot of fundraising in the past," explained Elk Casino co-owner Betty Wycoff on why the establishment chose to host the event.
The crowd-pleasing area band Six Pak will headline the event, taking the stage at 9 p.m.
"We are looking forward to putting on another great show to show our support for charities involved," said Ryan Herzing, Six Pak rhythm guitarist and vocalist.
A popular local dining spot, the Elk Casino is featuring a wing special for the event where patrons can sample some of their popular flavors such as pizza, taco, taco ranch, Italian, honey French and Casino Golds.
In a unique twist, patrons can also mix any flavor with mild, medium or hot sauces, as well as order the sauce on French fries.
There will also be a special on Straub beverages, as well as door prizes and baskets.
Wycoff, who took ownership of the facility in 2007, along with her son Ryan Novak, said she is excited to host the event.
The Elk Casino has been in Wycoff's family for several generations. Her grandparents, Cyril "Frenchie" VanSlander and Elode "Lottie" Donez, purchased the property in the 1930s or 1940s. In 1972, Wycoff's parents, Charlie and Pearl VanSlander, took over the family business.
"The original casino burnt down in 1945 and my grandfather, who was a carpenter, rebuilt it from the ground up in 1947," Wycoff explained.
She noted the casino's original chimneys, though not working, remain standing on the side of the building.
The establishment is located on the former Elk County Fairgrounds, with the adjacent home being where the former fairgrounds' racetrack was situated.
Today the Elk Casino can seat up to 200 people in two dining areas separated by a large dance floor and stage. A large bar is situated behind the dance floor, as well as a kitchen.
"We are known for our Taco Thursdays, Fish Fry Fridays and wings specials on Saturdays," Wycoff noted. "We also host private parties and weddings."
She added that the Elk Casino formerly featured a band each week back when her parents owned it.
The Charity Pub Crawl is a year-long series of events at different establishments in St. Marys. Proceeds from the events, and from the sale of official Pub Crawl T-shirts, benefit four local charities: Elk County Relay for Life, Elk County Humane Society, Crystal Fire Department and Rotary Club of St. Marys. Over 400 T-shirts have been purchased since the Straub Brewery Charity Pub Crawl began in February.