The long-time manager of Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand is vowing to reopen the Moraine restaurant in part to honor the wishes of its founder, Rick Volz, who died Monday at Kettering Medical Center after a lengthy illness.
“My main goal is to keep his legacy alive, and I promised him I would give it my best effort,” Samantha “Sammy” Bowman told this news outlet in a phone interview. “I know it’s not going to be easy.”
Bowman has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $10,000 to “help pay for his funeral and cremation expenses,” and, “with whatever is left over, putting it into reopening Voltzy’s as my own,” she wrote on the fund-raising web site
Bowman said Volz “has been a a big influence on my life. He’s been like a grandfather to me for as long as I can remember.”
Volz, who had no children of his own, had operated the carryout restaurant for more than 30 years, the last 12 at 4668 Springboro Pike. He was known for its burgers and sandwiches — some named after politicians and celebrities — as well as its house-made soups, slaw dogs, coneys and root beer floats. But it was perhaps best-known for the super-sized, high-wattage personality of its owner, who greeted customers by name and delivered good-natured, occasionally R-rated taunts and one-liners in rapid-fired banter with his regular customers, and occasionally even with “newbies” whom Volz thinks can take the ribbing.
“I can’t promise I can give everyone the same level of (grief) as Voltzy did, but he did teach me a few things,” Bowman said.
If all goes well, Bowman said, she would like to reopen “in the next couple of months.”
Volz had faced a series of health setbacks in recent years that accelerated in recent months. Less than two months ago, in December 2020, Bowman wrote that Volz had undergone a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg. Volz had been open about his previous surgeries in which he had toes and part of his foot amputated.
The GoFundMe.com campaign is entitled “Remembering Voltzy.”