What does this business do?
We’re a place for people to come and relax for a Friday and Saturday night. We have music and entertainment for people. I think we’re about the only place that has a DJ and karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays. We’re just a place to kick back and listen to some music.
What was the impetus for opening this business?
I was looking for a bar to buy. I’m originally from Valparaiso, so this came up for sale at just the right time. I almost bought (another place) in Wheatfield, but it fell through. So then we came down here. I lived down here.
What is the best thing about being located in Rensselaer?
The people are great. I just love the people down here. It’s a laid-back community. Valparaiso’s getting a lot bigger. This is small-town living, and I just love the people.
What is the biggest challenge?
Trying to get the word out that we serve lunches and we deliver at lunch time. I do it myself. A lot of people don’t realize that.
What is your busiest time of the year?
The busiest time of the year would be winter time, Halloween through New Year’s Eve. It starts getting colder out. People can’t do the bonfires and stuff, so they come in here. It’s definitely winter time, as long as the weather isn’t too bad.
What is the most popular thing you sell/service you pride?
For most people, it’s the DJs, especially in winter time. Our pulled pork sandwiches, that’s one of our biggest sellers. Everybody sells the pulled pork is excellent.
What is a less popular item/service you would recommend?
Most people think more of the bar and less of the food here. They just don’t realize the menu we have. They think “Oh it’s just a bar, they don’t have anything.” Because most bars don’t. Most bars have just got a few sandwiches. They don’t have a big menu They have a very small menu. And all the local bars around here are like that. They’ve all got just a few things, so they think, “Oh, it’s a bar, they don’t have food, or they have a limited selection of food.’” We don’t. We have a huge menu, and people are like, “God, if we realized you had this much food...” And then strangers will come in.
What is the thing you most like to do as part of your business?
Just meeting all the people. I just enjoy it, handling all the orders and the business stuff. I enjoy it all, listening to people have good times and kick back.
What is the best thing about owning your own business?
When you own your own place, you don’t have hours to live by. You make your own decisions about time. You don’t have a certain set of times, stuff like that.
How would you describe your business philosophy?
(It’s about) bringing people together to have a good time.
When it comes time to retire, is there a family member who will be taking over for you?
I haven’t thought that far ahead yet.
How has your business changed over time?
We’re open on Sundays (now). We can sell alcohol on Sundays. We could always serve beer and liquor on Sundays. We could always have it in here on Sundays, but now we can take it out.
What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business?
There’s a lot of work managing people and trying to get people in here, managing schedules inventory.