By Kate Knight
When Mary Makuski’s late husband of 42 years passed away last spring, her son Rick asked what she would do next. At first, Makuski wasn’t sure.
She and her late husband had worked together for many years at Sisters of St. Joseph Convent in Stevens Point. Makuski had worked there for 26 years.
“You know every corner I turn, he’s there, and so I didn’t want to stay,” Makuski said. She later told Rick one thing she had always wanted to do, but had never done, was own a bar.
“I said with the kids and stuff we just never did it,” Makuski said. “And he said, ‘You know what mom, I’ve always wanted to own a bar too,’ and I said, ‘Do you think this is something we could do together?’”
Makuski said she and Rick eventually started looking at properties for sale in the area. She was shown several places downtown in Stevens Point, but said that wasn’t what she was looking for.
She said she told her real-estate agent, “What I want is an old-fashioned, country, mom ‘n’ pop bar that we can just go, have a good time and people are friendly,” Makuski recalled. “Where you don’t have to worry about bar fights or anything like that – that’s what I’m looking for.”
She said her agent had a listing in mind, and a few days later called Makuski and her son out to the former location of Slo’s Place, located just outside the Stevens Point city limits marker.
“The minute I walked in I said, ‘This is it,’” Makuski said. “’This is the kind of bar that I want.’ We agreed on a price and I bought it.”
In late October Makuski purchased Slo’s Place and quit her job. Slo’s is now known as Mak’s Bar, a shortening of Makuski’s last name.
“I love this place,” Makuski said. “There’s nice people that come here, and I really enjoy myself when I’m here. I needed to get out of the house and do something because I spent four months where I’d come home from work, I’d sit in my house and that’s all I did.”
“It’s time to get out, to meet new people, make new friends, which I have, and I’ve been really enjoying myself,” she said. “I love it.”
Makuski said she plans to renovate the bar to include a kitchen that will offer charbroiled burgers, brats and hot dogs, along with standard bar fare for its patrons. Mak’s Bar currently offers a smaller menu selection that includes pizza and chicken wings.
Mak’s also offers the following daily drink specials: $1 domestic taps, Monday; $1 domestic bottles, Tuesday; buy-two-get-one-free shots, Wednesday; $1 rail mixers 8 p.m. – midnight, Thursday; ladies’ night (50 percent off drinks) 8 p.m. – midnight, Friday; and $2 bloody Mary’s and free pool, Sunday.
A staff of six people currently operates Mak’s Bar. Makuski plans to give her son Rick more responsibility in the future.
“At some point I will back off and just be the owner, and he will be the bar manager,” she said.
But for now, Makuski said she is enjoying herself and her new venture. She looks forward to the delivery of a new sign to hang outside the bar she describes as “a nice, friendly place you can go to wind down.”
Mak’s Bar is open every day from 2 PM to 2 AM and is located at 1236 County Rd. HH, Stevens Point. For more information call 715-341-2073.