By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
Doing these “Memory” columns is kinda fun, but it’s also somewhat sad. Stevens Point and the surrounding areas had so many great places to go and people to see. Many of them are no more, and the world is not the better for it.
Please join me now as we take a trip down Memory Lane in the Stevens Point area. For an added twist, we’ll do it alphabetically.
Do you remember …
A- Archie’s Cocktail Lounge. On the south side. Craig “Archie” Hansen and Sue. Great beer-battered chicken wings. Archie’s band played there a lot to big crowds. Sometimes you could walk in there at night and see Archie, Bill Berry of the SPJ, and Don “Zot” Pawlik strumming their guitars.
B- The “Bach” and Buffy’s Lampoon. Buffy’s is still on the square. The “Bach” is the late Donny Bacher, a true Point legend. Former high school star athlete from Merrill. Or was it Antigo? Lived above Butter’s. The Bach’s goal in life was to have
a good time, and he accomplished it. Was always telling jokes, dressing up as Spiderman, and playing Johnny Cash on the jukebox at Buffy’s and Joe’s. Was a huge hit with the college crowd. Many a time college kids would walk up to Tumor or Kimberley and ask: “Where’s Bacher?” He is missed by many.
C- Cooper’s Corners. A country bar in Whiting which is now a parking lot.
D- Dan’s Ice Cream Parlor. Had wonderful ice cream cones on the north side of Point. I bought my first frozen Portesi pizza from Dan’s.
E- E’s Inn. A bar just west of Custer. They had a nifty little softball diamond out in back and hosted many tournaments. Still remember when our team (Unique) with Duck Shannon, Dave Nachman, Joe Sanders, Ma Pesch, Caz Spreda, and others had the mighty Club Orlow on the ropes. Winner plays in the championship game. We’re up, 10-5, in the fifth. I’m pitching, and Pete Sipple of Orlow hits a grand slam homer. Then the roof really fell in. More hits, errors, walks, and Sipple comes up again in the
same inning and blasts ANOTHER grand slam! Still have nightmares.
F- Frank & Ernie’s. Bar across from Kim’s Barrel Inn had great food and was a pioneer in fantasy football. Also home of the “Riverjumpers”, their softball team with characters like Freddie Vieth, Tom Quimby, Billy Cooper, Kenny Meshak, Ern the Burn, Frank Jurgella …
G- Grin & Beer It. Tommy Meyer’s bar. On the square where the Sugar Bar is now. Pete Moss (another legend) and John Dickrell bartended. Quick story: I’m in GBI early one Saturday night in the summer years ago. Big college guy is sitting on
the end. He went to UWSP. I sit next to him and say: “You gonna be here long?” He says: “Yeah.” I said, “You look just like Keith Millard, a defensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings!” He laughs. I say, “For the next two hours, if a chic comes over to
talk to you, just smile and nod.” He says “Okay”. For the next two hours, I told EVERYBODY who came in that he WAS Millard. We had 50 drinks bought for us that night.
H- Harmony Bar. It was off the square. I was never in it.
I- Iverson Park Golf balls. Actually, you cut through the trees in Iverson and came out on the water hole of the Stevens Point Country Club. You and your buddies would run into the pond, grab some golf balls, and run back into the trees. Great fun!!
Then we would all go to Clark Pinzer’s girlfriend’s swimming pool, wash off and organize all the balls, and put them in egg cartons to sell.
J- Jim’s Blind Man Stand. In the 60’s downtown. A popcorn stand close to the Fox Theatre. Always great popcorn.
K – Kellogg’s Lumber. Any time we needed some boards, we went to Kellogg’s on Water Street across from Lincoln.
L- Long Branch Saloon and Little Brown Jug. Bars. On the Square. Across from each other.
M- MugShots. Same place. Pointer hockey team hung out there and the women’s hockey team were great bartenders!
N- Normington’s. Laundromat next to the old Northside IGA. They had a nifty pop machine.
O- Overlook. Downtown store known for a great comic book selection.
P- Partner’s Pub. Still there. Used to be Nowak’s Bar on Stanley. Then “Pearly” and “Moff” had it. *When Mike and Jeff ran it, the Packers played the Vikings in a charity basketball game at SPASH and afterwards the players went to Partner’s. We played Foosball with Viking cornerback Charlie West.
R- Romie’s Rendezvous (where the Final Score is now). Always interesting in there.
S- Sorenson’s. If you wanted flowers, you went there.
T- Thunderbird. A bar in Plover that had several softball teams. Tommy Thomason and Prune Kinney played for most of them. And the Janiszewski boys.
U- The Unique Bar. Great sports bar. One night Dave Roman and Mike Metcalf and their team was in there celebrating a softball win. Jim Menzel. Donny Ceplina. Gary Olsen. Sitting there minding his own business was John Anderson, head of the UWSP News Service. Never saw him there before. Suddenly, I look over and John has a flower pot with a fern on his head!! He said he was gonna try to balance the fern on his head for ten minutes without using his hands! Everyone was taking bets. Roman bet on John. With one minute to go, Dave put a pepper shaker right under John’s nose and he sneezed and the plant went flying! What a fun place!!!
W- Wanta’s Bowling Lanes- Across from the Cozy Kitchen. Bill’s Pizza was next to it. Big Ern’s hot beefs!! My late dad bowled there a thousand times. One night he bowled with Harvey Kuenn of the Detroit Tigers and pitcher Billy Hoeft of the White Sox. Wanta’s was always packed.
Z- Zodiac. A bar in Plover which isn’t there anymore. It was next to the 10-51 Outdoor Theatre which also isn’t there anymore.
If you’re from Point, you surely must’ve heard of some of these people and places. Don’t know where it all went, but it was fun while it lasted.