The story of how the Mr and I came to own a bar is a long and twisted path. It’s been a year long twisted painful path that has finally brought us to – I believe – what we are meant to be doing. I won’t get into the specifics of the last year because it’s filled with a lot of pain, anger, and bitterness that honestly, I’m just not ready to air publically. Partially because it would make me seem like a jerk to say what has happened publically and the people involved in it that basically ruined our life for a good 9 months. We are stronger than most though, and have prevailed in a way that even surprises me.
It all started almost a year ago, on March 15th – yes, the ides of March, how prophetic is that? – when the Mr was forced out of the company he built, the company he started and grew and cultivated into a profitable venture. Forced out by greed, blind ambition, and selfishness. It tore our world apart and left us floundering. What went wrong? Who can we trust anymore? What the hell am I supposed to do?
You know that scene in action movies where the star s are dumped into a coal mining cart and sent rushing along an abandoned ruined track till they hit a patch where the track is suddenly missing and they are sent flying over empty open space? That was us. We were floundering mid-air struggling to catch that one single hanging chain. And we did.
A few months after the Ides of March I asked the Mr what he wanted to do. It was clear he didn’t want to stay in finance, he wanted out.
“I’ve always wanted to own a bar,” he says with a shrug.
If you’ve been married for any length of time there are times when your partner says something so outrageous that it just stalls your brain…this was one of those times. But, also at these times you calculate how likely that thing is to happen and if you are like me you decide that it probably won’t so it won’t hurt a thing to encourage them. So I did.
Little did I know that moment would be when our life changed direction forever. The Mr found a bar broker and we started looking at bars. We looked at hip downtown bars where the crowd was a million times more awesome and current than we were, we looked at dives that were neat but made no money, we looked at modern Scandinavian bars with lots of glass and blond wood and patio space but couldn’t make heads or tails of where the money actually was coming from. None of them felt right, none of them were us. None of them were bars the Mr and I would go to for a beer and a burger.
Then the broker came back and said “I think I’ve found your bar, I think this is it.”
He was right.
The first time we ever entered The Lighthouse Inn everything felt right. It was a blue collar bar filled with history, amazing woodwork, and everything we love. The price was right, it was more than right,
it was ½ the price of other bars we’d looked at. It was a mess of who owned the bar, who owned the building and all that jazz but in the end, it was perfect. We signed the final papers on December 6th, 2012 and we were bar owners.
It’s hard work, I mean HARD work, but like anything you love, it’s worth it. We have had a crash course in bartending, bartenders, cooks, and venders. Sometimes it’s been awesome, sometimes it’s been batshit crazy, sometimes it’s just been laugh out loud ridiculous but we love it. We have gotten to know our regulars – some who’ve been coming to The Lighthouse Inn for 35 years – we’ve made amazing friends, we’ve been welcomed so warmly that it blows my mind. And as long as we “don’t change anything,” per our regulars we are fine. Course we have changed things and they haven’t noticed till they’ve commented on how good it is. Like our hand cut, hand battered onion rings, or hand cut steak fries, or fresh calamari.
It’s been a whirlwind trip and it’s not over yet, it’s only the beginning, but it’s going to be the ride of our lives.