After years of tending bar and cooking at a restaurant for someone else, Crystal Skiba finally decided it was time to buy her own bar.
When she saw that Herold’s Bar in Lastrup was up for sale, she said she knew it would be right for her.
With only her husband Jody and sister Michelle Starr working with her for now, Skiba said she needed a place that was small enough that she could run it herself for now.
“I’m hoping that it gets really busy and I can hire some staff, but right now we’re just trying to run it ourselves,” Skiba said.
She said she’s been using her experiences managing both her farm and a few bars in the area to help with running her own bar.
Skiba said while she may make mistakes along the way, in the end that’s how people learn.
The first few weeks have been spent getting everything organized from managing the books to coordinating when her vendors will come in with product.
Another thing that had to be done was to update the decor at the bar.
“It was quite a bit of work. We had to wash all of the walls and paint everything,” Skiba said. “I just wanted to make sure it was done my way. That I cleaned it and know that was up to my standards.”
Skiba, who described herself as “kind of a neat freak,” said she wanted to make sure the bar was in a shape where she could serve food there and not worry about people getting sick.
Skiba said she has received compliments from her customers on how much cleaner the place is and that it now seems brighter in the establishment as well.
Bar patrons been supportive of her plans to bring in fresh, local food at the bar, Skiba said.
Down the road, she said she hopes to have daily homemade lunch and dinner specials.
The reason she bought the bar, Skiba said was two-fold.
First, she said, it had been a dream of hers to own her own business and be her own boss. Secondly, she said if she was able to have money coming in from the bar, her husband wouldn’t have to work out of state in places like Alaska.
“It was really hard having him gone and not at home with us,” Skiba said.
Right now, the two switch places throughout the day, with one being at home with their children while the other tends the bar.
Skiba said her sister has been a wonderful help at the bar.
Skiba’s Bar and Grill is also becoming a place for the community to gather and have fun.
Currently the bar plays host to cribbage, whist and bingo games. On Saturday, Feb. 25, it will also co-host a triathlon of bar games, pool darts and Polish horseshoes, with Tiny’s Tavern.
Skiba said she hopes people will have fun at her bar.
“I just want people to come in here and have a good time and enjoy themselves,” Skiba said.