WAUSA - Four decades ago, Bill Schumacher arrived in Wausa and found a place to call his own.
He cannot believe 40 years have passed since he became the owner of a downtown bar business on May 7, 1981, and renamed it Bill’s Place.
“It seems like maybe 15, 20 at the most,” Schumacher said. “Time’s gone by awfully fast.”
He has enjoyed owning his own business, especially getting to know the people who have become regular customers as well as meeting new patrons.
“I’m my own boss, which is nice,” Schumacher said. “You get to work when you want to and when you have to.”
The 64-year-old hopes his family-friendly establishment has been seen as an asset to Wausa.
“I’m providing a service for the community,” Schumacher said.
That service includes offering Bases Loaded pizza, hamburgers and sub sandwiches to his customers.
“I serve as long as I’m open,” Schumacher said. “There’s no shutoff time.”
His business, which also serves beer and liquor, opens at 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays.
Finding people to work at his bar and restaurant has not always been easy.
“That’s the biggest drawback,” Schumacher said. “When I have good help, it makes it go a lot smoother than the stress of trying to find help and not have to work all the hours.”
His interest in having his own bar business dates back to when he was a high school student during the 1970s working at Bogner’s Steak House in his hometown of Crofton.
Schumacher was employed at the popular meeting place for just over two years before graduating from high school in 1975 and going to work for Wholesale Supply in Yankton, S.D.
He worked there for about nine months and then changed directions to pursue an associate degree in business for one year at Northeast Community College in Norfolk.
Schumacher eventually landed in Lynch, where he started working in 1978 at B.J.’s, a bar that was owned and operated by his older brother Brad.
His brother sold the bar three years later, which left Schumacher without employment, but with on-the-job experience that had prepared him to buy his own business.
He moved in April 1981 from Lynch to Wausa and took over ownership of Marc’s Place from Marc and Rachel Baue a month later.
Schumacher simply changed the name of the bar to Bill’s Place because he wanted a moniker that he described as “just short and sweet.”
He started serving pizza at his business in 1998, though it was only offered on Friday nights at first.
That changed in 2004, and since then his establishment has been providing pizza whenever it is open.
Schumacher eventually expanded his menu to include hamburgers and sub sandwiches as well.
As a Wausa business owner and the chairman of the village’s board of trustees, he encourages people to visit and see what the Knox County community has to offer.
That includes Bill’s Place, which has not celebrated its 40th anniversary yet because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Maybe somewhere down the road we might throw a little party of some sort, but nothing yet,” Schumacher said.
FOR MORE INFO:
Call Bill’s Place at 402-586-2544. The bar and restaurant, which is located at 501 E. Broadway St. in downtown Wausa, also has a Facebook page.
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