Men in assisted living facility “open” their own bar to get through quarantine

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 1:29 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 5, 2021 at 5:35 PM CST
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LANCASTER, Wis. (WMTV) - Quarantine has led to a few bottles of red getting uncorked at Morningside Assisted Living in Lancaster.

“One day I walked down the hall and said ‘what are you men up to?’ and then they invited me into the bar and it’s gone from there,” says Renae Creasey, a registered nurse and the administrator at Morningside Assisted Living.

Residents Ron Kjos, Dennis Stluka, Richard Hoffman and Alvin Rolland decided that since they can’t go out, the bar would have to come to them.

The men of "The Corner Bar": Ron Kjos (left), Dennis Stluka (front), Richard Hoffman (back),...
The men of "The Corner Bar": Ron Kjos (left), Dennis Stluka (front), Richard Hoffman (back), Alvin Rolland (right)(Morningside Assisted Living)

“It all started when one lady walked out of her room and said, would you gentlemen like this bottle of wine?” says Creasey.

A couple afternoons each week, The Corner Bar opens up for business.

“We used to have a corner bar in Potosi down here. We said something about putting a sign up and I said we could call it the Corner Bar,” says resident and wine connoisseur, Ron Kjos.

While they are the only four men in the facility, others are welcome to join, so long as they bring a bottle. “Oh there’s a couple of good lookin’ women who get in on it every once and a while,” says Kjos.

“We have a lot of fun. They tell a lot of good jokes, they reminisce, and they tell a lot of good, fun stories,” says Creasey.

Everyone has a role to play at The Corner Bar. Dennis Stluka isn’t a drinking man himself, but enjoys “bartending.”

“I kind of roll around in the wheel chair and serve the drinks for them,” says Stluka.

The Corner Bar sign
The Corner Bar sign(Morningside Assisted Living)

“We have one staff labeled as the bouncer in case things get too rowdy. I always remind the boys that the Grant County Sheriff’s Office is right down the road, so don’t make me call them!” says Creasey.

“We’ll have to get a license I suppose one of these days,” jokes Kjos.

All the men come from different backgrounds. Dennis used to work for John Deere and on his hobby farm, Ron ran a garage, Richard was a farmer and Alvin was a school teacher.

Through sips of Cabernet and Pinot Grigio, The Corner Bar has brought the men closer together during a time of isolation. The facility has been closed to visitors throughout the pandemic.

“You’re kind of limited to who you can talk to and so here we sit here six feet apart and get to visit and otherwise you’re in your room most of the time,” says Stluka.

In case anyone needs directions to the literal corner of the facility where The Corner Bar sits, the gentlemen have now named the hallways.

“So we have Mayne street over here and Wetter Street over here,” says Creasey while pointing to the designated “streets”. Those are named after residents who live on those halls.

Now the community is getting in on the fun, donating bottles of wine for the men to enjoy.

“We put a bunch of pictures on Facebook, which has really blossomed in the community. We’ve had friends drop off bottles of wine and snacks for them, which has been great,” says Creasey.

Morningside Assisted Living hopes to welcome more people into The Corner Bar once COVID-19 cases decrease and visitors can once again join them for activities.

“We want them to have fun here and enjoy life to their fullest so if this is one way they can do that, we love it,” says Creasey.

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