Men in assisted living facilities “open” their own bar in order to survive the quarantine


LANCASTER, Wisconsin (WMTV) – Quarantine has resulted in several bottles of red wine being uncorked at Morningside Assisted Living in Lancaster.

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

Residents Ron Kjo, Dennis Stluka, Richard Hoffman and Alvin Rolland decided that the bar had to come to them as they couldn’t go out.

The men of “The Corner Bar”: Ron Kjos (left), Dennis Stluka (front), Richard Hoffman (back), Alvin Rolland (right)(Assisted living in the morning)

“It all started when a lady came out of her room and said: Would you gentlemen like this bottle of wine?” Says Creasey.

The Corner Bar is open for business a few afternoons a week.

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

Although they are the only four men in the facility, others are welcome to join as long as they bring a bottle. “Oh, there are some good-looking women who join in every now and then,” says Kjos.

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

Everyone plays a role at The Corner Bar. Dennis Stluka is not a drinker himself, but enjoys being a “bartender”.

“I basically roll around in a wheelchair and serve them the drinks,” says Stluka.

The corner bar sign
The corner bar sign(Assisted living in the morning)

“We have an employee who is referred to as a doorman in case it gets too loud. I always remind the guys that the Grant County Sheriff’s Office is just down the street, so don’t let me call them! ”Says Creasey.

“We’ll probably have to get a license one day,” jokes Kjos.

All men come from different backgrounds. Dennis worked for John Deere and on his hobby farm, Ron ran a garage, Richard was a farmer, and Alvin was a schoolteacher.

With sips of Cabernet and Pinot Grigio, The Corner Bar brought men closer together in a time of isolation. The facility was closed to visitors during the pandemic.

“There is a limit to who you can talk to, and so we sit a meter away from each other and are allowed to visit each other, and otherwise you are 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 is, the gentlemen have now named the hallways.

“So we have Mayne Street here and Weather Street here,” says Creasey, pointing to the designated “streets”. These are named after the residents of these halls.

Now the community is having fun and donating bottles of wine for the men.

“We put a bunch of pictures on Facebook, which has really blossomed in the community. We had friends who brought them bottles of wine and snacks, which was great, ”says Creasey.

Morningside Assisted Living hopes to welcome more people to The Corner Bar once the COVID-19 cases recede and visitors can participate in activities again.

“We want you to have fun here and enjoy life to the fullest. If this is a way of doing this, we love it, ”says Creasey.

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