You like da’ Bears, but you live among those who bleed green and gold in Caledonia.
So what’s a Bears fan to do when they want to enjoy the game and a beverage? Randy Kressig has the answer. He just opened a Bear-friendly bar called the , 5844 Douglas Ave., this week.
For those tried and true Bear fans who have lived in the area a while, you might remember the old Shuffle Bear Inn on Main Street by the Racine Zoo. Kressig owned that bar from 1987 to 1997. And for 10 years he had a wager with the owner of Hansen’s Tap that usually involved rolling a half-barrel of beer down the street.
“Yeah, after a few years, the mayor called me up one day and said we couldn’t do it anymore because it would stop traffic, since we tapped it in the middle of the street,” he said.
Algis Kleinotas, one of Kressig’s first patrons at the newly opened Shuffle Bear North, used to live in an apartment above the Shuffle Bear Inn. Kressig said they used to call the apartments “the brain chamber.”
“I’m really glad for Randy. People love him,” Kleinotas said.
“Yeah, we cure ‘em all,” he said with a laugh. “I’m the priest and the marriage counselor…. But whenever you wanted words of wisdom, you’d go to the brain chamber.”
After the bar was torn down, Kressig leased the restaurant at the Water’s Edge at the Days Inn—Riverside for 11 years.
But when the opportunity came up to start a bar, restaurant and banquet hall at the former Elks Club, he jumped at it.
“There’s just so much potential here,” Kressig said.
Initially he plans to just have the bar, but the restaurant and banquet hall will likely open in September. They plan to serve sandwiches and typical pub food, but they will also serve a fish fry once the banquet hall is done.
“When we had fish fries at the other place, we’d have 200 people come,” he said.
He also plans to host car shows, have beach volleyball and horseshoe pits.
During the NFL Football season, Kressig will have the Packer game and the Bears game airing on several televisions. But even if you are a Packer fan, and you just like the idea of trading a little smack talk, you’ll feel right at home.
“There will be a lot of Packer fans here. We’ve got more Packer fans than anybody,” Kressig said. “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Packer fan around here.”
This was definitely the case when one of Kressig’s patrons, a fellow that goes by “Billy from Philly” said he wasn’t a Bears fan, “I don’t watch football naked… I like the Packers.”
The Shuffle Bear North is open from 10 a.m. to close Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to close Saturday and Sunday. Dark Horse Blues will play from 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 4.