Remembering the little red bar

Kris Leonhardt

Remembering the little red bar

3 min
February 7, 2022

By Kris Leonhardt

WITHEE – It was known by many names – the Beer Bar, the Water Hole, the Hayloft, and K & B’s Hayloft – during its long history, but the small reddish building that once sat just off the northwest corner of County Road X and County Road T in Withee carried memories for many.

What many locals that are old enough to recall say is the original building began as a rootbeer stand that was moved to its curren tlocation. The area that now serves as a parking lot to the business was once inhabited by Claviter’s Service Station that has since been torn down.

The rootbeer stand was converted into a bar and operated in the late 1940s by Julius and Rose Stock. It was later purchased by William and Mary McAdam along with a partner, Pence.

“At the time they owned it, Pence and McAdam added on to the building,” Jerome LePage said in a 2008 interview.

According to abstracts ownership of the business transferred twice during the year of 1957, with Louie and Helen Pagel purchasing thebusiness prior to a purchase by Aaron and Elsie Anderson.

In 1962, the business was sold to LePage and his then wife,Hazel. The couple continued work on the building, remodeling to put in new bathrooms.

“I moved the entrances to the bathrooms further apart…they were only three feet apart,” recalled LePage.

The LePages operated the business for four years before selling it to Ronald and Phyllis Auberg and John and Ann Berseth. The Aubergs then took over the business alone before selling it to Billy Nelson in 1969. Ayear later the business was sold to Diane, David, and Susan Devine.

In 1979, the business was christened the “Hayloft” by two sisters: Marlene and Mona Serocki who ran the business until 1986 when they sold the business on land contract to Pat Herrick. Herrick ran the business for three years before selling it to Al Bechal and Barb Brunett.

On July 2, 1998, ownership was taken over by Kim Christophersen. Christophersen used the first initials of both her and her daughter Brianne to rename the place K & B’s Hayloft.

During her first decade of proprietorship, Christophersen greatly expanded the food service the bar offered and outgrew the original building.

Construction on a new building just north of the old one began in the spring of 2008.

K & B’s Hayloft held a “grand closing” and the old red building was moved by Mike Maultoff to use as a car detailing shop.

The new Hayloft was later sold to Beaver Amacher. When Amacher passed away, it was sold to Reyna Ibarra, and most recently Samantha& Jason Thornton, who now operate it as IGYS.

See more photos in the Feb. 8 edition of the Sentinel & Rural News.

This article was orginally reported by
Kris Leonhardt

Kris Leonhardt is a senior editor for Multi Media Channels and serves as general manager for the company's publications in Clark, Portage, and Wood counties.