Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, February 15, 1999

Bailey's new owner still in the family

By Luis Puga

Bailey's Tavern and Grill got new owners this past month.

However, the Winsted fixture is remaining in the family.

The previous owner, Kim Hirsch, has sold the restaurant to her father, Jeffrey Fuerstenberg. Her sister, Patty Rehmann, is now the manager.

With the new owner comes some changes, too. The emphasis in decor and theme will be a hunter's haven.

In fact, Rehmann and Fuerstenberg are on the look-out for stuffed wildlife and replica guns to hang around the bar.

"We are looking for a moose head right now. We want to hang it over the fireplace," Rehmann said.

The menu will also be revamped a bit.

Fuerstenberg and Rehmann have added some buffalo wings, which have already sold out 100 orders. Other additions include a buffalo chicken sandwich, chicken cordon bleu, and reubens. Ribs might be on the menu in the future.

Another change will come with the off-sale liquor. The new owners feel they'll need more kitchen space, so the off-sale liquor room may have to make way within a year. Bailey's will continue to sell liquor off-sale, but it just won't be on display.

Other ideas are also being initiated. The new owners are merging with a bar in Watertown, Diamond Jim's, to hold a beer bust on April 17 to support their respective softball teams.

However, Fuerstenberg and Rehmann want to keep some services of Bailey's the same. The name will remain the same and all the activities like tailgate parties, pool and dart leagues, karaoke, and Winstock sponsorship will still be part of the restaurant's line up.

Fuerstenburg said they will also have some live music from time to time like Hirsch used to have.

Over the years, Bailey's has been through many owners. Fuerstenberg said he is the fourth since the grill had the Bailey's name.

The location originally was an auto body shop. At one point, the bar was called The Bullwhacker, but about 10 years ago, it was named Bailey's and has held that name since.

The transition has been a lot of work, according to Fuerstenberg and Rehmann. Remodeling and repairs are being done, and the paper work has been extensive. However, both agree that since taking over, it has been fun getting to know new people.

As for working together, the father and daughter don't seem to have a problem. Rehmann insisted that she's the boss and her father laughed.

Fuerstenberg said, "It has been fun ­ me and her working together."

In truth, Rehmann, who managed Bailey's when her sister owned it, is showing her father some of the ropes.

Fuerstenberg is learning, and is happy to take on duties such as cooking and tending bar.

The cooking is a little new to him, and perhaps not his favorite part. But he plans on concentrating on the bar full time and hopes the customers will appreciate seeing the owner behind the bar and the apron.

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