Best of the ‘Burbs 2015: Neighborhood bar
R&J’s Saloon, Mazomanie
If you ask Ray Schlamp why he opened R&J’s Saloon in Mazomanie after retiring from a thirty-six-year career as an ironworker, he’ll chuckle and ask you a question right back: “Well, guess what ironworkers do? They drink!” For eight years, he and his wife, Jane, have been behind the bar of this American Legion turned small-town saloon. Schlamp says it’s a come-in-and-stay-awhile place, where friends, family and the local baseball team all feel equally at home. Schlamp’s got the raspy voice of a man you know has stories. And stories he has. He was a general superintendent for the ironwork on Miller Park and helped finish the roof of the Milwaukee stadium. You’ll have to ask him about the numerous jobs he’s worked all around the country. And if you’re really curious, ask him or his daughter and bar manager, Missy, about R&J’s resident ghost. “He actually does exist, but he’s never caused any problems,” Schlamp says.
Finalists: The Shack Bar & Grill, Black Earth; The Village Green, Middleton
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