Bio: Piotrowski, Cindy (50 Year Bar Owner - 2016)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Butler, Dums, Keepers, Peche, Piotrowski

----Source: The Star News (Medford, WI) 1/21/2016

By Reporter, Kayla Peche

What is the secret of owning a business for 50 years? Cindy Piotrowski, owner, said she doesn’t know how Piotrowski’s Bar has been going for 50 years, and still counting, but she says, “You just take it a day at a time.”

Cindy and her late-husband Jim had lived in California for about nine years, when the couple decided to purchase the bar in Jump River. It wasn’t until several months later, when the two arrived in Wisconsin. “So I got here January 3, 1966,” said Cindy. “And I’ve been here ever since.”

Now 50 years later, Cindy is 91 years old, and celebrated this milestone January 16, with family and friends at the bar. During the celebration, Cindy danced to polka music, sang along with the songs and played her six-sided harmonica, while also conversing with everyone who stopped in.

“She proves that you’re only as old as you feel,” said Meghan Butler, whose parents have a cabin in Jump River since 1973. Megan said even if Cindy isn’t related to you, she becomes known as Grandma Cindy.” “She is just the sweetest lady you will ever meet,” Megan said.

Cindy said the Butler family helped put together the special event, and she can’t thank them enough. Cindy’s family from southern Wisconsin even attended the 50th anniversary party. “I thought that was awesome that they all got together to come here,” Cindy said.

After her husband passed in august, Cindy had been responsible for the upkeep of the bar, and says she couldn’t do it without her neighbors, Dell and Angie Keepers, who are always willing to help her out.

She also wanted to thank the musicians who played during the celebration like, George “Mr. Concertina” Dums and Jerry and Donna, because it made the night “even more special.” “Everything was so much appreciated,” she said. “I enjoyed it so much. I was a real nice time and everyone was so happy.”

Before becoming “Grandma,” Cindy worked as a bookkeeper in California, and owning a bar wasn’t quite on her resume. She said, eventually, she got used to the “different clientele” and loved it.

“I just love to talk to the people,” she said. “And so many come in and say, ‘I just love your stories.” Well, those are things that happened years ago.”

Cindy said she will never forget one incident when a family came to stay at their cabin, but forgot food supplies. She said she gathered together what she had a offered the family a proper meal.

“And they never forgot that,” she said. “Or if somebody comes in and we just sat down to eat, “I’d grab a couple plates and fix up a dish and set it on the bar… I’d say, ‘Well, we’re going to eat, you might as well eat too,”

Cindy says she will be behind the bar at Piotrowski’s for as long as she can. She said she enjoys being there too much to leave.

“I love all the people,” said Cindy. “I think they’re just like my family because I don’t have any family around here anymore - Those are the friends who you’re really really appreciative of.”



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