Two years after taking over The Kibitzer Tavern, 101 W Main Street, in Kewanna, business partners Colton Measels and Todd King continue to hold down the small-town watering hole that's been run by Measel's family for more than three decades.
Learning work ethic and leadership from his grandparents, former owners Randy and Gloria Banks bought the Kibitzer in 1989. Growing up in the kitchen with his grandma, Measels thought about buying the bar, but Gloria's untimely passing in 2020 sped up the process.
Keeping his grandmother's memory alive has been important to Measels. Other than a slightly upgraded menu, Measels and King have kept things pretty much the same.
Becoming business owners during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic wasn't easy. With a lockdown that spanned for months and Kewanna Fall Festival being canceled for 2020, business took a big hit their first year. They were kept afloat thanks to support from locals keeping them busy with carry-out orders.
Keeping their employees stable during the pandemic was important for the new business owners. Six of the seven workers they currently have are longtime employees at the tavern. As things have returned back to normal, business remains steady. Measels and King say the loyalty of the small town community makes them confident about any bumps that may happen in the future.
Famous for their pizza, burgers, chicken and fried fish, the menu has a little something for everyone. Just like when Gloria had it, home-cooked lunch specials are served during the week on a first come, first serve basis.
The Kibitzer Tavern's kitchen hours are Monday thru Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm and Sundays from 12pm to 8pm.