Business Spotlight: Pastime Bar & Steakhouse

Established just four years after Hettinger’s founding, the Pastime Bar & Steakhouse has been a staple in the community for nearly a century.

The restaurant, which opened in 1911, is co-owned by sisters Rochelle Shirek and Tricia Parnow who inherited the business from their late father. In fact, the duo is actually the fourth generation of their family to own it since their late relatives first opened the door.

In a partnership, many times the two have their specific duties and daily tasks. But not for Rochelle and Tricia, who share in the responsibilities, whether it’s crunching the numbers or flipping the steaks.

“We work together as a team,” Shirek said.

Rochelle Shirek (L) and Tricia Parnow (R) owners of the Pastime.

The business wrote a new chapter in their storied history in 2014 when they decided to renovate. A big part of that renovation was removing a half wall and open up the floor plan.

“It definitely needed a facelift,” she said.

Shirek said it had probably been about 30 years since her family last renovated the restaurant. She estimated the last time it saw a change was in the mid to late 1980s.

The project had more than 20 volunteers for family, friends and patrons help and make sure the renovation was a success. Some of the employees even donated their time to make the project happen.

New televisions and sports decor helped spruce up the interior when all the contract work was finished. Patrons can enjoy their food and drinks on custom made tables by Parnow’s brother in law, and they can also gaze around the room at many of the sports memorabilia hanging on the walls.

Shirek said that many of the tables and much of the memorabilia was either donated to the business or purchased by the business.

But they didn’t completely disregard their history through the renovation. For one, they have kept the bar that originally sat in the restaurant when it opened. But also adding some history to the future, they are fashioning their old front door into a new table for their customers.

So what is the secret to their success?

“I don’t know what the key to success is,” Shirek said. “I think the knowledge being passed down from generation to generation definitely helps.”

What she would consider a brand-recipe, Shirek said that they haven’t changed much from when they opened, and people like what they have to serve.

“There’s still stuff that we’re doing that previous generations had kind of keyed in upon,” she said. “And keeping that tradition is something that’s important to us.”

But she also said that the success didn’t happen without the customers.

“I would say the community support,” Shirek said. “I know that a lot of patrons have frequented our place for several years.”

She added that some have been regulars for decades, and now she’s seeing the children of regular patrons, become regulars themselves.

Along with their variety-filled menu and warm atmosphere, Pastime’s Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations draw big crowds each year.

“Those are always big,” Shirek said. “We really appreciate the support and business from the community.”