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Front Page Photo of the Day Log-IN About us January 25, 2006
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Renie Wyzgowski proudly points to a trophy she won for her Midland Street Pub chili last fall at the Mayor's Chili Cookoff on Midland Street.

O'Hare's & Midland Street Pub Slate Weidner Foundation Chili Cookoff Sunday

West Bay City Legendary Entertainment Center Dates to 1892 Stag Bar

January 25, 2006       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Next Sunday, Jan. 29, beginning at 2 p.m., O'Hare's and the Midland Street Pub will sponsor a Nathan Weidner Chili Cookoff that will benefit the Nathan Weidner Foundation.

When you think of food and entertainment along Bay City's Midland Street, you naturally think of O'Hare's.

What's happening at O'Hare's sets the tone for the local scene and what's happening now is lots of action almost every night of the week, according to Renie Wyzgowski, genial hostess who has a whole list of activities on her agenda.

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Disk jockeys get the next door Midland Street Pub rocking Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9-1 andlive bands light up every Friday and Saturday nights in both bars. Sunday nights 7-11 feature live bands with Country and other classic entertainment music.

Treat your wife or best gal to a Sweetheart of a Deal on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, with a steak special for two including all the trimmings and two glasses of wine or champagne, Renie suggestrs.

A Mardi Gras Party with beads for all comers, drink specials and entertainment is on tap Feb. 23. "You'll think you're in the old New Orleans," said Renie.

O'Hare's and St. Patrick's Day are synonymous: this year the traditional corn beef and cabbage will be served on parade day and Irish stew and corned beef sandwiches on St. Patrick's Day, Friday, March 17. "Aye and begorrahit'll tempt your taste buds," says an O'Hare's regular who sounds like he's from the auld country itself.

Good food is a priority at O'Hare's/Midland Street Pub: Thursday night sizzler steak specials, Friday New York strip steaks and fish dinners and Saturday ribs "prepared from scratch" are Renie's pride, besides daily $4 lunch specials.

Over a century ago, when the business that is now O'Hare's opened in 1892, it was the Stag Bar: No women allowed.

The fact that the Victorian Age is long gone in Bay City is confirmed by the fact that the place that once didn't admit women is now owned by a woman -- Renie Wyzgowski.

She not only owns O'Hare's, 608 E. Midland, but also another bar, the adjoining Midland Street Pub,610 E. Midland. The Pub was converted by the former owners in 1995 from a storefront that once housed Blanchett Pharmacy and Dr. William Clay, dentist.

Renie is a cheerful barkeep with a quarter century of experience who knows how to make things happen. For 23 years she presided over Bishop's Inn on Farragut Street in the South End where she often held chili cookoffs and earned a following of loyal patrons. Renie bought the bars on Midland Street nearly two years ago.

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On Sunday chili chefs will compete for first, second and third places in the chili cookoff and a "People's Choice" award. Prizes will be based on the number of entries. There is a 100 percent payback to the contestants. Call Renie at 893-5181 to enter or for more information.

"It will be a fun day for everybody to get together and try out their recipes on the crowd," said Renie. There isa $5 donation for sampling the gourmet offerings of the chili chefs. "The money goes to a good cause," she added, and the winner gets to enter the Mayor's Chili Cookoff next fall.

"We plan on continuing the tradition," said Renie, who won BestMerchant's Chili in the Mayor's Chili Cookoff last fall and proudly displays her trophy above the bar at O'Hare's.

Renie, who grew up in Auburn, was graduated from Central High School in 1973. She earned a Certified Dental Assistant degree at Delta College and worked for a dentist in Midland for seven years.

Renie is planning to continue doing fundraisers like the chili cookoff. Recently O'Hare's sponsored a fundraiser for speedskater Alex Izykowski and has done similar events for the Bay City Fireworks and the River Roar.

O'Hare's is a familiar haven for the hamburg and beer crowd, and also those who like ribs, sizzler steaks and other tasty eatables.

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
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