Women in Business: Emily Stelzer, Country Pines Bar & Grill
By Jacob Mathias
After buying the former Knut’s Pub just over a year ago, owner Emily Stelzer has already expanded the Country Pines Bar and Grill and has big plans for the future.
Stelzer and her husband Shawn were looking for a new chapter and investment in their life when they began discussing taking over Country Pines. Upon their takeover they expanded their restaurant efforts and soon after added a bait and tackle shop to the operation.
Stelzer said all of their aspirations for the beginnings of their business have come to fruition and she hopes to expand her business and add a small grocery store within the next month or so. She said other grocery options in the area require residents to drive to Wisconsin Rapids or Mauston. The expansion will offer convenience for area residents and visitors to the lakes surrounding them.
“They’re a fabulous community out here. They’re friends and family,” she said. “The way they take care of each other is second to none.”
The location of the business was a big part of why they chose to invest because the area continues to grow as more people live near the lakes in the area.
“The potential is definitely here,” she said. “Doing it in the right way I believe we can really grow.”
Before buying Country Pines, Stelzer had no experience in the food industry. In addition to the bar and grill, Selzer also works full-time at U.S. Cellular in Wisconsin Rapids, a position she’s had for 11 years. She eventually plans on transitioning fully into the restaurant but no plans are set yet.
She said there were challenges to moving into a new industry but her employees and the previous owners provided good support. Since she can’t be at the restaurant all the time, Stelzer said she owes a lot of the business’s success to her employees and she’s happy to have provided more jobs and added additional staff to the operation.
“I couldn’t do it without them. They’re amazing,” she said. “I think they’re more co-workers than employees.”
Country Pines has a small but well executed menu according to Stelzer who wanted the restaurant aspect of the business expanded. She said their most popular items include their Friday fish fry, steak sandwich and homemade pizzas.
“Not a big menu but a good menu and good food,” she said. “We’re very busy when it comes to food now.”
Country Pines is located at N16105 Cty. Rd. G in Nekoosa. The bar and grill is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 AM to 11 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM to 2:30 AM.