Biz Buzz Monday: Employee becomes owner of longtime SW Wisconsin bar

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In addition to this update from Potosi, Wis., we will share other developments in Tuesday’s edition.

An employee of a longtime southwest Wisconsin bar has become the owner.

Kelly Runde now owns Haverland’s Bar, 125 Tennyson St. in Potosi. Runde had worked at the bar for about a year and a half before taking over the business from Joel and Sherrill Haverland.

“I previously worked at a different bar in Potosi for six years, and I cooked at a bar in Kieler (Wis.) all through college,” Runde said. “I kind of wanted to do something for myself.”

Runde said Joel Haverland’s grandfather started the bar in the 1930s, and it has stayed in his family since then. Runde took over in July after Joel and Sherrill Haverland decided to retire.

Runde said her ownership has been going well.

“As a business owner, you’re going to have little stuff that pops up all of the time that you’re not really ready for,” she said with a laugh. “You have to take it as it comes. It’s going pretty good.”

She added that she enjoys that the bar’s patrons include both regulars from town and people who stop by on their travels that Runde gets to meet.

“It’s fun to sit and talk to people and learn about their lives,” she said.

To celebrate the bar’s ownership change, Runde hosted a street dance. She said she wanted to do something to show her appreciation for her patrons.

“I’m just excited to see what the next however many years have to offer,” she said. “Hopefully, business stays pretty decent, and I think it will with a community like this.”

But in terms of changes, Runde wants to stick to the bar’s roots.

“There’s just a few little cosmetic changes, but the previous owner had owned it for 45 years,” she said. “You don’t really want to fix what’s not broken.”

Haverland’s Bar opens at noon Tuesday through Sunday. It can be reached at 608-763-2373.