RIDGEWAY, Minn. — After being closed for two years, Bergie’s Bar in Ridgeway is open again.
But under a different name, different owners, and a big facelift.
The bar, now known as The Shed, was reopened in October by owners Kathy and Dan Heyer, who have an interesting tie to the bar’s existence. In 1975, it was Kathy’s dad who turned the former TV repair shop into a bar.
Now, more than 40 years later and after numerous owners, Kathy gets to take on what her father started.
“I feel like it was my destiny,” she said. “It was just meant to be.”
But just because she’s following in her dad’s footsteps doesn’t mean it’s going to look or feel the same. The bar has been completely renovated to have a much more open feel, a bigger kitchen and nicer bathrooms.
“It’s cleaner, more welcoming, and family friendly,” Bobbi Heyer said, a current bartender and local resident who’s been a patron of the bar for years.
In the main room, the ceiling has been lifted and a couple walls knocked down to give more room for tables, which Bobbi said are packed on Fridays and Saturdays with families coming in for pizza and food. They’ve remodeled where the bathrooms and entry to the garage used to be to make it into a full-sized metallic kitchen where they smoke pork, flame-grill burgers and make interesting appetizers — like their “tater kegs,” which are filled with bacon and cheddar and taste like a baked potato.
“It’s upscale bar food,” Kathy said. “We’ve got different appetizers that you’d find in the cities.”
They also make their own pizzas by hand.
“Our pizza is made with Italian tomatoes,” Kathy said. “We even season the tomato sauce here.”
But even with the bar’s new face, Kathy can still remember the days when it was a 3.2 bar — meaning it could only sell beer with 3.2 percent alcohol content because it didn’t have a liquor license.
“I actually lived there when I was 15,” Kathy said. “My actual bedroom is upstairs. The NASCAR room, the one you walk through to go to the bathroom, that was our living room.”
To commemorate the history of the bar, the community it has gathered, the town, and the owners who have taken care of it along the way, Kathy and Dan created a history room where old photos and memorabilia are hung on the wall.
“Back in its heyday it was a place for softball teams, to celebrate different events in their life,” Kathy said. “It’s much more than a bar. It’s a part of the community.”
Bobbi agreed it was a place for the community to gather and it was greatly missed during its closure. Kathy said she and her husband are excited to continue the tradition of the bar.
“I’m just looking forward to a great future with the place,” Kathy said. “We did the right thing for the right reason.”