A ‘loony’ good time in Racine

Published 11:02 am Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Briana Bahl is the owner of the newest bar and restaurant in Mower County, The Stupid Loon Roadside Saloon, which opened May 11 in Racine. - Matt Peterson/matt.peterson@austindailyherald.com

It’s time to relax and have some fun in Racine.

The Stupid Loon Roadside Saloon, the latest bar to hit Racine’s scene, is more than a month old and still going strong with a sarcastic wit and an emphasis on a relaxing atmosphere.

“It’s just kind of a laid-back bar,” said owner Briana Bahl. “We’re not trying to cure cancer or re-invent the wheel, we’re just serving a couple of burgers and having a few laughs.”

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The Stupid Loon opened on May 11, about four months from the time Bahl started the project. She’s grown up working in bars and restaurants, getting valuable experience at her father’s restaurant in Preston. She knew Racine needed a good bar to replace now-shuttered businesses that so many people drive past on their way to Rochester.

“I just think Racine needed something,” she said. “It’s a good location. A lot of people drive by this little town every day, now that the gas station’s closed.”

Business is booming thus far. People are drawn to the Stupid Loon despite its signature catch-phrase of “warm beer, cold food, lousy service.”

“It’s just sort of sarcastic and funny,” Bahl said. She has seen plenty of bars try to outdo each other by claiming to have the best burgers or the best pull-tabs, but she knows great service is more than just a catchphrase.

That’s why people are flocking to the bar, ordering up Stupid Loon specials like broasted chicken, beer-batter onion rings and the ever-popular Olive Burger.

“It’s just really different and people love it,” Bahl said. “They cannot get past it. People who order the olive burger never try anything else.”

The Stupid Loon Roadside Saloon is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (or until close), and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.