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Shirley Cervenka has owned the Shorewood Pub for 40 years. It started out as a pub, grocery store and used car lot. Now the grocery store is a kitchen and the car lot is a campground.
Pippi Mayfield/Tribune
Shirley Cervenka has owned the Shorewood Pub for 40 years. It started out as a pub, grocery store and used car lot. Now the grocery store is a kitchen and the car lot is a campground. Pippi Mayfield/Tribune

40 years of Shorewood Pub Cervenka has seen changes over the years

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business Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Shirley and Bob Cervenka sold 3.2 beer in the bar, everything in the grocery store and used cars in the parking lot when they purchased Shorewood Pub and Grocery.

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"We had everything from soup to nuts, even screwdrivers, even if we only had one, I had it," she said of the little grocery store.

Now, 40 years later, Shirley still runs the pub after the passing of her husband, and there's no sign of her stopping either. And to keep up with the changing times, Shirley has made some changes to the business over the years.

When the Cervenkas purchased the Shorewood Pub and Grocery in 1973, they did it as a way to keep Bob in town.

The couple had four sons, and working as a Volkswagen dealer, Bob traveled quite often. They looked for resorts or another local business to buy before deciding on the Shorewood Pub and Grocery.

"It only seems like a few years ago," she said.

After they bought the bar, they opened a used car business in the lot next to it.

"We bought this until we figured out what to do with the rest of our lives, and that never changed," she said with a laugh.

Over time, they added onto the building -- twice -- changed the grocery store next door into the kitchen, and changed the used car dealership to a campground, which is still going each summer.

Shirley's children are around the area -- Detroit Lakes, Bemidji and Sauk Rapids -- and some help with the bar.

Back when they had the grocery store, she said they were closed on holidays but she would get calls from someone who needed a loaf of bread, for example, and she would open up the store for them to come get one. It was the typical small town neighborly thing to do.

Times change though.

"Everything from the city, state and federal, it's so different. You never know where it's going to go," she said of the last 40 years.

Not to mention the change in the economy over the years, and the fact that people and society have changed over the years as well.

"People are more careful about drinking and driving," she said, adding that people order more food now, too.

All of the happenings inside the bar have expanded as well. There are pool and dart leagues three nights a week, there are Pick the Pros contests during the Super Bowl, pinochle league, and "NASCAR league is good for us." Many of the leagues were established years ago and just continue to grow.

Though their location is on the other side of Detroit Lake, that doesn't slow the flow of customers through the doors.

"We've been here so long people just know," she said.

"It's always good to see new faces, and the old ones."

To help celebrate all the faces, Shorewood Pub is hosting an anniversary party on March 2. While drink and food specials will be happening all this week, on Saturday, there will door prizes and music by the Honkytonk Stardust Cowboys.

Shirley said she'd like to extend a special invitation to all sportsmen on teams the pub has sponsored over the last 40 years -- that invitation goes for fans and opponents as well.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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