Brian Luxem is living one of his dreams, but he had to wait for the right dream to come along.
“I’ve always wanted to buy a bar, but I didn’t want to compete with an existing bar,” he said. “I thought, ‘Maybe something will come along.’”
This past Christmas, it did.
The 1998 Kiel High School graduate moved to Marytown in 2007 upon the urging of his brother who had land in the country and was living there. Living just down CTH G south of Marytown Tap, Brian became familiar with the establishment. He participated in pool or dart leagues there and sometimes had his DJ service—Tune Time—booked there for special events.
In the process Brian became friends with Jeff and Ann Lisowe, the owners of Marytown Tap for 21 years. This past Christmas the subject came up of Brian’s interest in buying a bar. He discovered the Lisowes had an interest in perhaps selling the bar, and the two parties worked out an interesting and unusual trade—Brian’s house for the Lisowes’ bar, which also has an attached residence. Market values and mortgages on the two properties were comparable, Brian said, and it took just the month of January to work out the deal with the bank. Brian’s dream to someday own a bar became reality as of Feb. 1.
Since that time there has been a flurry of activity at Marytown Tap, and Brian has even more plans for the future. In a nutshell, however, Brian said he wants his version of Marytown Tap to be known of a couple things. “The good food and the good times—that’s what we want,” he said. “We want to welcome families.”
Under the ownership of the Lisowes, Marytown Tap continued to further its reputation as being more of a restaurant than “just” a tavern. Brian is looking to extend that reputation even further. This month he hired new head cook Lance Drews, who has owned two restaurants in Sheboygan. Drews said he is a “steak guy” and is looking at expanding the menu, not to compete with local supper clubs but to offer good food options at fair prices.
Marytown Tap has already been doing that but Brian said he wants to take it to the next level in several ways. He said he is excited about his new cook and as soon as possible wants to move a wall to expand the kitchen, even if it is at the expense of some of the living room shared by he and girlfriend Kristin Olson.
Brian and Kristin are both going all in to make Marytown Tap the best it can be as both have quit other jobs to focus on the business. Kristin has three