Shortstop Inn making changes
WAKARUSA — One familiar business in Wakarusa is making some changes to better serve its customers — and that includes going non-smoking — even though the owner is a smoker herself.
“I quit for eight years but started up again,” said co-owner of Shortstop Inn, Gayle Glaser of her cigarette habit. “The law went into effect July 1 and I was all for it, but some of my regular customers wanted us to stay smoking. We had a choice and I went with the popular demand.”
A thorough cleaning of every interior surface (at 112 E. Waterford St.) since the switch has left no indication that smoking was ever allowed, and that’s something Glaser is proud to share. “I’ve been pretty strict about it and I won’t let them go out front to smoke,” she explained. “They can go out back so nobody’s walking in through a cloud of smoke. I really love kids and wanted the dining room to be family-oriented without the smoke coming in from the bar area. Since we made it non-smoking business has definitely improved. I’ve always had good people as customers but now new people are coming in.”
People are also likely coming in for the quality food, competitive prices and friendly service as well as the change in smoking.
Other changes Glaser’s made involve the food served at Shortstop Inn. For starters, the business no longer serves breakfast. Instead, popular dishes include the pork tenderloin (which she makes a special coating for), the Reuben, and the Big League or olive burgers (another special recipe customers pine for).
“We have a lot of favorites people regularly order,” Glaser explained. “We have our own recipe for the breading for our all-you-can-eat Alaskan King pollack special and for $9.25 it comes with your choice of potato, a salad, cheese and crackers and a loaf of bread.” A three-piece option without the cheese and crackers is offered only $7.25.
She said she also plans to add healthier choices to the generous and inviting menu and presently is considering steamed vegetables, sandwich wraps and more specialized salad choices.
Daily the business offers lunch and dinner specials like the taco melt, eight-ounce pork chops or fisherman’s platter. Diners celebrating their birthday (with proof by showing an I.D.) get a free appetizer and every Tuesday, once lucky customer will randomly get their lunch for free.
Glaser said they will add a second big-screen television to the bar area, so Notre Dame fans can better enjoy watching the games while attending the business’ N.D. parties. “We’ll offer specials for that too,” she said. “We’re big Notre Dame fans.”
Glaser and her partner Larry Bowers opened Shortstop Inn 19 years ago and will be celebrating the business 20-year existence in May. She explains how the restaurant and bar got its name. “It’s simple,” she said. “He played fast-pitch softball and played short stop. And too, the people would come after they got off work. They’d stop in and have a beer and then go home. They made it a short stop so it just fit.”
Customers can meet Glaser or employees Karen Hundt, Liz Hoover or Tammy Mullins and find out what specials they might enjoy during their short stop in the restaurant. Shortstop Inn’s new kitchen hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Carry-outs are available and the dining room (which seats 56) can be reserved for special occasions on Saturday nights. To learn more, call 574-862-4639.