Faces in the Crowd: Lou and Kathy Schreiner

January 20, 2020

Lou and Kathy Schreiner
Lou and Kathy Schreiner – owners of Temple’s Tippy Canoe Bar and Grill.
Lou and Kathy at the Tippy Canoe
Hannah and Kathy represented the Grayling Equestrian team as rider and coach – Hannah went to MIHA regionals two years in a row.

In November of 2019, Lou and Kathy Schreiner took over the reins as new owners of the Temple Bar.

They got right to work updating and upgrading – from the menu, to the furnishings; from the kitchen to the entertainment.

Over the last two months, the couple has given the bar new life.

And they’ve given the bar a new name: The Tippy Canoe Bar and Grill.

After moving to the Temple area from Grayling in spring of 2019, the Schreiner’s have found themselves right at home. The couple, married in 1999, have always loved the outdoors, and they’ve always embraced new challenges.

We caught up with Lou and Kathy recently at the Tippy Canoe, where we learned all about their story. We learned that the Schreiner’s are more than just a couple of faces in the crowd.

Marion Press: How’d you come to take over the Tippy Canoe? What brought you to Temple?
Lou: We had lived downstate [by Bannister and Elsie – north of St. John’s] and we had a centennial farm. I lost one son to colon cancer at 33, and a year later I lost my oldest in a car accident. I had lost both of my sons [Jason and Shaun], after I had promised them the farm. So we ended up selling the farm, and we moved to Grayling – we bought a huge 5,000 square foot log cabin house up there, and I just wanted to get away, basically.

Kathy [who has worked as a manager in Lansing for 19 years] continued to work in Lansing, and our daughter Hanna was in equestrian, so we let her have her horses – we had acreage up there. So when Hanna graduated, she decided she was going to move out. And we didn’t need a house that was 5,000 square feet.

We decided to move closer to Kathy’s work – she wanted to work a couple more years, and so we just started looking.

Basically, we come upon Temple by chance. We found a property with two houses, the best deal around – to get two quality homes at the price we did.

We got here; we were moving in in April, and the bar was leaking like a sieve over there – they had pots and pans everywhere. We just come down for a burger, and I asked the bartender if she had Miller High Life – I said, “You probably don’t have Miller High Life” – and she said, “Yeah, I do.”

And that’s when I told Kathy, we might have to buy this bar. Of course didn’t know it was going to turn to fruition.

MP: So Miller High Life is what did it for you?
Kathy: Because they had his beer. And then the bartender said, “Well actually the bar is up for sale.” And that’s how it all started. And it started as a big rumor, and then it became reality.

MP: Tell us about some of the updates here at Tippy Canoe?
Lou: We’ve added new stools, new tables. Keno, lotto. We’ve improved the kitchen and the quality of the food.

MP: What are some of the local favorites?
Kathy: The Temple Hot Wings; the pizzas are good. We have a new ribeye steak sandwich. We brought in a new edible taco bowl, and all our Mexican is now is served with beans and rice.
Lou: It’s different from what other people have to offer; we’re going to constantly try to improve, and get something different at least once a week. We’ve added soups; we’re doing breakfast at 7 am on Sundays.

MP: What are the hours?
Kathy: Monday through Friday from noon to midnight; Saturday from 11 am until 2 am, and Sunday from 7 am until midnight; and eventually we’ll start having breakfast on Saturdays.

MP: Along with karaoke, what else do you offer?
Lou: We have pool leagues during the week. We’re looking to start up a euchre tournament on Sunday afternoons. We’re gonna try to do a pool tournament – maybe a mixed doubles – on Saturdays. There are a lot more women who are shooting pool now – and they’re a lot better. We have four ladies teams and one men’s team. These girls are good pool shooters!
Kathy: We try to have entertainment every weekend. Whether it’s karaoke or a band – on the 17th and 18th we’ll have a band two nights in a row.

MP: Have you ever owned a bar before?
Lou: I owned an excavating business; I owned a party store at one time. We’re different in a lot of ways, but one thing – when we have a challenge, we’ll meet it. It’s like any business, it’s what you put into it. If you’re going to be an Olympic swimmer, you can’t sit on the shore and watch people swim – you’ve gotta get in the water and compete!
Kathy: You make it what you put into it.

MP: What are your first impressions of the Temple area?
Lou: There’s a lot of good people around this town. They’ve been really friendly and open. A lot of my neighbors, they’re golden; they’re really nice. I like the peace and tranquility; I like being able to go ride trails and not run into anybody out there.
Kathy: Very friendly, very nice people. It’s more laid back, compared to being down in Lansing. It’s laid back and it’s quiet. It’s quiet. I like this country life. This is country life.

MP: Outside of work, what keeps you busy?
Kathy: Mushrooming; gardening, being outdoors. Lou likes hunting and fishing – he goes up to Canada moose hunting and bear hunting.
MP: You go up to Canada quite a bit?
Lou: It has been; 24 years of doing it. I just took up bear hunting. Moose hunting goes on a scale, based on population – it’s kind of down, so we switched over to bear hunting. We go up to northern Ontario – the fishing is great up there. We always make that part of the trip.

MP: Tell us about your family.
Kathy: Our daughter, Hanna, works here when we need her. She has a full-time job at Jay’s Sporting Goods. She lives across the street from us in a house we bought.
Lou: I get to see my grandsons; my oldest son had three kids, and we get them every other weekend. Our daughter is close, and Robert lives up in Grayling.

MP: And the river keeps you busy in the summer?
Kathy: We’ve kayaked it, tubed it, canoed it. We’re going to sponsor some raft races this summer.

MP: What’s the best advice that you would give to others?
Lou: I talk to a lot of young people. You’ve got to put something forth – don’t expect stuff to fall into your lap. As the new generation coming up, instead of you working for foreign companies, why don’t you start your own companies? And it takes a lot. But if we see young people with potential, we let them know.
Kathy: You can do anything you want, if you put your mind to it. You’ve got to make sacrifices, and you’ve got to want that.

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