Jim and Carol Schra wanted to have fun when they retired, so they bought — and remodeled — a bar.
Easy, located at 307 N. Main St. in McPherson, opened on March 17.
The Schras already feel right at home in their space.
“This is the first bar I came to when I moved here in 1978,” Jim Schra said.
“This is the first place Jim brought me when I met him,” Carol Schra added.
Two pool tables and a dart board have been installed at Easy — the latter being a favorite of Jim Schra, who remembers darts being a fixture of the bar he ran for 13 years in Germany after leaving the Army.
“We threw a lot of darts over there — a lot more than we do here,” Jim Schra said. “I’m going to try to get more interest back in darts.”
The Schras also plan to add a beer garden behind their building as the weather warms up.
It has taken nine months for the Schras to renovate the space that has been home to several bars over the decades.
“When we picked it up, it needed a lot of work,” Carol Schra said.
The Schras removed the drop ceiling and completely reworked the electrical wiring and plumbing in the building.
"We wanted it all to be good — fresh, new, clean — we're looking for the kind of place that makes people feel welcome," Carol Schra said.
"We're out to make money but we want to do it right instead of just bandaging things up and hoping the inspector says it's OK," Jim Schra said.
The Schras asked around for suggestions for improvements and were told the bar needed more lights and a complete bathroom remodel.
"We gutted the bathrooms down — even took the subflooring out and everything," Carol Schra said.
The restrooms are now ADA compliant and, like most of the bar area, have had rubber flooring placed in them.
"We put in the rubber flooring throughout because it is very sturdy and easy to clean," Carol Schra explained.
Rubber flooring also reduces the risk of slipping on spilled liquid and breakage of glass bottles.
The front third of the bar area still features vintage tile flooring.
"We decided to keep the old tile there because it's part of the history of the building," Carol Schra said.
Other improvements include the installation of security cameras.
"We didn't want to hide the cameras," Carol Schra said. "We wanted people to know we have cameras. They're for your security and safety."
Another safety feature are purse hangers under the bar.
"I don't want anybody to worry," Carol Schra said. "You hang your purse up here, it's in front of you and you don't have to worry about somebody walking behind you and taking it off the chair."
Electrical outlets have been placed underneath the bar seating as well.
"We put phone chargers throughout the bar to make it a little more convenient for people," Carol Schra said.
Another thing that may draw people into Easy are Carol Schra's weekend menu items.
"We're going to have some good home cooking," Carol Schra said.
She plans to make biscuits and gravy on Saturday mornings and cinnamon rolls and Irish coffee on Sunday mornings.
"And not out of a can," Carol Schra said. "Everything's from scratch. There's no corner-cutting."
The Schras are looking forward to offering people a place to come and relax in McPherson.
"We want to pump up Main Street a little bit," Jim Schra said.
Easy is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to an undetermined closing time each Sunday.
"We're here for the people," Jim Schra said. "We just hope they come in and have a good time. That's the main thing."
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.