“We’re the barbershop of gas stations.”
Bruce Schaar’s comment is a pretty fitting summary of what daily life has been like for 60 years now at Schaar’s Service Station on Milwaukee Drive (STH 32/57) in New Holstein.
For starters, people do not go to a barbershop and cut their own hair. And at Schaar’s Service Station, people do not pull up to the gas pumps and pump their own gas. Either Schaar or his relatively new employee Jim Kraemer will be out there to do that, no matter what the weather.
But Schaar’s Service Station is also like the barbershop in that people just stop by, plop down in a chair in the small office and bend Schaar’s ear for a while. Sometimes they are former employees, men who retired years ago but still like stopping in from time to time to discuss the news of the day.
“You never know if what you hear is right, but you hear a lot,” Schaar said with a smile.
Sometimes the gas customers might be fueling up there just for the chatter, although Schaar said, “We still see a lot of younger girls and older ladies, or ladies with children.”
Schaar’s Service Station is a lot of things to a lot of people—a slice of Americana, a novelty, a convenience, a