FARLEY, Iowa — Dale Young was worried. What if he and Anne Casutt weren’t accepted in Farley?
“It was taking a big chance, but it really worked out well — everybody’s been so supportive,” Young said. “The people have been really good to us.”
Young and Casutt operate BrickHaus Bar & Grill in the remodeled American Legion building at 302 First St. N.
The pair spent about a year seeking a location for an available establishment to operate as a small-town bar and grill. They found it at the home of American Legion Post No. 656.
Young and Casutt lease the building from the post, and extensively remodeled the facility before opening about two years ago. The building remains the meeting place of the Legionnaires and the Legion Auxiliary.
“These are some of the greatest men and women I have ever met,” Casutt said. “I feel grateful to know them, and in my conversations with them, I’ve learned more than I learned from my high school government class.”
Customer Sarah Hollenback, of Farley, said she enjoys the BrickHaus menu options.
“They have great food, with handmade patty burgers and the best cheese curds around,” Hollenback said.
One of the bar’s signature items is a Bloody Mary loaded with food called a “Bricklayer.” The drink is topped by a variety of items, including onion rings, a quarter-pound cheeseburger, a mozzarella stick, pickles, olives and more.
“It was a hair-brained idea I had and it just took off,” Young said.
The drink is only available from noon to 3 p.m. on the first and third weekends of each month and has developed a following.
“We’ve had people from as far away as Green Bay (Wis.) and Waterloo come for it,” Young said.
The BrickHaus décor includes tributes to America’s armed forces and hunting trophies, among other items.
“(The décor) creates conversation, and that’s what we wanted,” Casutt said. “We basically wanted to create place we’d like to hang out in.”
Hollenback said the former American Legion home did not have consistent business hours before Young and Casutt took over. Now, it provides space for Legionnaires and other guests.
“The Legionnaires are there almost every afternoon,” Hollenback said. “It’s good for them to have a place to go.”
BrickHaus is closed Mondays and Tuesdays — the Legion often conducts some business those days — and opens for lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Sundays. The place closes about 10 p.m.
Young said the bar business can be draining.
“You have to like what you’re doing,” he said. “I like to cook and (Anne) likes to bar tend and serve. What we get back from the people we serve is the biggest thing that keeps us going.”
Casutt said she is humbled by being able to serve the community.
“Farley is a community that works together — they support each other and it’s a very friendly community,” she said. “We are a part of so many things — birthday parties, weddings and reunions.”