By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — “It is something that we just do on a daily basis. We don’t need to be recognized for anything by any means,” said Lisa Schutz.
Though humble about the honors given to them, Nutz Deep II owners Lisa and Dewey Schutz have traveled a tough road to find success in their chosen industry. Starting off at a young age, the pair has shown resilience in a changing bar atmosphere.
“Dewey started when he was 18 in the beer business (working for the Miller beer distributor in Marshfield), and people say that he is the best salesperson that they know,” said Lisa.
“That’s when he purchased his first place. It was The Swamp, where Gaffney Plumbing is now,” Lisa added.
Dewey then purchased the bar on the corner of Eighth Street and Central Avenue, formerly known as Buzz & Rita’s, in 1985. Not long after that, Dewey and Lisa — a pretty, young bartender that had been working at the Depot Bar — were married, and Lisa joined him in business.
“We didn’t really make any definite changes until the smoking ban was instilled,” added Lisa. “We were forced to become a restaurant because our everyday beer-drinking customers were still coming in, but the focus was different. They wouldn’t stay as long because they couldn’t smoke, so they would either do their drinking at home or just not come in.”
With the focus switching to a restaurant atmosphere, the bar had to build on its food service.
“I had no experience,” laughed Lisa. “I mean, I could fry wings, and I could cook a steak, but everything else, forget it.
“We had to hire educated staff that had culinary experience to educate me on how to run a restaurant instead of a shot and a beer.”
From there the business would keep building and growing its food service and facilities. In 2006 the Schutzs constructed their first addition to the back of the building, and in 2014 they added on again. In between the two additions, with the help of the Façade Improvement Program, the Schutz family gave the building’s outside a makeover. In 2015 Nutz Deep II expanded once more, adding a large downstairs pool area.
The business that began with three staff members has grown to about 50 part-time and full-time employees, which includes its other two locations: The Swamp and Nutz Deep North in Spencer.
As Dewey and Lisa’s children Andy and Ann began to work their way into the family enterprise, Nutz Deep II was busy winning awards for its service, products, and community investment.
The business was honored as the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s 30th Small Business of the Year during a breakfast held May 10. The following day, Nutz Deep II received the Best of Marshfield award for Best Burger.
Lisa says to watch for something new coming soon from Nutz Deep II.