Mister Mom’s a Norway fixture
NORWAY — Mister Mom’s is that neighborhood tavern — a “Cheers”-type place — where regulars and locals have gathered for almost 35 years.
“We are so fortunate to have so many loyal patrons over the years,” said Debbie Lorenzoni, owner of the Norway establishment. “For many, we are more than just a place to come for a bottle of beer — we have become more like family.”
Debbie and the late Louie Lorenzoni purchased the business, then the Local Pub, from Jim and Grace Tregillis and Ralph and Kathie Skoglund in 1987.
“The two sisters and their husbands had acquired the bar back and didn’t want it anymore, as they were getting older,” she said.
Louie was co-owner of LaFreniere Motor Co. and always wanted a bar. “So, we bought it and had it ever since,” Lorenzoni said.
That September they began managing the bar until they were able to received their license in December. “That’s when we changed the name to Mister Mom’s,” she adds.
Lorenzoni said the name evolved from some of Louie’s friends teasing him about doing some things around the house, noting she was working in a local doctor’s office at the time. “They would say, ‘What, are you playing Mister Mom again today?'” she said with a laugh.
Over the years, the couple has remodeled the interior of the bar four different times. About six years ago, they were able to purchase an additional parcel to put on an addition.
“I bought three bars from an auction at the Premiere Center (in Iron Mountain) — two of them were revamped to make the large bar we have now,” Lorenzoni said.
With the extension of the bar, they were able to add more seating, pool table and relocate the bathrooms, making them handicap accessible at the same time.
They also set up a fenced-in outdoor area, which is called the “Playground.”
“We have utilized this area a lot for special events and fundraisers,” she said.
After they improved the lighting, they named each of the single lights above the bar stools after regulars who sit or have sat at that spot.
“This is just another thing that shows how much they have become a part of our lives,” Lorenzoni said.
Mister Mom’s is now working to upgrade the floors and bar stools.
Lorenzoni was told the original structure dates back more than a century and was moved from the other side of the railroad tracks. “I know it was one of the buildings, as well as another neighboring establishment that was moved, we are just not sure of the year,” Lorenzoni said.
Customers told her years ago they used to have horses in front at one time. During a remodel, they did come across several old coins and bottle caps.
In addition to the beer, wine and spirits they serve daily, they offer pizzas, homemade chili as well as their homemade sausage boats and bratwurst.
In 2017, Louie, along with friend, Tim Brew, began making Italian sausage, bratwurst and snack sticks.
They started with original flavors. “Louie had gone for a motorcycle ride and the place they stopped served blueberry bratwurst — well he came back and said we are making them,” she said. “It started growing from there.”
They hosted a contest at the bar to name the new meat business and a customer came up with BrewyLouie.
BrewyLouie’s current offerings include seven different types of bratwursts: beer, pineapple, mushroom and Swiss, blueberry, Chicago, jalapeno cheddar and cheddar; Italian and potato sausage; original and maple breakfast sausage; and original and jalapeno and cheddar snack sticks.
“They just recently added teriyaki-flavor snack stick to the list,” Lorenzoni said.
After Louie passed away in August 2019, their son-in-law, Nate Normand, stepped in to assist Brew with the production.
They are in the process of seeking approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to sell their products in other local businesses.
Mister Mom’s also sells meat and cheese raviolis that are made by Louie’s son, Les Lorenzoni and his wife, Mindi, and homemade pasta sauce made by Debbie and her daughter, Tori Normand.
“The sauce recipe came from Louie’s mom, Violet Lorenzoni,” she said. “People do like it — it’s unique.”
“It amazes me the number of the people who have come in to purchase these products,” she added. “They have either heard about it or tried from another customer.”
Mister Mom’s is truly a family-run operation, she stressed. In addition to the raviolis, Les does much of the maintenance, cleaning and more, while Tori coordinates all the fundraisers and special events.
Lorenzoni is most proud of the benefit efforts they have hosted, with all the proceeds going to great causes such as the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, Honor Flight and Cancer Closet.
“Since Louie’s passing, we also have donated to the Mit Liebe German Shepherd Dog Rescue in his honor,” she said. “This is a program which he was very passionate about.”
They have also incorporated the meat products with donations in support of other area fundraisers.
For more than three and a half decades, Mister Mom’s always has focused on community, she said.
“We have had a lot of good people come through here,” she said. “I believe a lot of credit goes to having friendly staff over the years.”
Current employees include Renee Gutkowski, Emma Schravesande and Julie Taylor.
Lorenzoni added that their downtown location at 1009 Main St. is perfect, as they are within walking distance to many residences.
“I think this has added to the success of the business over the years,” she said.
Mister Mom’s opens at 2 p.m. daily. Anyone interested in BrewyLouie products or planning reunions, events or fundraisers can call 906-563-9481.