KENOSHA -- Kenosha Brat Stop lovers came together to celebrate the life of a local icon on Thursday, Oct. 17. Gerald Rasmussen, the longtime owner of the Brat Stop, died on Friday, Oct. 11.
It was either the last stop as you are leaving Wisconsin or the first thing if you're coming in that makes the Brat Stop such an oasis. The sports bar and grill has been around since 1961. It would not be what it is today without Rasmussen.
"He was just a great man and friend to many," said Nicole Glembocki, Parkway Chateau Event Planner.
The 78-year-old Kenosha legend passed away due to health-related complications.
"You know, it just really doesn't seem real yet," Glembocki said.
But Rasmussen's second home, the Brat Stop, is where loved ones celebrated his life during a visitation on Thursday.
"He wanted a celebration. Family and friends to gather," Glembocki said. "I think he'd be very happy."
"He could charm you into doing whatever it is he needed done," Glembocki said.
"Just coming into the office in the morning isn't the same without him here," said Ron McGill, Brat Stop Operations Manager.
Rasmussen purchased the original Brat Stop in 1961 when he was just 18 years old. He transformed a small beer bar into what it is today. Support poured in Thursday as people paid their respects -- sharing a lifetime of stories and memories.
"We hope to carry on -- just without our missing piece," Glembocki said.
Rasmussen was also an active member of the Tavern League. Family members say the League put money aside to donate to his favorite charities in honor of him.