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Last Update: Saturday September 25, 2021

Mickey Finn's Brewery & Pub, Libertyville, Illinois

Buy a business you love

Pat Elmquest

Libertyville, Illinois: In this episode of the television show, we discover how two men changed the face and the fortunes of a town. They dared to dream an impossible dream. Pat Elmquest and Bill Sugars invested in their local community when no one else would. The old downtown was virtually abandoned -- over 60% vacancy with pawn shops and the like.

Pat had bought the pub; then with a $2 million loan, the two created a brewery and restaurant. The transformation was underway. They were true pioneers and visionaries.

As more people return to the downtown, especially over a drink during the golden moments of sunset, they began to see all the potential. The rest is history. Today, Libertyville is an award-winning historic business district.

These two entrepreneurs teach us about financing, about partnering, and about the restaurant business. But most of all, this is a story about two men who never abandoned their dreams. Both dropped out of corporate America. Bill and Pat cashed out after thirty years. Then, they put it all at risk. Their wives thought they were having a delayed midlife crisis. But the statistics were with them. They were over 50.  Learn more...

Corporate dropouts have over a seventy-percent success rate when they become entrepreneurs! It is their rebirth. They know what works at least some of the time. And, most know how to work!  This combination - experience, actualizing a deep-seated dream, and risking it all (they could not afford to fail) - profoundly increases the chances for success.

Mickey Finn's Brewery & Pub is a classic case study.

Buy A Business You Love

2:33 | Play Now | Mickey Finn's has been a drinking establishment for over a hundred years.

Do Research

3:26 | Play Now | Bill Sugars did national research before he put his plan together for a major expansion.

Choose A Visionary Banker

1:22 | Play Now | Pat Elmquest told us that they had bankers lined up to fund the expansion plans.

Tighten Your Belt

2:23 | Play Now | Bill Sugars and Pat Elmquest convinced their wives that getting the $2 million dollar loan would result in an improvement in their net worth long term.

Hire Experience You Don't Have

0:59 | Play Now | The dream of transforming a bar into a a brew pub and tavern meant that the owners had to hire an expert brewmeister.

Hire Personality And Teach Skills

3:55 | Play Now | The wait staff at Mickey Finn's has lots of fun taking care of their customers.

Decide To Grow

0:52 | Play Now | Host Hattie Bryant points out that with a solid plan, these two owners had no problem finding the cash they needed to expand and reinvent their existing business.

Do What It Takes

2:43 | Play Now | Bill Sugars said that most people just don't realize what owners do to make things work. Obey the law, treat people with respect and as Bill admits, clean the toilets if they need it.

Find Your Place To Serve

3:54 | Play Now | All of us who own our own business expect to make money. In fact, the more money we make the more people we can hire and the more customers we can serve. In addition to making money, the business owners in our library are big-hearted and generous. Bill Sugars loves his little town and he is part of why it is such a great place to live.

Build A Customer Database

1:28 | Play Now | Many people dream of having thousands of customers but only a few do the work that must be done to find and win them. In the book, Good to Great, Jim Collins writes that great companies pay attention to details and no task is too tedious. Collecting the name, address, phone number, email and buying habits of every customer is tedious and Sue Montgomery does it.