Clontarf Club

Anne wanted a page devoted to the Clontarf Club – Clontarf’s number one hot spot for many years.  While the Club no longer exists, memories of the evenings spent dining, dancing, drinking, and socializing live on in the hearts of the Clontarf residents  who were lucky enough to remember the Clontarf Club.

If you have memories of the Clontarf Club, this page is for you.  Comment freely, or if you have a special story or photograph, drop me a line at: and I will turn it into a post all its own!

They worked  at the Clontarf Club:

  • Ruby Mazurekl — cook
  • Rita Staton — bartender
  • Emily Avok — waitress


Complete this form or leave a comment if you have a story to share about the Clontarf Club!

28 responses to “Clontarf Club

  1. Bob Klucas

    Altar boy picture from 1920 Mel Klucas was never an Altar boy he was my Dad and was a convert

  2. Anne Schirmer

    Clara Mae (Chamberlain) Kent told me the chicken they used at the Clontarf Club was milk fed chicken from Forada, MN. “That’s why it was so good, you see,” she said…

  3. Corey Gulsvig

    I can remember only this of Clontarf: 1) My parents, Darrell and Kathy, sometimes brought me with when they hit the Clontarf Club with Dwight and Louella Brown. I was very young, but I remember small, colored tiles on the walls and a woman or mermaid picture made of these tiles. Am I remembering this right; hope so. Otherwise, I only went through it to get to my grandmother’s in Hancock. I always did like the Irish theme of the town, though.

  4. Anne Schirmer

    You remember correctly, Corey. I guess you had a great eye for art! I wish I could find out who gets credit for that work of art! At the funeral of Mary (Maher) Kepner a few years ago, her grandson talked of going with Grandma Mary when she went to the priest’s house to clean, or to the liquor store to clean, but she wouldn’t let him come along when she went to the Clontarf Club to clean. When he turned 21 (or 18?), and went into the Club for the first time, he KNEW right away why Grandma Mary didn’t let him come along! That got everyone in church to chuckling….. And as you may or maynot know, it’s okay to laugh and smile at an Irish funeral… There is a book to be told about Mary Kepner. She had a great sense of humor and wit about her. She also had a speach impediment that personalized her character, and to tell a story about Mary without incorporating her voice is hard to do and not worth doing.

  5. Anne Schirmer

    I’ve learned who has possession of the tiles that created that work of art at the Clontarf Club, but I’m not sure he has it re-assembled! He lives near Glenwood, so “she” didn’t go too far, yet…

  6. Anne Schirmer

    Does anyone recall the “go-go” girls that danced at the Clontarf Club? I didn’t see them, but others must have..

  7. Anne Schirmer

    “HELLO – DERE” was the greeting inside the small entryway at the Clontarf Club in Clontarf MN. It is pronounced “dare” (not deer), if anyone is curious.

  8. Mike Mikkelson

    Thanks for the info. Anne. I have many many great memories of Clontarf. Some of the most vivid are of nights at the Clontarf Club, especially when Addie Gilbertson was running it.
    I knew Chet and Aggie. Were they your parents?

    • Bob Barsaloux

      Hi Anne

      I hope you are still receiving emails at this address. I am Bob Barsaloux and I have most of the Fennell Family Tree. The Dick Fennel that sent the card, listed under the Thomas Fennel Family Picture, was my father-in-law Frederick P Fennell who owned Dick’s Café in Benson Minnesota in the 50s-60s. I would be happy to try and provide information where I can on the Fennell Family.

      Bob Barsaloux
      The Villages, Florida

      • Anne Schirmer

        Sorry for the delay in responding….I’m not computer savvy.I would love to have what you have for our Clontarf History. I don’t know of the card that you speak of…post card? I know some from that”clan”

  9. Anne Schirmer

    Hey, Mike! Thanks for jumping in with you comments! Chet & Aggie (Ascheman) Schirmer are my husband, Jim’s, parents. My parents were Ray & Esther Ollendick, from Section 10 of Tara Twp.. Aggie is at GOLDEN LIVING – Meadow Lane Healthcare Center and has been there since her 81st birthday 10/29 in 2010. I’ll tell her you asked about her. She is “with it”, but has health issues. Her cousins, Jim, Mick, & Don Ascheman, stopped in to visit her this summer and she loved seeing them. Burt Perrizo told me to talk to Pete Cain for more info on the Clontarf Club.

  10. Anne Schirmer

    Pete Cain tol me Brownie Kesting’s sister put the tiles on the was according to a pattern designed by someone else. Someonw else told me she now lives near Ortonville, MN

  11. Anne Schirmer

    Stop the presses! I have met the lady that put the tiles on the wall to create the lovely lady at the Clontarf Club. And she did the tiles that portray a lobster and a salad bowl over the display case where you could choose your steak, etc in the dining room, but she has no pictures. And she said the did the tiles that greet (HELLO – DERE) in the entry. She jokingly said her sister “Brownie” Kesting was a slave driver. She is the only sister of Brownie and was 22 months older than her. Brownie got her nickname from her daddy when he saw she had brown eyes. The older sister had blue eyes. Brownie & Lyle bought the Clontarf Club after he got out of the military, and they ran it for 20 yrs. This sister even helped Brownie when she had Fashion Flair, a woman’s dress shop on the corner in Benson at the intersection of Hwy. 12 and Hwy 29. Lyle Kesting’s dad had the business of juke boxes and pinball machines (and probably cigarette vending machines?) When Lyle had it I believe it was called Lucky Sales.

  12. Pingback: Excuses, excuses… | History of Clontarf, Minnesota

  13. Kevin Sorenson

    Back in the 40’s when addie and George were running it my mother came back and set up the kitchen for Addie.. At the time Ma was the hostess at the edina country club in the cities..Lot of good times there.

  14. Anne Schirmer

    Karen (Mazurek) Wilson, a daughter of Ruby Mazurek (a cook at the Clontarf Club) said Brownie was VERY kind to Ruby, and helped her become the cook they needed at the Club. Ruby was very shy. Ruby is living in her own apartment in Benson yet. Ruby’s daughter Pat married Leonard Mills, Jr. They were caretakers at Park View Manor for years. I think the may have retired from that position recently Leonard (Jr.) Mills and Ellard (Jr.) Chamberlain were cousins because their mothers (Florence & Alice) were sisters..Leonard had two younger sisters (Jean & Jane). Ellard had 3 younger sisters (Nadine, “Molly”, & Deann).

  15. Yvonne Lund Krupke

    Interesting information – Lyle’s business was not Lucky Sales, that was a competitor of his owned by Bob Lucking of Benson. In the good old days I worked at the Club, 1964 to 67, both as cook and waitress. Yes, Brownie was a slave driver but the food was excellent, most of it created in the kitchen, from the hash browns, to the salad dressings. We cooked the whole chickens for southern fried chicken, made the dipping batter from scratch, and thinned it out for the onion rings. Brownie trimmed all the steaks, and the trimmings went into the burgers, she also made the barbequed ribs from scratch. The steaks in the meat case were much admired.

  16. Anne Schirmer

    Ah! A vetran of the Clontarf Club staff! Great! Thanks, Yvonne. Did you wear the black & white uniform? Anyone have a picture of anyone in the uniform?

  17. Anne Schirmer

    Ruby Mazurek’s daughter Ann said she worked at the Clontarf Club a while too as a waitress. And Rose Wogan says she worked there maybe 6 months.

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    • Anne Schirmer

      Mable Johnson married Verde Smith. Mable, a sister to Alice Johnson) Chamberlain and Florence (Johnson) Mills and Lawrence Johnson (married Margaret Bouta). You have a LOT of Any photos of Clontarf? I have one picture in the kitchen and the Hall in Clontarf with Mabel and/or Florence and Alice AND their mom EMMA (Fennell) Johnson. It was for a bridal shower, so there are others from Clontarf in the picture as well. Kit Doherty, Emily (Andeerson) Avok, etc. I don’t have the picture in front of me…So cool to have…

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