NORTHROP - Three years ago, Sandy Olson answered a help wanted ad for a bartender at a neighborhood bar in Northrop.
Last week, she became its owner.
Olson and her husband Jeff opened The Pour House this week, in the bar formerly known as Aajax Likker.
The road to ownership was a winding path, but Olson seems to be in her element. She holds two bachelor's degrees - one in corrections and one in alcohol and drug studies - but jobs in these fields had hours that didn't fit with her family life. The Fairmont resident wanted to be home more with her young son and took a 9-5 job, but her child's health concerns at the time meant she had to take a lot of time off from work.
After a stint as a stay-at-home mom, Olson realized what she really wanted to do.
"I have worked as a waitress or bartender since I was 17 years old," she said. "It was always my fall back because I love it so much."
When she saw the ad for the position at Aajax Likker, she wasn't even aware there was a bar in Northrop, but she got the job and found a mentor in its owner.
"Jim (Tow) took me under his wing and showed me the bar business," she said. "I thought I knew everything there was to know, but I was naive. ... He has taken the time to show me the things other people wouldn't take the time to show you."
It wasn't long before Olson was promoted to manager, and not long after that Tow asked her if she wanted to own the place.
Olson said she was surprised, and it took some time before she agreed.
"I fell in love with the bar and fell in love with the people that come in, and it would be a shame if it ever closed down," she said.
Along with giving the bar a new name, Olson and her husband are planning to take on some interior remodeling, and possibly a few other things.
"Everything runs just the same as before," she said. "But I do have a few things up my sleeve."
Olson said e-pulltabs will still be available, as well as the free taxi service to and from the bar with Sonny's Taxi.
"If you call them, they will pick you up and bring you here," she said. "Just say to charge it to The Pour House. Because we are not in Fairmont, we want to make sure people get here and get home safe."
Today the bar will celebrate a grand opening beginning at 5 p.m. There will be a free Miller Light keg. At 8 p.m., drink specials will commence, along with wildfire karaoke.