There are many things I love in this world. Besides God, a few of them are my children, family, friends, coffee, wine and I really, really LOVE small businesses and entrepreneurship. I'm such a cheerleader for people doing what they love with such passion. I also really love to write, especially when I'm so inspired...or actually find the time to do so! ;)
I wanted to share with you all a story I wrote about an exciting new journey my brother, Mario, is about to begin. I plan on doing a follow up story detailing the plans of his new business, so stay tuned. Please enjoy and feel free to share. Best of luck to you Mario, you know I'm behind you 100% and congratulations Danny on your retirement. It's funny, I will actually kind of miss that buffalo head, even though it scared the crap out of me when I was a kid!
FROM IOWA WRESTLER TO SMALL TOWN IOWA ENTREPRENEUR: PART I
It’s the end of an era.
No longer will the Twilight Zone’s walls be adorned with the mysterious body wheel, buffalo and bear heads or host parties such as the infamous Chip & Dale Dancers like it once did in the 80’s. The building will now take on a different role of “Mario’s Sports Bar and Grill.” Soon to be new owner, Mario Galanakis, is the nephew to previous owner, Danny Hayes.
|Danny Hayes (left) owner of the Twilight Zone|
Mario Galanakis (right) new owner of Mario's Sports Bar and Grill
The Twilight Zone, located in Creston, originally opened in 1985 (just two years after Mario was born). Little did he know growing up, that one day, he would be taking over the same bar which hosted many family gatherings, graduation parties and even family weddings. “I remember growing up here, and coming up here with dad, you and all the brothers and playing, but I had no idea that one day I would be taking it over. Now that I am, I can have my girls grow up here and do the same that I did when I was their age,” Mario said.
Mario is no stranger to management of a bar, as when The Twilight Zone first opened, his parents, John and Joni (Byars) Galanakis of Greenfield, managed it with sister, Sheri (Byars) and Danny Hayes. The Galanakis’s moved to Greenfield in 1992 to own and operate a restaurant, now called The Olive Branch. Mario also grew up (and still does) playing an important role in his family’s restaurant.
Entrepreneurship is not the only interest Danny and Mario share, they also both have a love for wrestling…Iowa Hawkeye Wresting to be exact. Mario was the 133 pounder for the University of Iowa for the years 2004/2005 and 2006/2007. Danny also wrestled in college for Southwestern Community College 1975 and 1976; the only two years the college offered wrestling.
Much like wrestling, in entrepreneurship, “Hard work and determination pays off,” says Danny.
|Mario (left) | Danny (right)|
If you want to experience the Twilight Zone as itself one last night, you’re invited to a retirement party this Saturday, August 20th. There will be $2.00 beers and free pulled pork sandwiches.
“Danny has always helped anyone who needed it,” said Mario, “and he wants to thank everyone for their support and business over the years. I’d love to see everyone come out and celebrate this new venture with me as we say goodbye to the Twilight Zone.”
Some of Danny’s favorite memories include having Dan Gable, Tom Brands and Randy Lewis in the Twilight Zone. “That’s three gold medalists,” Danny said.
Danny’s outlook on Mario’s Sports Bar and Grill is: “I hope younger people can come in and enjoy supper and see that it’s going to be a really nice sports bar.”
His best advice to Mario is: “Work hard and take care of his girls.”
So stop on by, share some stories and take a look around at the exciting changes taking place in this small town, local business!
|Danny (left) | Mario (right)|