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Seitz’s Tavern celebrates 100th anniversary

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Randy Seitz.
Photo by Lisa Carolin. Randy Seitz.

By Lisa Carolin

Amidst the celebrations taking place in Chelsea during Chocolate Extravaganza on Feb. 6, none has the history of Seitz’s Tavern, which is observing its 100th anniversary this year.

Owner Randy Seitz was handing out slices of the chocolate birthday cake that greeted visitors to the tavern that day, which has many fans.

It all began in 1916 when Randy’s grandfather George Seitz purchased the tavern from Tommy McNamara, when it was located across the street.In 1928, George Seitz bought the building at 110 W. Middle St. where the business remains.

Randy’s Father, Junior Seitz, returned from serving in World War II and took over the business in 1948, and Randy came aboard in 1976 after college and has been running it for more than 40 years.

“This place has made me a living and put three kids through college,” said Randy Seitz, who is 61. “It’s meant long hours and hard work.”

He says among the changes he’s seen over the years is the makeup of the clientele. When there were more factory workers in Chelsea, Seitz’s was what he called a “blue collar bar.”

His favorite aspect of owning the business is, “Talking to the people. We get a lot of the same people, and a lot of characters who are great to be around. That’s what I really enjoy.”

Seitz estimates that 90 percent of his patrons used to be from Chelsea. Now they come from all over.

“We are part of the tour when you come to Chelsea,” explained Seitz.

He says that people like to come there to talk and socialize. There is no music, and the fare is basic – chili, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and finger food.

Another big change Seitz has seen is the beer selection.

“We used to have 10 beers,” he said. “Since all the microbreweries, we have a lot more beers. There’s something new coming out all the time.”

Although the tavern sells wines, Seitz says it’s not a focal point.

“Our wines are plain and simple. Nothing fancy. That’s how we try to keep this place – plain and simple and the way it was. If it works, keep it going.”

As for the future of the tavern, Seitz says his family is all out of state.

“It’s set up to sell, but I’m still here, and until I reach more of a retirement age, I won’t sell.”

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10 thoughts on “Seitz’s Tavern celebrates 100th anniversary”

  1. Randy, Happy 100 years!!! My goodness….where does time go..We have been in Chelsea 50 yrs. the first of May….I have fond memories of waiting on your Dad at CSB drive up window. Congratualtions and look forward to seeing you when it warms up!! Barb

  2. Thank you Randy for you have done for all of us.
    It’s like coming home when I get over there. So many memories in your fine tavern.
    My dad use to sit in there and do his collection for his insurance business.
    Saturday morning hot beef plates were the best, when I worked thirds. My little brother ever carried his bride in the back door for a shot to celebrate!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you Randy!
    So proud to say “I know that guy and he runs one of the best establishment I’ve every been to!”
    Happy 100!!!

  3. Wow, Randy, been awhile. You know me, just that nutty Donnie Caudill. Can’t wait to come back through and stop in. Came in there with my father when I was just a ‘little kid’. I am 65 now. Still a little kid…lol Life goes on and life is good, my friend…

  4. WOW!
    Many of my family wore Bar Stools out!
    Uncle Ralph Erskine
    Brother’s Gary & Rick Erskine
    My dad when in town…Jack Erskine
    Sister Cindi Erskine spent time on both sides of the Bar.
    On behalf of the Erskine’s…Congratulations

  5. Congratulations Seitz’s Tavern! Certainly an icon of Chelsea in the shadows of the mill. I have many fond memories of this place. My Grandfather Leonard (Bence) Eder, son of Jacob, first brought me to Seitz’s when I was old enough to hang on to an Orange Crush bottle all by myself. Today, I still enjoy seeing my good friend Dennis Hafley behind the bar on occasion. May this bar live on in Chelsea for generations to come as a place to plain and simply have a cold beer and shoot the breeze. Rick Eder

  6. Didn’t really hang out there lot but certainly did enjoy a enjoy a beer or thirty and made last call many a time! On behalf of my late brother, Rick, and my late sister, Gayle, congratulations! Mike Robbins

  7. Randy, Congratulations! Sure enjoyed working with your Dad and you. Good luck in whatever you do but definitely retire as soon as you can because tomorrow is promised to no one. Enjoy your life to the fullest because I sure am!

  8. Greetings from SoCal.
    Happy 100!!!
    I grew up going to Sietz’s, my dad used to go there, cashed a few checks, had a few beers(???) and enjoyed just hanging out.
    I wish the “bar rails” could talk and tell a few stories. That would be awesome!!!
    Also, it’s great that you kept it the same. George and Junior would be proud.

    George Egeler

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