Private bar owner has weathered half-century of changes

Jul 17 2011 - 9:58pm

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(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Darlene Stain, 75, owner of Dar’s, a private club for members she has owned for almost 50 years, poses for a portrait behind the bar in Ogden on Thursday.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Darlene Stain, 75, owner of Dar’s, a private club for members she has owned for almost 50 years, poses for a portrait behind the bar in Ogden on Thursday.

OGDEN -- Darlene Stain would like to thank her customers. After all, they've kept her in business for the past 50 years.

Dar's, at 240 Washington Blvd., is a private bar that opened in 1961 as a beer and pizza parlor. The original name was Dino's Pizza House, named after her first husband, Dean Sarris. In 1991, when the liquor laws changed, the business changed over to a private club and a new name.

"We will be here 50 years in September," Stain said. "I've grown old with this place. I was a young chick when we started the business."

Over the years, Stain said the business has survived a remodeling project and a fire caused by a transformer, and most of all, it has survived the economy.

"My customers are so faithful and loyal," she said. "They are great, great people, and I enjoy having them around."

When the business first opened, Stain said a mug of beer sold for 25 cents. A glass of beer was 10 cents, and a keg cost the bar $13.50.

"Today, a mug of beer will cost you $2.50. A keg costs me $80," she said. "We used to open at 6 a.m. but you can't sell a beer anywhere until 10 a.m. today."

Stain was born and raised in Ogden. She attended Ogden High School and was a member of the first graduating class of Ben Lomond High School in 1954. She is married to Norman Stain and between the two of them, they have eight children.

"And a bunch of grandchildren. Seventeen or 18. I don't know for sure, but it's up there," she said. "I also have a little Shih Tzu named Joey."

When she isn't working, Stain enjoys playing bingo.

Karla Carlson, who works at the club, said she thinks the business has remained open for so long because of the friendly, family-oriented atmosphere.

"The people who come here are just good people and very friendly," she said.

John Garner said when he comes back to town from work, his first stop is usually Dar's.

"I'll come here before I even go home," he said. "I travel a lot, and I have a restaurant/bar business in southern Missouri. I know for a lot of people, and for me as well, when I come in here I know I can relax for a couple of days. The atmosphere here is really nice. I like that it's a family atmosphere. Most of us here are in our mid-40s to mid-60s."

Stain said although she's semi-retired, she has no plans for closing the club anytime soon.

"I have no intention of fully retiring. I'll probably still be running the place when I'm in a wheelchair," she said.

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