Mother and twin daughters team new owners of Connor’s Lounge

Thursday, June 25, 2020
The new co-owners of Connor’s Lounge, located in downtown Remsen, sit on the bench in front of the window of their business. Co-owners pictured from left include: Karlee Ohrt, Shelly Kunkel, and Kylee Massmann.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

Buying the business from Charlie Galles, Shelly Kunkel and her twin daughters, Karlee Ohrt and Kylee Massmann, now have co-ownership of Connor’s Lounge in Remsen. Their first official day as owners was April 17, 2020.

Ohrt explained how the opportunity to own Connor’s Lounge came about, “Mom (Shelly) has been in the restaurant/bar industry for over 25 years and us girls (Karlee and Kylee) have been involved in restaurant atmosphere since we were 14 and bar-tending for a little over 10 years. We have spent so many years working for other companies that when this came available, we pondered putting all those hours into a place we owned ourselves.”

Kunkel, a Remsen native, has been a waitress for 23 years at a local steakhouse. She has five children, nine grandchildren and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and supporting her children in their hobbies.

Ohrt has done in-home daycare for three and a half years as well as bar-tending/waitressing at night. Residing north of Paullina, she is married to her husband, Daniel, and they have two children, Daxton and Dayleigh. Her hobbies consist of spending time with her children, enjoying country living (tending to animals, horseback riding, etc.), and watching her husband race/demo.

Massmann has done in-home daycare with her sister for three and a half years and has also bar-tended and waitressed at night for several years. She also spends a lot of time managing their two hog confinements. Residing south of Paullina, she is married to her husband, Nick, and they have two daughters, Brynlee and Berkley. Her hobbies consist of spending time with her family, tending to their hog confinements, enjoying country living and boating at the lakes when they have free time.

Kunkel already had a little history with Connor’s Lounge before being a co-owner, “La Donna (Donna) and Carel Connor started this back in 1978. I worked with them for eight to 10 years and now I'm back. So, it's like a full circle. It's been better than I could have ever hoped.”

When asked how business has been going so far, the girls answered, “Now that the remodel is mostly done, our experience and response from the community has been very appreciated. We are working every single day at making things better and improving things so they fit the needs of our patrons to the best of our ability. We have done a thorough facelift to the place to freshen things up. We have added a frozen beverage machine, tap beer, some different kinds of beers/drinks and some bar food as well.”

Hours of operation for Connor’s Lounge are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.

The mother and daughters team expressed their excitement about the future of their business, “We are excited for the future of Connor’s Lounge, LLC., as the new owners and cannot wait to meet and accommodate all that come to visit. We are very thankful for this opportunity and couldn’t be happier that our bar resides in the city of Remsen.”