EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Ten years ago Leos Frank, with the support of his wife Theresa, began Lazy Monk Brewing with less than a thousand square feet in Banbury Place. Leos had been laid off of his IT job and decided to peruse his dream of bringing the beer of his home county of Czechoslovakia to the Chippewa Valley.
Four years ago they bought a bigger space on Madison St. and transformed an old hardware store into a traditional Czech and German beer hall to feel like Leos' home where every town had a brewery.
"I call it his midlife crisis," said Theresa. "Which has now lasted ten years."
While Theresa said that Leos is the "lazy monk", he said they got the name while traveling abroad.
"We were visiting a German monastery on the Danube called Weltenburg," said Leos. "It is a working brewery and there was a monk that was leaning against a tree and it was a hot day and she said 'what a lazy monk.'"
They opened during a recession in 2010 and said they made it work by avoiding loans and growing their business slowly. This spring they closed their tap room due to COVID-19, but remained open to sell their 4-pack cans. Since re-opening, they have spaced tables apart, removed bar stools and encouraged use of their bier garden.
"Now people are starting to come back," said Theresa. "There is uncertainty, but customers have remained loyal and we've been really watching our pennies so, we're going to survive this and hopefully for another ten years."
The Lazy Monk is encouraging people to bring lawn chairs to hang out on the court yard and enjoy live music and three new beers Saturday night to help them celebrate their 10 year anniversary.