Schuler's Restaurant Records: 1944-2002
full text File Size: 96 K bytes | how to request materials


The Schuler family restaurant business officially began when Albert Schuler, a local cigar maker, opened up his first cigar store in Marshall in 1909, adding a billiard table, bakery and a lunch counter. Delving further into the restaurant business, Albert purchased a café in 1917 and a hotel with a small dining room on Main Street in 1920. In 1924 he sold the Main Street hotel and purchased the more spacious Royal Hotel and Restaurant, the location where Schuler's restaurant continues to stand and operate today.

The history and growth of Schuler's can be attributed to the generations of the Schuler family who ran and managed this famous restaurant. In 1934, Albert gifted the restaurant to his sons, Winston ("Win") and Albert. Win and Albert remodeled and expanded the restaurant, adding a glass-block front and a bowling alley. While the bowling alley was later abandoned, it was converted into the "centennial room," a large dining area. In 1946, Win bought out his brother's share of the restaurant and continued to expand Schuler's, opening up several Schuler's restaurants throughout Michigan. In 1952, Win introduced Schuler's famous "Bar-Scheeze," a mixture of cheese and beer intended to sit at the table for diners to eat when arriving to their tables and waiting for their meals.

Win's son Hans took over the business in 1970 and was also lucrative in the expansion and renovation of Schuler's restaurant, contributing greatly to the mass marketing and growth of the Bar Scheeze product. In 1968, he trademarked and packaged the product for grocery store sales. In 1982, Hans helped sell the Bar Scheeze food division to Campbell's Soup.

As the fourth generation, Hans's oldest son, Larry continues the Schuler family restaurant legacy, Vice President of Schuler's Inc. and currently managing the casual "Schu's" restaurant in St. Joseph, Michigan.

From the 1950s to 1970s Schuler's expanded greatly, opening up restaurants throughout Michigan, with locations in Jackson (1952), St. Joseph (1954), Grand Rapids (1958?), Grand Haven (1963), Stevensville (1965), Ann Arbor (1972), East Lansing (1972), West Bloomfield (1974), Flint (1977), Rochester (1978), and Kalamazoo (1979) as well as Fort Wayne, Indiana (1970). Although the "Schu's" restaurant of St. Joseph (1990) remains the only subsidiary, the original Marshall restaurant continues to serve customers.