Phyllis (Stucky) Schutz and Morrie Schutz went to high school together in Pine Island, MN, and married in 1970 when Morrie was two years out of high school and Phyllis had just graduated.
Morrie’s dad had owned a bowling alley in Pine Island, where Morrie had worked as a teenager; naturally, he loved bowling and grew to want his own bowling business. Morrie taught Phyllis to love bowling, too. In 1999, the Schutzes moved to Stewartville after purchasing the property at 101 10th St. NW, now known as Strikers Corner. Stewartville was about twice the size of Pine Island at the time, they recall, and is still “the perfect-sized town for a business.” They like the “small-town feel” and say the location of their business is ideal because it faces Highway 63.
A lot of work has gone into the business. In 2001, the Schutzes surfaced the bowling lanes and added seating and automated scoring. The business obtained its off-sale liquor license in 2004. The building and parking lot have expanded to accommodate the entirety of Strikers Corner, which consists of the bowling alley, Morrie’s Liquor store, and Phyllie’s Bar & Grill. The Schutzes added large, flat-screen TVs a few years ago and four TVs for programmatic watching. The dining area, which used to be combined with the bar area, has been expanded and cooking equipment recently updated.
Strikers prides itself on the variety its menu offers. Morrie says, “Some places, their specialty will be seafood or . . . a list of steaks a mile long. We do a little bit of each type of menu item.” The menu includes light, gluten-free, and kid-friendly options.
Fans of the restaurant have raved about the peanut-butter burger, three-cheese ravioli, pretzel bites, pizza, nachos, mini-donuts, and liver and onions. Their desserts are made from scratch, along with most of their soups, and the chili is Phyllis’s own recipe. Morrie and kitchen staff adapted an Internet recipe for wings, which get marinated for 24 hours to make them plump and juicy. The onion rings, fish, and shrimp are hand-battered, and steaks are cut and trimmed by staff. While the prime rib has always been the Saturday special, some menu items are switched out at least once a year based on bottom and top sellers. Aaron, the head chef, also conjures experimental dishes to gauge their popularity as potential menu items. Phyllie’s Bar & Grill added pasta to the menu in late 2018, Morrie says, which they had been wanting to do for some time.
Day-to-day, Morrie is “front of the house” and often staffs the liquor store, while Phyllis works on bookkeeping and finances. Morrie plans many of the events, and Phyllis markets them.
“We make a good team,” Morrie says with a smile.
They praise their over 40 employees’ team mentality, too, as team members attend events, volunteer, and spread the word. Most recently, staff have been proactively engaging the community in a benefit for an employee with Stage IV cancer.
Strikers hosts bowling leagues and tournaments for all ages; karaoke; late-night, lighted bowling by request; and live music. In the past, Strikers has recruited bands including JT & The Gunslingers, The Chubs, and Nite Shift, which span across Country, Blues, and Rock genres. Events, sometimes shared with the Legion, have also included bean bag toss competitions, car shows, and festive and seasonal activities. The next upcoming event is the Winter Beach Party on April 6, which celebrates summer and encourages attendees to wear summer clothes “to break the winter doldrums,” says Phyllis.
The 10-lane bowling alley, restaurant, and bar fill on weekends with people not just from Stewartville but surrounding areas like Racine, Grand Meadow, Byron, Rochester, Spring Valley, and Chatfield.
“Stewartville has been a really good town to us,” Phyllis says. Phyllis and Morrie are grateful for the City’s help in business planning and the “good leadership” in Stewartville. The citizens, Morrie says, “are very nice people, friendly, and like coming out.”
Thank you, Strikers Corner, for serving the community of Stewartville!