Feb. 22, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Neighbors coming home from work Thursday afternoon reacted with a bit of shock to find the doors closed at Ries’ Sausage Plus Spirits Meat & Deli, 1435 W. Washington Street in West Bend.
“Did you know about this,” said Barb Justman. She stopped just before 4 p.m. to pick up a small deli tray of sausages. “Oh come on…..”
Justman was obviously disappointed.
A white sign on the door read ‘We are closed until further notice. Thank you.’
Another neighbor named Paul pulled up in his pickup truck, got out and started walking toward the store.
“They’re closed,” said Nick Thill as he walked his dog across 15th Avenue.
“I had honey and some ice cream in there,” Thill said. “He paid up front so I’m not worried.”
Glancing through the store windows Thill’s wife said the shelves “looked empty” as well as the deli.
Businesses in the strip mall said other customers came in Wednesday night asking why the store was dark. One person said there was a semi out back earlier in the day.
In February 2016 Steve and Karen Ries sold the store to Sammy Toor of Illinois.
Toor made some changes, including replacing Kewaskum Frozen Foods line of meats and sausage with the Boar’s Head brand.
Customers complained and the traditional Kewaskum Frozen Foods was brought back, albeit short term.
In late 2017 an unsubstantiated rumor filtered around social media announcing the store’s demise.
Toor said it was not true and spent months advertising and trying to market for Christmas sales.
There’s been no response to messages left at the store today.
Officials at City Hall in West Bend said they had no update and a direct phone number for the owner was not available.
Some neighbors are concerned because they’re made reservations for fundraising brat frys this summer at the little Red Shed Brat Haus on Highway 33. Ries’ Sausage Plus handled the rental of that facility and often supplied the meat for the various organizations.