Start small, think big
Owners plan sports complex at Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill

By RALPH CHAPOCO - Daily News

Dec. 27, 2017

Scott Festge, left, poses with his son, Dan, Dec. 18 at Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill in West Bend.
Ralph Chapoco/Daily News

For most people, owning and operating a small business, such as a bar and restaurant, is an all-consuming venture that symbolizes the accomplishment of a goal. For the owners and operators of a recently opened West Bend restaurant however, opening the establishment is the next logical step in a much larger purpose.

Dan and Scott Festge, the owners of Rally Time Sports Bar and Grill, have plans to construct an entire sports complex, complete with baseball diamonds, playing fields, batting cages, miniature golf and other amenities.

To realize their dream, they understood they had a lot to learn, so they opted to complete one business at a time, learning from each venture and applying the concepts from each experience to create their eventual goal.

Their plans didn’t materialize immediately. Scott, Dan’s father, was busy at the time with his full-time job and raising a family so he put the family’s entrepreneurship plans on hold until the appropriate time.

“Dan approached me and said, ‘What do you think of revisiting that?’” Scott said. “We discussed it and I said, ‘Yes, let’s work toward that.’” Dan was working in the medical industry at the time, but didn’t especially enjoy the experience.

“I had been going to school for nursing, gotten my EMT (emergency medical technician) license and did that for a while,” Dan said. “Really kind of fell out of love with the medical field, just because of the people I was working with and all the stories that I hear from people coming in.”

He had also taken jobs in hospitality, serving and working as a bartender, to supplement his income. He was managing a bowling center at the time in Menomonee Falls and thought it was time to go into business for himself rather than work for someone else.

They began by opening a bar in Saukville in July 2015 to educate themselves about the industry, from the licensing and permitting requirements to the customer service and logistical aspects of operating a self-sustaining business.

“That is a corner bar,” Scott said. “That location has residents there to help supplement the income.”

They also served some food at the establishment. They mentioned they had a deep fryer to provide their clientele some options.

From opening the bar, Dan said he learned how to establish interpersonal and business relationships, not solely with customers but also with suppliers and vendors. He also gained insight into ordering supplies and equipment to approaching customers in a retail setting.

Two years later, after understanding the details of operating a business, they decided to expand and open a restaurant in West Bend.

“The Saukville location was getting the bar process down,” Dan said. “Here, it is about fine tuning the bar process and honing and fine tuning the bar process.”

The chose West Bend because they have ties to the area. Scott’s spouse worked in the area and his daughter continues to work in the city.

There is a dart board for customers to play and compete with their friends. There are volleyball courts in the back, allowing Dan and Scott to host tournaments.

There are several televisions placed throughout the vicinity, all of which can be tuned into different sporting events such as tennis and baseball. On Sundays, most are displaying various football games or the Packers.

Then there is the added food component. They installed a kitchen to allow customers a range of options. They have chicken sandwiches, burgers and pizza available. They also offer specialty sandwiches.

“It has been interesting,” Scott said. “It has been a lot of hard work.”