In the Northland summertime means good times outdoors, and no one knows it better than Rob and Shari Edwards, owners of Shari's Chippewa club in downtown Durand. Boasting a large and sunny deck with a panoramic view of the Chippewa River and a new all-season outdoor bar, Shari's is a terrific place for summer fun, day or night and in all kinds of weather.
Taking possession of the bar in the fall of 2005, the Edwards' have made steady progress in transforming .the Chip. into a down home - but high tech - showplace. Originally from the Minneapolis area, Rob had been coming to the Chippewa Valley for years on bike runs and car rallies, and when the opportunity came along to flee the city for the pleasures of small-town life, he and Shari jumped at the chance.
Since then Shari's has become an ever-growing work in progress and a classic example of the virtues of a little imagination and a lot of hard work. Rob the gearhead immediately installed a 1/32 scale slot car track, parked the Harley out front, the vintage racing Volvo out back, and made plans for expansion. With the acquisition of the building next door in June 2006, the bar now includes a live music room, decorated with antiques and Oriental rugs and complete with in-house sound and lighting systems, closed-circuit TV, multi-camera videography, a Wi-Fi network, and live Internet streaming, all guided by a unique sense of vision and the tutelage of old friend and tech whiz Pete Pappas. The deck was added in 2007 and is one of the best places around to sit and let the sun go down and watch the river roll by.
Rob and Shari's love of blues music led to the formation of the bar's own band, the Love Buzzards, who host a monthly blues jam the first Sunday of each month, and regular appearances by Mojo Lemon and Left Wing Bourbon dialed in the bar's reputation as a haven for roots music in the area. With the popularity of the blues firmly established, next came Classic Country Sunday, an open jam session held on the third Sunday of every month hosted by the Chippewa River Band, and the recent addition of Americana Night, a jam featuring alternative country, folk and bluegrass, hosted by Eau Claire native Jeff White and held on the fourth Sunday each month, started in June 2009.