Ninety-nine-year-old Clarise Kramer Cadarette Grzenkowicz has been bartending at the Maplewood Tavern near Alpena, Michigan for the past 78 years.
She has served drinks for so long that she holds the Guinness World Record for “longest continuous career as a bartender.”
Grzenkowicz and her daughter Carole Cadarette joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss their decades tending to the patrons of Maplewood Tavern.
Grzenkowicz started helping out at her in-laws' bar in 1940, at which point the tavern had already been open for 16 years.
While customers have come and gone, not much has changed since Maplewood’s founding in 1924.
“Basically since 1924, if you come into Maplewood and you walk on the floor that we use as a dance floor — that is the floor that was laid in 1924 by my grandfather Henry Peter Cadarette and his brothers,” Cadarette said.
The tavern has always been a family affair. In fact, Grzenkowicz raised Cadarette in a house built onto the bar.
Along with being around family, Grzenkowicz said her favorite part of the job is meeting people from all over the state, and even the world.
Through the decades, we wanted to know: did Grzenkowicz ever think of retiring?
“No, not really,” she replied. “What would I do if I did retire? Sit in a chair and pout?"
This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry.