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Local News

Shep’s closes, Schlitz beer sign comes down

The iconic Schlitz sign that hung outside Shep’s Tavern in Rockdale for decades has come down.

Marilyn Goss, whose aunt opened the tavern in 1933, has retired and sold the business.

The new owner plans to open a diner in the building at 1500 Belleview Ave.

“A lot of people felt bad, but they understand why I’m doing it,” Goss said.

Besides drinking Schlitz beer at Shep’s, people will miss the homemade food from the popular tavern kitchen that included hamburgers, chili and barbecue beef sandwiches.

Goss’ aunt, Mary Fedo, opened the tavern, which was the first in Rockdale to serve Schlitz beer, Goss said.

“I started helping out when I was a young kid,” she said. “My aunt had the tavern, and we all helped out.”

Schlitz was once one of the top beer brands in the U.S. It’s harder to find now. But besides being available at Shep’s, Schlitz is sold at packaged liquor stores.

Goss said the beer enjoyed a bit of a comeback in recent years.

Her parents, Matthew and Theresa Sepich, took over the tavern from aunt Mary.

People called her dad Shep, Marilyn said, and that’s where the tavern got its name. Her mother’s nickname was Tress.

On Thursday, Mike Gerasch, an employee with Express Signs & Lighting Maintenance in Shorewood, removed the Schlitz sign.

It may have marked the official closing of Shep’s.

Marilyn is taking the Schlitz sign, along with a Budweiser sign that also hung outside, home with her.

“I’d like to thank everyone who ever came to Shep’s,” Goss said. “We enjoyed them, and I hope they enjoyed Shep’s. Happiness to all.”

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