Grand Rapids Bar Owner ‘Faces His Demons’
Some people who have struggled with alcohol or substance abuse may avoid being in an environment of temptation, but that's not the case for this Grand Rapids bar owner. He's decided to "stare down his demons."
Rob Schelleberg is the new manger of the bar, "Turnstiles," named after one of his favorite Billy Joel albums that helped him through dark times. Schelleberg told ABC 13, that the temptation to drink again will not outweigh his desire to serve his community.
If there's a time when things get too stressful for me, everybody working her knows my story and if I need to leave to call my sponsor or catch an Alcoholic's Anonymous (AA) meeting, I can just go, and they'll tell me, 'We got this.'
Schelleberg became the manager after his father and sister bought the business. One of his life long goals was opening a restaurant. After graduating from Hudsonville Unity Christian High School in 2005, Schelleberg and his best friend Jason started searching for somewhere to start their business but didn't find one that worked.
In 2017, they found a vacant property available at 526 Stocking Ave on the west side of Grand Rapids.
Shelleberg said his alcoholism started later in life when he found himself going to the bar everyday as a way to cope with his personal life. He'd rack up a large bar tab and stay until closing time. Shelleberg says it took him sometime to realize that his drinking had become a problem.
I didn't think I was an alcoholic because I was still going to work everyday and it really wasn't affecting my job. It was when I realized I was on a path to misery, I surrendered, admitted I had a drinking problem, and sought help. I wasn't going to get my dream done if I was doing that.
As of March 23rd, 2021 Schelleberg has been sober for a 530 days.