By MARY ANN HOLLEY
When Jerry Gettemeier was asked why he decided renovations on his new restaurant would be done 100-percent union, he flashed a bewildered look.
What, are you stupid? his eyes implied.
“Because I want it done right,” Gettemeier said.
The long-time restaurateur bought the former Caleco’s Restaurant (269 Salt Lick Road) in St Peters, gutted it and is having the place rebuilt from top to bottom. He says, for him, using union craftsmen for the job means workers are highly skilled, well trained and do “incredible work.”
“They show up on time, they get it right, and if it’s not right, they fix it,” Gettemeier said “There’s no arguing and no excuses.”
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ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Painters Union Local 1156 Business Representative Joe Mueller and Laborers’ Union Local 660 Business Representative Dennis Schneier dropped in recently, as they often do, to check the job.
Gettemeier said he appreciates the ongoing attention and oversight of the union representatives in making sure everything is running smoothly.
“We’re just doing our job,” said Schneier. “Jerry has appreciated union craftsmanship for years; we’re just letting him know we’re on top of things and we’re here for him.”
Mueller said it’s great to see a local business owner going all-union.
“Gettemeier knows that when union painters and other union craftsmen do their jobs, they work faster and more efficiently,” Mueller said. “He can comfortably plan an opening date and know the work will finish on-time and often under budget.”
When finished, with an anticipated opening in October, the new establishment, aptly named “Gettemeier’s,” promises to be a union-friendly haven, in a sports bar environment with food that’s up to the highest standards.
“We’re family-friendly, with far more than just ‘bar food,’” Gettemeier said. “During our 18 years in Florissant, we got so popular we extended twice to become a full-service restaurant.”
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Gettemeier’s first establishment at Lindbergh Blvd and Thunderbird Drive has been a Florissant mainstay for 18 years, a family-friendly place where and a place that packs ‘em in.
“When Caleco’s opened, the job was completely bad, non-union, and the owners wouldn’t budge,” Schneier said. “We had a terrible time with it.”
However, Schneier said, when he stopped in to check the Gettemeier’s job, he was pleasantly surprised.
AWARE OF QUALITY
“It’s great to work with someone who is so aware of the quality that union craftsmen bring,” Schneier said. “The union reps are always available to iron out the wrinkles, but the best thing is we’re putting people back to work with jobs like these— when businesses like Gettemeier’s know what union construction means.”
Gettemeiers plans a “soft opening” in early October with a special event for union representatives to thank them for their support during construction.
“The place will be beautiful when we’re finished,” Gettemeier said. “And I’ll know it’s going to last for years to come.”
See similar story: Arnold Syberg’s applauds quality work of IBEW Local 1 contractor