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Tracy Kosbau
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March 23, 2015

Local Restaurant Owners Honored As Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year

Barbara and Larry Leis, owners of The Red Pines Bar & Grill in Onalaska, were honored as the Outstanding Restaurateurs of the Year (OROY) by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) La Crosse Chapter, made up of La Crosse, Monroe, Jackson, Trempealeau and Vernon counties. The OROY award is given by fellow members of the La Crosse Chapter based on success in business, community service and dedication to the restaurant industry.

The OROY award was presented to Barbara and Larry on January 20th at a WRA chapter meeting held at Piggy’s Restaurant in La Crosse. A Legislative Citation was also presented to the couple.

On Tuesday, March 10, Barbara and Larry will also be honored with commendation medals at the 2015 WRA Awards Dinner gala, taking place at Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

Barbara’s 47 years of experience owning and operating a supper club and two upscale restaurants has helped solidify the success of the Red Pines Bar & Grill. While Barbara was an industry veteran, the Red Pines was Barbara and Larry’s first venture together as a couple. The sports bar and grill serves quality pub fare on the shores of Lake Onalaska and employs 28 people. According to Barbara, operating the business together “keeps them young at heart and connected with the community.”

Barbara and Larry give back to the community quite extensively by sponsoring Tornado Youth Hockey and Brice Prairie Youth Baseball; participating in Taste of Onalaska, a fundraiser for the Onalaska Foundation for the funding of educational grants; support of the YMCA through participation in the annual Brice Prairie Bike Race and mentoring culinary graduates through internships and employment at Picasso’s Café and Culina Mariana. The couple is also supportive of the restaurant industry through involvement in their local chapter of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.

Larry and Barbara reside in Onalaska. They have six children and seven grandchildren.

WRA represents a broad range of foodservice operations and is dedicated to promoting and improving the restaurant industry. For more information, visit www.wirestaurant.org.

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Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated
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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960