“Million Dollar Party” offers cautionary tale about hitching hopes to Nebraska football
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Robert and Susan Ihrig, of Parker, Colo., have written “Million Dollar Party” as a cautionary tale to those who dream of owning their own bar or restaurant. Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette
PARKER, Colo. — Robert and Susan Ihrig, former McCook and Culbertson residents, don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. But they wrote their book, “Million Dollar Party,” in hopes of, at the least, drawing a cloud over all the bright shiny expectations of TV’s “Cheers” and Toby Keith’s song, “I Love this Bar.”
Susan tells Bob when he says he wants to write a book to warn people of the pitfalls of bar ownership, “Very few will be dissuaded from their dreams. You knew the facts and still jumped in.”
“Million Dollar Party” tells how the Ihrigs’ jumped in, stumbled and fell after opening and investing tons of money in the dream they called “Bob’s Gridiron Grille and the Pigskin Bar,” a restaurant and bar in Lincoln whose popularity, Bob discovered too late, rose and fell with the win-loss record and coaching staff changes of the Nebraska Cornhusker football team.
Million Dollar Party is a beautiful look at the life running beneath the surface of one’s work.
Million Dollar Party by Robert Mark Ihrig and Susan Jean Butherus Ihrig is an engaging memoir about opening, running, and closing a restaurant, and how that enterprise changed the way that the Ihrigs thought about themselves.
Concentrating primarily on Robert, the Ihrigs’ compelling story begins at the end: their restaurant is closing for good, and their staff has gathered for one last raucous time together. The opening scene details each person in attendance, giving a sense of the authors’ care for people and knack for characterization.
From there, the narrative goes back to Robert Ihrig’s childhood. The book continues to alternate between present day, in the aftermath of the restaurant’s closing party, and flashbacks from earlier, until the two streams join to form a coherent picture of Robert Ihrig and the story of his restaurant.
This is far from a tell-all account. Instead of exhaustively gathering details, the book weaves a well-rounded picture of Ihrig’s life, concentrating particularly on notions such as how parents shape a person’s dreams and identity, or on how one event may build on another fluidly, right up to the point of an unexpected junction, or a break, that opens the floodgates to something new.
Million Dollar Party: A Restaurant Memoir
by Robert Mark Ihrig (Goodreads Author), Susan Jean Butherus Ihrig(Goodreads Author)
Jan 20, 2018
A but heartbreaking, but a test of will as well.
Would have been nice for author to give a follow up.
Thank you to author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read.
While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
The O’Neill Public Library will host the dynamic duo of Robert and Susan Ihrig, authors of “Million Dollar Party.”
The authors will host a reading and book signing from 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday, July 12 at the library.
Relive the ups and downs the couple encountered during the process of owning a restaurant in Lincoln.
July 1, 2018
Dear Bob & Susan;
Your book Million Dollar Party is truly inspirational!! Everyone should read your book to discover two strong and persevering people from the heartland of America!! You are to be admired and respected in the dedication of the journey for your dream!! You don’t have to be a Nebraska Cornhusker football fan to enjoy this book. However, anyone that’s a dedicated college football fan and those that are aspiring to establish a high quality restaurant operation, Million Dollar Party is a “must read”!!! Actually it is a must read for anyone as, it is a “roller coaster of emotions” of your incredible experience! Without a doubt, I highly recommend this book Million Dollar Party!! You will enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!!
Former MLB Umpire
Former Baseball Umpire for the Big 8 Conference and Big Ten Conference