Jim Mumgaard and his two business partners (his brother Jon and Brian Kitten) applied for a liquor license for an off-sale liquor store at 16th & South Street in Lincoln in 1990 but were denied and offered an on-premise license at the site instead. This led them to start the first Brewsky’s Food & Spirits at that location and the rest, as they say, is history. Brewsky’s is a small regional chain of six sports bars and grills with four locations in Lincoln and two in Omaha. They pride themselves on quality product and cleanliness and always strive to give their customers great service.
What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve face professionally? – Over the years expansion would make the cash flow tough, so keeping costs in line and making sure we didn’t get over-leveraged during those times was always hard.
What is one the biggest achievements you’ve accomplished? – I don’t think there’s any one achievement, but an accumulation of things. We’ve never had to close a Brewsky’s, so I would say our site selection has been good.
Tell us a little about your family. – My wife is Kathleen Mumgaard, who has developed a very successful real estate career in Omaha. We have six children ranging in age from 6 to 30. We all love and long for the times we can all be together such as holidays and weddings.
What is one of the biggest turning points in your life? – Personally, when I met and married Kathleen. Professionally, in the early 1990s we had three different business interests going and decided to sell two of them and concentrate on Brewsky’s.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – On a sunny day, golf! On a rainy day, settle in with popcorn and A&W Root Beer and watch movies all day.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people might not know? – Can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you.
What are you the most proud of? – All our children.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – From my mother at a difficult time in my life: “bloom where you’re planted”.
What is the one goal you’d most like to accomplish? – To see all my children graduate with college degrees.
If you could have one super power, what would it be? – X-ray vision
What is your plan for retirement? – With young children, they will still be in school when I retire, so to be there for them first and foremost, but when not doing that to play a lot of golf.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? – I used to be a pretty good tennis player.
What is the talent you’d most like to have? – Warren Buffetesque investment strategies.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – The River God and The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith. I have also been reading a lot of James Michener lately.
What is your favorite movie? – Shawshank Redemption
What if your favorite TV show? – I don’t watch a lot of TV, but my favorite of all times is Cheers.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – I have a lot of friends in the business, so this is a tough one. There’s a lot of great Mexican restaurants, but my favorite is Azteca.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Jesus. I’ve got a lot of questions.
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