Biz Beat

A spooky place for a drink in Ripon

You have to like a business that goes all out with its holiday decor – spending weeks getting the look just right. And when the holiday in question is Halloween, and the accessories include an electric chair, well, I had to go take a look.

Joan Corso and her husband, Sam, own the Main Street Inn in Ripon. Over the 18 years they’ve been in business, she has perfected the art of Halloween decor, turning the bar into a dungeon of sorts, complete with flame lights, a bride in a coffin and a creepy castle. There’s also a spooky clown, but with all the bad press those have gotten this year, he’s tucked in the back, by the pool tables.

“We don’t like clowns this year,” Corso said.

She does, however, like cobwebs. And they hang from the ceiling in abundance, along with a skeleton who probably was the last customer to fail to pay his tab. In previous years, Corso would buy 200 to 300 bags of the fake cobwebs – that gets pretty expensive. But then she hit on the idea of using gauze, which she buys in bulk, spray-paints and then shreds. “The more holes the better,” she said.

And then there’s that chair. I took a seat, after assurance from Corso that it wouldn’t be the last thing I did. It was interesting, to say the least. No shock, but something definitely happens.

“It’s a sander,” Corso explained after I peeled myself off the ceiling. She bought the chair from a friend who had put it together.

It all culminates with a big party the weekend before Halloween, with DJs, costumes and more. One thing Corso stopped doing – using ultraviolet light behind the liquor bottles, which she then doused with spray to make them look cobwebbed.

“They just looked dirty,” she said with a laugh. “People thought we didn’t wash our bottles.”

Find the Main Street Inn – if you dare – at 130 E. Main St., Ripon.