Dirty Ernie's owner gives back to community

By  | 

FARLEY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Every year, we choose different areas around eastern Iowa to feature as Our Town. On Friday, we chose Farley.

It's a small Dubuque County town of just more than 1,600 people. And one those people has dedicated quite a bit of his time to giving back to Farley and beyond.

"Life's too short that I felt I need to help anybody out that I could," Doug Ernzen, owner of the bar Dirty Ernie's, said.

Dirty Ernie's is a popular bar on the weekends and a place that sees what Ernzen calls "locals" on weekday afternoons.

He's owned it since 2005. That was the same year, his stepfather passed away, the man he says inspired him to give back because he was so active in the community.

Since then, he's held events, like a motorcycle ride that starts at his bar. All of the proceeds benefit combat veterans. He says he does it, because he just likes helping other people out.

"That handshake at the end of the day, saying 'Hey, thanks for helping me out. Thanks for helping my family out. It really means a lot.' It really makes you feel good," Ernzen said.

He says he also donated to the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital and fire departments in both Farley and Dyersville.

He says he sees himself running Dirty Ernie's for at least another 10 years.