Mount Pleasant’s number one bartender

Video by: Rain Hubbell and Maddie Lajewski

Story by: Maddie Lajewski

This story was created for CMU’s fall 2022 journalism capstone class project: Glass of Mt. P.

On W. Michigan Street, a marque reads “Rubbles sports dive bar” leading into “Missy- Mount Pleasant’s number one bartender.”

Missy Gross has been bartending at Rubbles in Mount Pleasant for over 20 years and does not plan on leaving any time soon. She has been awarded the title of best bartender in Mount Pleasant by the Morning Sun the past three years and is adored by numerous patrons. Her love for the bar itself keeps her there.

“Honestly when I first got into bartending, I needed money,” Gross said. “I love people, I love being around people who help me get out and be social while still making money. I love meeting new people. I never know who’s going to walk through the door and that’s one of my favorite things about being here.”

As patrons enter Rubbles, they are given a stamp that says “Missy” to allow them to exit and re-enter the bar as needed.

Rubbles is known for hosting bands and having live music at least every other week. It is one of the unique qualities of the bar and an aspect that Gross appreciates the most.

“The live music is my favorite and what has kept me here, too,” Gross said. “I think it’s very important, especially in small towns to keep live music available and out there for everybody. The one thing that’s always been consistent here is the live music.”

The live performances attract people of different backgrounds and ages, locals and students to the bar. When the bar recently switched ownership, many community members made it clear that they wanted the live music to continue.

“It’s very important when we had a recent change of ownership that the community keep live music,” Gross said. “We heard from alumni, from local people, from many bands about how important it is for us to keep live music. That’s what got me here and what’s kept me here.”

With the marque outside of the bar that says “Missy- Mount Pleasant’s number 1 bartender,” she is adored by both patrons and staff.

“Working with Missy is entertainment,” Rubbles bartender Tiffany Rhode said. “She’s so great with all of our customers and she has a way of interacting with them, keeping them here, and them always wanting to come back and see her. She’s so amazing to have as a boss too, she’s so easy to work with and just so fun to be around.”

Rubbles bartender and manager Missy Gross socializes with patrons while preparing drinks behind the bar on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.

The connections Gross has made during her years working at Rubbles have remained strong to this day and she looks forward to meeting many new friends every shift.

“I love having people come back,” Gross said. “Now that I’ve been here so long, I have parents who come back with their kids who are going to school here and kids that went to school here bring their parents here too. I follow a lot of their careers, I know where they’ve gone, I know their families. It’s always people and meeting new people everyday.”