‘It’s belittling’: Belleville pub looking for vintage 80s beer can stolen from display

Beer can collection a memento from owner’s late father

BELLEVILLE, Mich. – A pub in Belleville is receiving an abundance of support from the community after they noticed a 1980s beer can was missing from a display on Thursday.

Bars are used to patrons sometimes taking their own “souvenirs,” but this time is different. Egan’s Irish Pub in Belleville is looking for a 1980s beer can that was stolen from a display case.

The case is a memento from owner John Winter’s late father. “Back in 1980, when my grandfather died, we drove down to Florida and he stopped at every state and got a beer can,” said Winter. “Then we started collecting them in our cottage from different states we went to.”

The display was one of the first decorative items to go up when the pub opened in 2013. Winter says it fit and brought a personal touch.

Missing beer can, image (WDIV)

It’s also become something special to Winter’s children who also work at the bar. “He was really excited to have something of his dad’s here, something that he put that hard work into and that he could show off,” said Mackenzie Winter.

For nearly 10 years the collection was mounted above the door of the men’s restroom. Thursday, someone realized a can was missing. The family says they never thought someone would steal something like this.

“We only had one Hamm’s can there and the Hamm’s can was gone which is from Indiana,” said John Winter. “I couldn’t believe it.”

“It’s the only thing my dad got from his dad,” said Mackenzie Winter. “It’s belittling too you know, my parents do a lot for the community; they donate their money they donate their time.”

Many community members have tried to donate or simply drop off a beer can from their collection to replace the missing one.

The Winter family says they are grateful for the outpouring of support and hope someone will return the can.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.