Questioning the Locals: Nick Noskowiak

free-wheelin' discussions with local folks

V1 Staff, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

What’s Nick Noskowiak’s goal for the Chippewa Valley? To make it a better and more inclusive place, of course! Born and raised in Eau Claire, Nick is a bartender at The Fire House and Head Coach of the EC Bateaux FC Soccer Team. When he’s not tearing it up on the soccer field, Nick is focusing on making The Fire House a safe and empowering place for queer people in the Chippewa Valley to enjoy. Go Bateaux!

I try my best to fit into the local community by working with kids on the youth soccer level, as well as using Bateaux to help with supporting the queer or any disenfranchised community.

What’s been the best part about coaching the EC Bateaux team so far?

The community around the team, seeing so many families with kids at our games has been so fun, the “Pride in our Park” game last season was such an incredible moment, so many came out to support the LGBTQ+ community and donate to our cause. It is also a great opportunity to showcase the talent we have in Eau Claire. There are some incredible soccer players on our team, and it gives the kids in the area some local faces to look up to and meet and sometimes kick a ball around in pre-game with.

What place in town considers you a “regular”?

There are probably a few places but Dooley’s, The District, and The Depot are probably my main places if I’m not at The Fire House.

What frustrates you about the Chippewa Valley?

Oh MANNNNN, you know there are ZERO late-night spots to get food on the Barstow side of the river, when I close on a Saturday night I will be STARVING, and there are just zero options. It’s not a huge complaint, but if someone could handle that, I’d love them forever.

Water Street or Downtown?

Downtown, but for a few reasons. There is a sort of energy about downtown service industry workers, we all get along really well and always seem to look out for each other. It’s a great feeling knowing I can walk into any of the bars down here and know someone either at the bar or working the bar and understand that it will be a genuine and fun conversation.

South side or north side?

North side (go Huskies).

What’s your favorite local festival?

Probably Jazz Fest, mostly because I grew up always listening to my brother play his trumpet and have always had such a good time when I go and/or work for Jazz Fest.

Nick's Shoutouts

Mike Dooley. He has been such a pivotal person in both the bar world as well as local sports. Every time you step foot in his bar (Dooley’s Pub), you get to see or hear about one of the local teams. It’s incredible.

The Brewing Projekt. Besides making good beer they also have hosted drag shows, markets, and always host food trucks. Carolyn does such an awesome job creating and thinking of events. I always hear how great they are or have seen for myself.

Chris Jorgenson and Kallie Friede. They put on Fireball every year, and it is always such an incredible and moving event. What they do for the community is something that will outlast any of us and make an impact for decades, and its not just that weekend.