By Jennifer Mayerle

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — A Twin Cities funeral home has a twist on the traditional funeral. Mueller Memorial in White Bear Lake renovated recently to step away from the stereotype and make the space more inviting.

In addition to big windows, the owner added a bar. According to the owner, it’s the first of its kind in Minnesota.

“The funeral business has been hopelessly traditional for a long, long time,” owner Scott Mueller said.

Mueller is a second generation owner of Mueller Memorial. He said funeral homes traditionally were built without windows, and felt his needed a change after hearing this description.

“Funeral homes are like a dark lifeless tomb. That doesn’t sound very inviting and of course we’re so close to it we don’t see it,” Mueller said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Mueller helped fund a Funeral Service Foundation study which primarily looked at what baby boomers want from a funeral.

“They say, ‘If I go, I want to have a party.’ Part of that is that we incorporate food and we incorporate beverages. Some of those might be beer, wine, cocktails that type of thing,” Mueller said.

The redesigned funeral home was meant to feel bright, contemporary and inviting — complete with a built-in bar.

“We’ve made it easier, more accessible, so that those people looking for that kind of an experience can have that,” Mueller said.

He wants people to have a choice in how they honor a loved one, a comfortable place to recount stories and focus on how the person lived.

“I hope when people walk up to the place and when they walk out, they say, ‘Wow, it didn’t feel like I was in a funeral home. This felt more like it was a casual, almost party-like atmosphere,'” Mueller said.

Mueller has already noticed an increase in people who want to host celebrations of life at the funeral home. The cost of the bar is covered by the family. It’s not a cash bar. Click here to learn more.

Jennifer Mayerle

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