If you have visited Wisconsin and you haven’t stopped at a Supper Club you’ve missed one of the treats of Wisconsin. They aren’t the only thing we like about Wisconsin but I’d be lying if I said that a periodic visit to one of these social dinosaurs is good for the soul, if perhaps not as good for the heart. Large slabs of animal protein can sometimes overtax one’s system!
Seriously though, the supper club is a unique part of Wisconsin that goes back 90, years — to the days of prohibition when restaurants and bars were struggling to bring people into their establishments. They aren’t trendy. Some of them might look as if they haven’t been remodeled since the day they opened. But if you want a meal that can easily take an evening, perhaps with entertainment, with food made on the premises and with other people who love having fun, love being with people, then the supper club is a good place to spend a few hours with people you love.
Drive along Wisconsin’s backroads and byways and you’re sure to run across a unique Wisconsin Supper Club. The original Wisconsin Supper Clubs may have started in the 1920’s as Prohibition roadhouses where gangsters stopped while moving moonshine. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, liquor licenses were first granted to establishments outside city limits that served food, thus giving birth to the supper club.
Today’s Supper Clubs are a true gem in the landscape of Wisconsin’s dining culture. Wisconsin Supper Clubs must be savored, cherished, explored and passed down to the next generation. This website is dedicated to showcasing and highlighting Wisconsin’s unique dining treasure – The Wisconsin Supper Club.
The unique thing about the supper club is not only their longevity in an industry when new restaurants fail by the thousands, but also the fact that many of them count their customers by the generations, having served great grandparents, grandparents, parents, kids, and their own offspring as they come along. They are a place where you don’t go for a quick meal. They are the land of the complimentary appetizer tray with carrot sticks and celery sticks and home made liver pate. Man-sized meals more more the standard than the exception. And a stop at the bar on your way to your table is pretty much a routine where you shouldn’t be surprised if you hear people ordering things like Old Fashioneds – Sweet — and other spirits — a throwback to the days when Northern European immigrants who were in the habit of drinking sweet spirits comprised most of their customers.
We’re in a bit of a supper club vacuum here, but I’m sure we will have tried a couple new ones before we leave the state. If you’re interested, there’s a whole wesite dedicated to Wisconsin Supper Clubs — all 350 of them. Go. Have fun. Eat. Enjoy.
Thanks for stopping and why not stop by tomorrow for a chat.