Ed Berthiaume column: Calumet County Relishes its Classic Supper Clubs, part 2: Map your journey

January 20, 2014

Ed Berthiaume

Appleton Post Crescent

Consider this part two of our new obsession with Calumet County supper clubs.

Last week we reported that Calumet County has successfully obtained the trademark on the slogan “Supper Club Capital of the Midwest.”

It’s a new effort to promote the county’s supper clubs as part of a tourism campaign.

We revisit the topic this week because, well, I’m hungry. No, not really. We revisit it because Julie Schmelzer, the county’s Resource Management Department director who is spearheading the campaign, reports that the maps detailing the locations of all of the county’s supper clubs (and some that are just outside the county’s borders) are now available and being distributed to the various supper clubs around the county. You also can obtain a copy at county offices in Chilton or by calling 920-849-1493, ext. 263. A digital version of the map can be found at

In other words, if you don’t know your Fishtale Inn from your Granary, you now have a guide to get you where you’re going. No excuses.

Based on the phone calls I got after the initial column ran last Sunday, there are plenty of you hankering to get out of town and try some of the rural supper clubs.

As you make your journey, remember this: What constitutes a supper club is a bit subjective these days.

Some things have changed, but many of the restaurants that carry the supper club moniker are still family-owned, open only for dinner, often Wednesday through Sunday, and specialize in steaks and Friday fish fries.

Calumet County (the county includes a chunk of Appleton and Menasha and then wraps around the east side of Lake Winnebago, most of it rural) lists 32 restaurants on its supper club map. Schmelzer said those include restaurants within the county borders and those that are in close proximity.

“Admittedly, some of the places on the map were controversial in the office,” Schmelzer said. “Some we had to debate whether they made the list or not. But ideally the establishment had a separate dining area, served steak dinners with fixins’ — not just a steak sandwich or steak plate where you paid for the extras — and had a full-service bar.
“If they also offered a specific Friday night fish fry, the marginal establishments typically also had a steak menu for the rest of the week, which helped push them onto the list.”

You can be the judge of which ones you think constitute a supper club. Here are the restaurants that made Calumet County’s map:

• Darboy Club, N9695 County N, Darboy

• Little Chicago, N9650 Friendship Drive, Kaukauna

• High Cliff Restaurant, W5095 Golf Course Road, Sherwood

• Shenanigans, N385 Military Road, Sherwood

• The Granary, N586 Military Road, Sherwood

• Fishtale Inn, W5636 County EE, Hilbert

• Gobbler’s Knob, 101 N. Military Road, Stockbridge

• Schwartz’s Supper Club, W1688 Sheboygan Road, New Holstein

• Altona Supper Club, 2306 Calumet Drive, New Holstein

• Roepke’s Village Inn, W2686 Saint Charles Road, Chilton

• Stagecoach Bar & Grill, 310 E. Main St., Chilton

• Neighborhood Pub & Grill, N5091 County BB, Chilton

• Schmitz Brothers 2, 58 S. Eighth St., Hilbert

• Village Hearthstone, 326 W. Main St., Hilbert

• Cobblestone Creek, 740 W. Ryan St., Brillion

• Red Ox Seafood & Steakhouse, 2118 S. Oneida St., Appleton

• B.J. Clancy’s, 3341 S. Oneida St., Appleton

• Stone Toad, 1109 Oneida St., Menasha

And those just outside the county’s lines:

• Pullmans, 619 S. Olde Oneida St., Appleton.

• Houdini’s Escape Gastropub, 1216 S. Oneida St., Appleton.

• George’s Steakhouse, 2208 S. Memorial Drive, Appleton

• Michiels Bar & Grill, 1100 Appleton Road, Menasha

• Marty’s Place, 210 N. Main St., Kimberly

• Lox Club, 591 State St. Combined Locks

• Cedar Lodge, N10872 U.S. 151, Malone

• Capone’s, N10302 U.S. 151, Malone

• Jim & Linda’s Lakeview Supper Club, W3496 County W, Malone

• Blanck’s Supper Club, W2655 County Q, Malone

• Koehrig’s Grand Central House, 602 Fremont St., Kiel

• Van Abels of Hollandtown, 8108 County D, Kaukauna

• Woodfire Lodge, 2687 Man Cal Road, Brillion

• Al Corso, 20931 Main St., Reedsville

There are plenty of supper clubs to be explored throughout the Fox Valley.

To that end, we make this request: Share with us your favorite supper club in the Fox Valley? Where would you send a friend who is in search of the supper club experience? In a couple of sentences, tell us why you recommend it. We’ll share those recommendations at a later date. Send to Include your name and what town you’re from.

Your table is ready. Enjoy the journey.

Click here to read the article. »