"Supper Club Capital of the Midwest" Calumet County registers for federal service mark

January 20, 2014

Alex Ronallo

WLUK Fox 11

ST. ANNA - Since 1957, Schwarz's Supper Club in St. Anna has been serving up steaks and old fashioneds to diners from across the area.

Stephanie Schwarz told FOX 11 supper clubs offer an experience different from other restaurants.

"Rather than just an in-and-out kind of thing, a lot of people make it their special night. You become friends with who you're sitting next to and a lot of people come back week after week and meet that same friend there," Schwarz explained.

And including Schwarz's, there are about 30 supper clubs offering different experiences across Calumet County.

"We thought we'd capitalize on that and actually get it registered that we're the supper club capital of the Midwest," explained Julie Schmelzer, director of resource management for Calumet County.

Traditional supper clubs are concentrated in Wisconsin and surrounding states and Schmelzer wanted to use her county's clubs to promote tourism.

So, last February she applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark office to receive a service mark noting Calumet County as the "Supper Club Capital of the Midwest." Approval came in October and now the county has printed maps showing each of its supper clubs.

"We don't have the water parks, we're not busy like Door County. So oftentimes people don't think of Calumet County as a tourism destination," Schmelzer said.

Schmelzer told us she hopes this new title and attention will help bring more people in.

"It's good for economic development, tourism. It's a good way to get people into the county to see what we have here. So even if they're here for the supper club or not, they're actually getting to see the beauty of the county," Schmelzer explained.

Schwarz told us she hopes so too.

"I don't know other places that would have that kind of following of restaurants. So we were very excited to be included in that special honor," said Schwarz.

It costs about $300 to apply for a federal trademark or, in this case, a service mark. The county also paid about $2,000 to print the supper club maps.

Click here to watch the story. »