Have you ever been to a traditional Wisconsin supper club?
Despite being a Midwestern staple, the first supper club was started in Beverly Hills, California by a Milwaukee native as prohibition was ending. Social diners began to pop up across the country. These dining institutions were destinations for fancy dinners, filling meals + friendly conversations.
Partly due to friendly Midwestern culture (ope, let me just squeeze past ya) + the agrarian nature of much of the Midwest, supper clubs stayed, even rising to infamy in some areas. Ishnala Supper Club near the Dells has over a 2-hour wait on the weekends.
So what makes a “true” supper club?
🏡 Location + atmosphere
- On the outskirts of town, you’ll typically find supper clubs situated on a lake or near a forest. Usually run by families, these mom-and-pop-style establishments make it easy to strike up a conversation with your fellow diners.
🐟 Friday fish fry
- Hearty entrees — from fish fry Fridays to prime rib Saturdays — are part of a classic meal.
🍸 Old Fashioned cocktail
- Hold the bourbon. Every good meal starts with a good cocktail + supper clubs stick to the classics. Order an Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or Brandy Alexander.
🥩 Multiple courses
- Wear your stretchy pants because you’re in for a multi-course meal. Traditional dinners start with tons of appetizers + classic cocktails, followed by meat-focused entrees and dessert carts.
Want to experience this Wisconsin classic? A few more places in town where you can sit + enjoy a generous and comforting meal.
🍽️ Kavanaugh’s Esquire Club | 1025 N. Sherman Ave.
🍽️ Toby’s Supper Club | 3717 S. Dutch Mill Rd.
🍽️ Delaney’s Steak, Seafood + Wine | 449 Grand Canyon Dr.
🍽️ The Harvey House | 644 W. Washington Ave.
🍽️ Tornado Steak House | 116 S. Hamilton St.