Supper Clubs

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
5,720
Location
Wisconsin
I gotta be dumb here, but what's the concept of a supper club? Does everyone just have whatever they are serving that night?
Please explain. Sounds maybe cool, but we've never had those here.

A wisconsin supper club is basically just a restaurant, that is usually only open in the evening. It's a specific style of place, with a certain kind of menu, and booze.
 

bobio

Tele-Afflicted
Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Posts
1,919
Age
58
Location
Here
All I saw when I saw the subject of this thread was "Super Cub" :lol:

cub-backcountry.jpg
 

buster poser

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 1, 2018
Posts
6,262
Location
Tewa Land NM
I've eaten there with my wife and a bunch of friends after superbike races. There was a wait for a table, but we spent it across the street in a garage full of classic bikes chatting up their owners. Great place.
We head the other way after races or a day on the lake (my friends live in Sheboygan) or just eat there in Elkhart. What a great area of the country. Perfect little lake, best road course in North America, good eats and great cars everywhere.
 

Killing Floor

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Posts
8,409
Location
Austin, TX
Does that term mean anything to you?

Have you enjoyed them?

Are there any left anywhere near your home?

Being that I’m a farm town boy from Wisconsin, we still have a bunch left. Good stuff, I think. Vinyl booths and breadsticks and veggie trays set out with a dipping sauce before the meal comes out. Old school. Wisconsin is kind of like a old-school Southhaven. I saw a TV commercial just now for a really old-school steakhouse and I thought “supper club“ and I wondered if fthey exist elsewhere.

Do tell.
I never knew what that is because I grew up in the south. I took my kid to a college visit in southern Wisconsin and the coaches met us at a supper club. How did I miss this?!?
 

MickM

Poster Extraordinaire
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Posts
6,372
Age
65
Location
A steel guitar engagment.
Pre parenthood, we would go out with 5 or 6 couples about 10 times per year. We would have a restaurant make about six courses for $100/head. We'd bring a bottle per person from our cellars. The typical wine would be $800 on a restaurant menu. It was a screaming bargain.
Totally unknown and foreign concept in my small universe. Sounds like good healthy fun though.
 

PCollen

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 7, 2010
Posts
4,182
Location
Space Coast, FL
Does that term mean anything to you?

Have you enjoyed them?

Are there any left anywhere near your home?

Being that I’m a farm town boy from Wisconsin, we still have a bunch left. Good stuff, I think. Vinyl booths and breadsticks and veggie trays set out with a dipping sauce before the meal comes out. Old school. Wisconsin is kind of like a old-school Southhaven. I saw a TV commercial just now for a really old-school steakhouse and I thought “supper club“ and I wondered if fthey exist elsewhere.

Do tell.
To me, any "Club" requires annual membership...Golf, Country, or otherwise. I lived my HS years in Omaha Nebraska, and there was a Korean Supper Club called the A-Ri-Rang that no one I knew belonged to or patronized (https://northomahahistory.com/2018/05/29/a-history-of-the-ponca-hills-in-north-omaha/a-ri-rang-club/). There was the Birchwood Club in North Omaha that had the only non-public swimming pool in that area that my family could not afford to join and so we had to swim over in the Miller Park pool during the summer ( it's mentioned in this: https://northomahahistory.com/2015/...-ship-birchwood-club-and-prettiest-mile-club/). But the best and most popular restaurants were not "clubs" and were owned by the Italian families, particularly the Caniglia family.
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
5,720
Location
Wisconsin
Ha! I've been there, good stuff. Do you know Tracy and their Mr Fix-it, George. I rented from Tracy in downtown Madison, and George was the HVAC guy. I found out about Smoky's via them.

I was sad to read that they closed.

No, I don't think so. I know one of the owners, who's part of the same group of motorcycle enthusiasts, and we met and ate at smoky's a lot. On their last night, we had the back room reserved and we all lived it up one last time.
 

imwjl

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Posts
11,998
Location
My mom's basement.
Smoky's in Madison.
RIP Smokey's but my grandmother and mother had connections to the owners and a famous waitress going back to the 1930-40s. As busy as that place would get my grandmother's two pals were the only two who would ever get seating priority. It was kind of hilarious in their laters years where I'd drive the 3 with canes and walkers. They got seating priority over the governor and Badger bigwigs.

I will ask my mother about them. She's one of the last standing of her West High class and really sharp though getting frail. It will probably refresh other local history tidbits or have interesting tangents.

Unlike many, their food was truly good and at least two generations of that family had the touch or way that that make an eat/drink establishment popular and long lasting.
 

imwjl

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Posts
11,998
Location
My mom's basement.
Come to Minneapolis / St. Paul. Wisconsin-style supper clubs are the latest trend:

https://www.creeksidemn.com/

https://www.apostlesupperclub.com/
They never really died, many disappeared but yes, some new places are taking that model.

I love the places that are mostly unchanged for a few generations. The Ambassador in Houghton, MI is super cool because they've kept the original decor, paintings, booths etc... in good shape for probably 70 years though many think of it for pizza and sandwiches now.
 

Dave Hicks

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Posts
3,097
Location
Hoosierlandia
This is the only one I know of in our area (northeastern Hoosierlandia), but I've never been there.

1650037919471.png


Looks like the menu features Big Pieces of Real Meat.

1650038056671.png
 
Last edited:

kookaburra

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 11, 2012
Posts
2,234
Location
Phoenix, AZ, States
No, I don't think so. I know one of the owners, who's part of the same group of motorcycle enthusiasts, and we met and ate at smoky's a lot. On their last night, we had the back room reserved and we all lived it up one last time.
Tracy had married into the family, but who, I don't know. Mr Fix-it had done work for them for decades. I'd chat with him if he was over doing work at the place I lived, and of course, he was a Smoky's fan.

RIP Smokey's but my grandmother and mother had connections to the owners and a famous waitress going back to the 1930-40s. As busy as that place would get my grandmother's two pals were the only two who would ever get seating priority. It was kind of hilarious in their laters years where I'd drive the 3 with canes and walkers. They got seating priority over the governor and Badger bigwigs.

I will ask my mother about them. She's one of the last standing of her West High class and really sharp though getting frail. It will probably refresh other local history tidbits or have interesting tangents.

Unlike many, their food was truly good and at least two generations of that family had the touch or way that that make an eat/drink establishment popular and long lasting.
I'm interested in what your mom may have to say.

Cool to run into other Smoky's people here!
 

imwjl

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Posts
11,998
Location
My mom's basement.
The first rule of supper club is we don’t talk about supper club. :mad:
But it's my least favorite beer among those brewed over the hill from where I live.

To be fair, it's a more flavorful alternative to mass market piss water. It's more funny after the brewery president disclosed it's their top seller in Chicago area and twin cities buys the better brews they make.
Supper-Club-Bottle-e1572028422613.png
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
18,175
Age
70
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
Reading through the thread it's apparent that I don't know what a supper club is.
I gotta be dumb here, but what's the concept of a supper club? Does everyone just have whatever they are serving that night?
Please explain. Sounds maybe cool, but we've never had those here.
My idea of a supper club may not be exactly right, but I always had the idea that it was a restaurant with live entertainment, either while people ate or more of a "show" after dinner. We had several here in Fort Worth....all long gone AFAIK. The Italian Inn Ridglea had singing waiters and waitresses, mostly college music majors, who sang opera, show tunes, and light "standards". There used to be a place downtown called Charlie's Place, that featured a great music review/show after dinner. I had several friends who performed there.....one of whom was Jay Johnson, who went on to play the ventriloquist on TV's Soap. Great fun, but too high-falutin for today's super-casual crowd. (they'd just want to text throughout the show)
Anyway.....that's MY take.
 

CharlieO

Friend of Leo's
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Posts
3,181
Location
Sarasota, FL
There are dozens of excellent supper clubs all around the state of Wisconsin. All of them have many of the same elements, including a classic American menu that usually includes various steaks, prime rib, chicken, local fish and various seafood choices, and a Friday night fish fry. They will usually offer the classic baked potato with various toppings, and maybe other potato options. A relish tray is customary, served before you place your order. In addition to the dining experience, a good supper club includes a cozy bar or cocktail lounge which serves as a community gathering place, and which of course in Wisconsin must be able to prepare a perfect brandy old fashioned. The best will also make fancy after dinner drinks such as a grasshopper or brandy Alexander. Many supper clubs still maintain their original 1950s - '60s decor.

There is some variation in the level of “class” in Wisconsin supper clubs, but in general they present a higher class dining experience even in the smallest rural communities. There are a few remaining supper clubs where I grew up in Racine WI, and The Hobnob would probably be considered the ultimate. All of the classic supper club elements are here. Be sure to check out the menu and the photos, and you’ll have a good idea of what a real supper club is all about.

The Hobnob

Saturday Night Dinner Menu

Desserts and After Dinner Drinks

The Hob Nob 2.png


The Hob Nob.jpg


The Hob nob 4.jpg


The hob nob 5.jpg
 
Last edited:




Top