FALL RIVER, Wis. – With the promise of old-fashioned, fish and french fries, nightclubs are a staple in Wisconsin. For an iconic supper club in Fall River, the tradition is at an end.
It's a little off the beaten track on a side road off Highway 16, but the regulars who have been at the Casino Supper Club for decades say it's worth the trip.
"It's definitely worth the drive," said Rhonda Langetieg, who has been going to the Casino for 30 years.
"Oh, that's friendly," said longtime Dave Jones. He goes to the restaurant every Sunday.
Going inside, it's almost like going back in time.
"It's been here since the early 1940s," said owner Scott Schultz. His mother bought the restaurant in 1984, and he took over in 2004.
Schultz said the place started when a dance hall was turned into a restaurant, and eventually landed on its current name in the mid-50s.
"No one can tell me why, not even old-fashioned ones," he said. "People will book hotel rooms and want to know how many blackjack tables we have."
There is no gambling at this casino, but you will find all the ingredients of a good, old-fashioned nightclub.
"Oh, that's your typical Wisconsin Supper Club," Langetieg said. "You know, the good drinks, the country's atmosphere, even – the places you find out in the wilderness, if you will."
"Oh, that's great," Jones said. "It's good people, good customers, good food. It's a good time."
Over the years, memories have piled up like drinking glasses.
"The dinner club is almost like going to a neighbor's house," Schultz said. "My children both grew up and worked here. All my grandchildren have worked here."
"My 50th birthday was here, it was a good night," Jones said.
"It's like the old Cheers," Langetieg said.
When everyone knows your name, it makes it even more difficult to say goodbye. Although the business is good, Schultz was ready for a change and decided to sell the restaurant earlier this year.
"It's going to be missed by a lot of people," Jones said.
"It's sad," Langetieg said. "It's sad to go, but I'm glad Scott is definitely moving on to the next adventure of his life."
With other nightclubs in the area closing, including Capri Steak House in Columbus, it may seem like the supper club is becoming a saga just now.
"It's a dying thing," Jones said.
"There are a lot of them closing around," Schultz said. "I think it's just today's world. We get into fast food more, like getting in and out, and we don't have to sit down and talk."
goodbye and thanks flow in, in the form of notes and a large signed card in front of the restaurant.
"Thanks for all your hugs," Schultz read from the card. "From Evelyn. Every time she comes in, I have to give her a hug. She won't leave until I give her a hug."
It is the small traditions that make a lasting impact.
"It's just amazing how many we've touched over the years," Schultz said.
Since its announcement on Saturday, Casino has doubled or tripled its daily operations, Schultz said. He hopes anyone who buys the building can continue the supper club tradition.
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