Old Fashioned: the Wisconsin Supper Club

M went to school in Wisconsin and while there became fascinated by the concept of the classic supper club – a true marker of quirky Wisconsin culture.  Supper clubs are usually old-school establishments serving Prime Rib and traditional American fare, with bars and entertainment, making for a complete night out. Supper clubs were popular throughout the US in the mid-20th Century, and though they faded in popularity in most of the country, they remained strong in Wisconsin (where they always serve the state drink, the Brandy Old Fashioned, of course). The documentaries “Old Fashioned” and “Supper Club” document Wisconsin supper clubs and their loyal fanbases. Though many of these Wisconsin Clubs seem preserved in the past they are still surviving – and in some cases thriving – today. One of our favorite parts about supper clubs are their usually-fabulous mid-century signs, like this one from the Hob Nob in Racine. Everyone in Wisconsin has a favorite supper club, and if you need some help starting out, WisconsinSupperClubs.net provides a thorough database of supper clubs in the state.  A wave of food nostalgia has also brought new spins on the supper clubs to the fore, like one of our favorites, the Old Fashioned in Madison, and there is now even a faux-retro Wisconsin supper club in Chicago! supperclub_hobnob1

Photo By Jerry Luterman

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