Wisconsin Supper Club Enthusiasts group rallies around owners of Wendt’s on the Lake

Wisconsin Supper Club Enthusiasts group rallies around owners of Wendt’s on the Lake

LAKE WINNEBAGO, Wis. (WFRV) – The supper club community is rallying around the owner of Wendt’s on the Lake, Ann Wendt-Cross, who was brought to tears by social media posts that said they were on the verge of closing.

Several members of the global Facebook group “Wisconsin Supper Club Enthusiasts” gathered at the supper club along Lake Winnebago on the final weekend of sturgeon spearing season to show their support. Only Local 5 News was invited along for supper.

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“Poor Ann was so emotional,” said Alicia Heesacker from Green Bay, “We saw her on Local 5 News saying we’re not closing, so I was like, let’s go and bring them more business.”

Alicia’s husband, Don, was along for the ride. The couple dressed in 1940s-inspired fashion.

They have gotten into the habit of dressing up now for supper in tribute to the heyday of this beloved tradition of enjoying a leisurely supper with friends at a neighborhood place where the owner is either in the kitchen or behind the bar.

“People used to get all dressed up,” Don said. “When we started coming to supper clubs, I wore a T-shirt and jeans. Then, I was like, I want to be more like people were.”

One of the administrators of the Enthusiasts’ page also felt it was important to make the trip.

Keith Arnold is a Wisconsin native who drove more than four hours from his current home in Minnesota.

He said he wanted to do whatever he could to protect his home state’s way of life.

“That is one of the main focuses of this group,” explained Arnold. “We want to support local business owners because these small businesses in Wisconsin are what brings the whole state together.”

The day ended with a spearer proudly displaying his sturgeon, which he had finally gotten after 15 days of trying. He turned out to be a cousin of the supper club’s owner.

“Finally got one,” declared Brian Wendt to the congratulations of a small group that gathered outside the supper club to hang his prize. “Right moment. Got the spear. Got the fish!”

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A short time later, another cousin arrived to celebrate their wedding with the bride and groom, who were still in their ceremonial finest.

This is no fish tale. It all really happened and it’s a story that might make you say only in Wisconsin.

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