FALL RIVER, Wis. – With promises from old-fashioned, fish fries and good company, nightclubs are a staple in Wisconsin. For an iconic supper club in Fall River, the tradition will end.
It's a little off the beaten path on a side road off Highway 16, but the regulars who have stayed at the Casino Supper Club for decades say it's worth the trip.
"It's definitely worth driving," said Rhonda Langetieg, who has been to the Casino for 30 years.
"Oh, that's kind," said longtime regular Dave Jones. He goes to the restaurant every Sunday.
When he goes 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 began 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 the older ones," he said. "People want to book hotel rooms and want to know how many blackjack tables we have."
There is no game at this casino, but you will find all the ingredients in a good old-fashioned dinner club.
"Oh, that's your typical Wisconsin Supper Club," Langetieg said. "You know, the big drinks, the country's atmosphere, even – the places you find in the wilderness, if you come."
"Oh, that's great," Jones said. "There are great people, good customers, good food. It's a good time."
Over the years, memories have been piled up like drinking glasses.
"The nightclub is almost like going to your neighbor's house," Schultz said. "My kids 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," said Langetieg
When everyone knows your name it makes it even harder to say goodbye. Although business is good, Schultz was ready for a change and decided to sell the restaurant earlier this year.
"There will be a lot of people," Jones said.
"It's sad," Langetieg said. "It's sad to go, but I'm glad Scott is really 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 itself is becoming a story.
"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 more into fast food, like to come in and out, and we don't have to sit down and talk."
goodbye and thank you 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 people we have moved over the years," Schultz said.
Since the announcement of the closing date on Saturday, Casino has doubled or even tripled its daily operations, Schultz said. He hopes that whoever buys the building can continue the nightclub tradition.
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