HOBART (NBC 26) — Supper clubs are a staple of Wisconsin history - and now two Green Bay residents are working to keep the tradition alive. When Green Bay's historic Wally's Spot Supper Club closed back in July, two former employees decided to carry on its legacy, taking what they learned and opening their own supper club.
- Wally's Spot owner and longtime customers look back at the closing Green Bay supper club's legacy
- Wally's Spot Supper Club sign may be moving to the Neville Public Museum
Marcus Krause, a former line cook at Wally's Spot, and Thomas Jackson, the former head chef who worked at the supper club for over 20 years, say it's always been their dream to get into the restaurant business. The two recently opened Long Drive Supper Club at the Brown County Golf Course in Hobart.
“I knew that if I wanted to learn the restaurant industry there would be no better place to go than some place that had been open for 70 years," Krause said. "Getting to work with Tom Adamany and see how he ran Wally’s Spot was such a great, valuable experience.”
Jackson, who is originally from New Orleans, says he's adding a southern flare to traditional supper club food with dishes like catfish, gumbo, and jambalaya. When he first moved to Wisconsin 21 years ago, he says he didn't know what a supper club was. But after working at Wally's Spot, he came to appreciate the community atmosphere.
"To start and own a restaurant was part of my dream and with supper clubs dying off and I know the experience people have here within a supper club, it was the obvious choice for me,” Jackson said.
Jackson and Krause say they wanted to preserve the tradition of supper clubs, especially at a time where many supper clubs like Wally's Spot have begun closing their doors.
“As their owners start to get older, they don’t seem to have people taking them over and they [supper clubs] just seem to be dying,” Krause said.
“You have more fast food popping up than you actually have a mom and pop sit-down, because that’s what supper clubs were, individual owners, mom and pops,” Jackson said. "Each supper club had a different theme, and different vibe, and also different food."
They saw firsthand how the sense of community at supper clubs like Wally's Spot is what made them such a beloved tradition - something they say they were determined to carry over to Long Drive Supper Club.
“The way that the employees interact with the customers and each other, it all just breathes through when you have a happy and loving community inside the restaurant," Krause said. "Getting to learn that straight from a place like Wally’s Spot was a very invaluable experience.”