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Kegel's Inn sits on same West Allis corner for nearly 100 years

Posted at 6:34 AM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 07:34:02-04

Since 1924, Kegel's Inn has sat on the same corner in West Allis.

“We have customers that have been coming here since the sixties, seventies, eighties," says Stephanie Kegel, the fourth generation in the Kegel family.

Serving German staples for almost a century, Stephanie will never forget the day she was forced to close the restaurant's historic doors.

“It’s one of those days that's seared into your memory because it felt like the clock just stopped. Nobody knew what to do at first, so we stopped and collected ourselves. Then we came up with new ways to keep ourselves afloat," says Stephanie.

Opening a drive-through for Friday fish fries, Stephanie was overwhelmed by the very first customers during this pandemic.

“The first guys, they called at 10:30 and said they were going to be there at 11 o’clock to pick up their fish fries to go. They came and tipped like 20 dollars, they purchased a gift card because they know the proceeds from our gift cards go directly to our employees," says Stephanie.

The customers who followed have not disappointed, showing their generosity.

“I took a phone call from a woman on the phone and she ordered fish fries to go and automatically added 25 percent gratuity. That took me, was so overwhelming because here we were worried if we brought people in we wouldn’t be able to pay them," says Stephanie.

Slowly but surely bringing back a full menu, Kegel's Inn is still facing a few obstacles.

“As of right now there are no pork shanks to be had in the country. So we brought in some lamb shanks. We will cook those and see how those go, but then once those are gone we will just reevaluate what we can get our hands on," says Stephanie.

The dining room will continue to be closed a little longer, but the outside patio is ready to welcome guests back with a dining experience.

“Having the breeze come through and having the sunshine out is really what people are seeking after being in quarantine for so long. So we will be starting to do dinners available outside Wednesday through Saturday, a continuation of Friday's being fish fries will be available in the garden," says Stephanie.

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