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We're Open: Clifford's Supper Club surviving the pandemic with a Wisconsin staple

Posted at 5:41 AM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 08:38:27-04

HALES CORNERS — Clifford's Supper Club has been around since 1959. It's a special place in Hales Corners that gave owner Steve Cannistra one of his first jobs and the love of his life, Elaine.

"In 1969, I started here in the kitchen and she was a waitress. Through the years we were together, got married, came back, and bought the restaurant. So now we are all here again," Cannistra said.

Taking over Clifford's in the '80s, their secret to success has been a Wisconsin staple.

"Clifford's is known for its fish fry... People have been coming many many years for that," Cannistra said.

The recipe for the breading is so unique, not even Cannistra's daughters know it.

"Our special breading goes a long way with a secret recipe that I still don't know it to this day," said Lori Cannistra, daughter of Steve and Elaine.

What Lori can tell you is how her family runs Clifford's day in and day out.

"It's great food, great experience, we have great prices. We really go the extra mile to make you feel welcomed, and again enjoy your time here," says Lori.

That doesn't mean things have been easy. As Steve points out, one Tuesday you could have 50 customers, and the next day only five.

"Well, it's taken all my years of experience to be able to put together trying to matching inconsistency with the flow of business. We're trying not to have waste and have the right product on hand," Steve Cannistra said.

While Clifford's has had to work hard to stay open, making changes from the original family sharing platters to more personal portions for safety, the Cannistra's are here to stay.

"We are just not going to give up. This is what we do," Steve said.

"We hope to continue our legacy and we need your support to be able to do that, as well," Lori said.

Open seven days a week, Clifford's is ready to serve you.

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