TOWN OF SCOTT, WI (WFRV) – Almost immediately after Local 5 News aired a story about a social media group called “Wisconsin Supper Club Enthusiasts” viewers said they were hungry for more.
So, we decided to sink our teeth into the legends of Club Chalet in the Town of Scott.
The supper club has stood atop a hill that is now Nicolet Drive, what used to be the old State Highway 57, for nearly 80 years.
It’s changed hands only a handful of times. The current owner, Sean Christman, and his Head Chef Cory Schall are bringing new sizzle to the longstanding supper club by adding an open-flame grill.
“We wanted to do something different,” Christman explains, “We wanted flame-broiled and for our steaks to go out amazing. So, it was a little nerve-wracking changing to see how the locals would respond, but it’s been overwhelming.”
Club Chalet is a museum of sorts with all sorts of collectibles from its early days in the 1920s.
Only photos remain of the original bar after a boiler explosion.
They even saved the menu from its grand reopening back in 1962.
“You can see the Lobster Platter was $1.75,” noted front house manager Jennifer Rowell. “At one point we were serving some 240 pounds of lobster a week.”
The open-flame salmon is giving its legendary lobster a run for its money lately.
And the chalet’s unique take on the twice-baked potato and hot bacon dressing at the salad bar gets the oohs and ahhs during “Buck off Wednesday” when all appetizers and drinks are a dollar off.
That includes their after-dinner drinks, which keep the self-operating blenders churning at all times at both ends of the bar.
Most supper clubs have ice cream drinks like the Grasshopper and Brandy Alexander but only club chalet has more than 40 ice cream drinks. Possibly the most of any in the state of Wisconsin.
“We wanted something to stand out and be a little different and we’ve actually succeeded,” added Rowell.
So how is it that a guy from Milwaukee who worked for US Cellular for the better of a decade winds up owning a well-known supper club?
Turns out Sean Christman’s first love has always been food. At 16, he owned his first place, a tiny carhop. Then school and life happened. When the chalet went up for sale in 2019 he jumped.
“I walked in and I was wow,” recalled Christman. “I’m in love. I walked in and saw the giant fireplace, which is what sold me. I was like wow.”
Look closely at certain tables, you’ll see these bell ringers. It’s believed that’s how customers announced their arrival when this place was a brothel.
Christman told us what he’s been able to find out.
“So from my understanding things happened on the balcony which used to be our bar area.”
Christman has been catching his breath lately after a challenging start.
Just months into making the chalet his own there was the covid pandemic shut down. He had a true sense of doubt when their curb-side program didn’t pick up right away.
Christman tears up a little bit when he remembers what that felt like. “At one point I called the bank and said ‘when do you want your keys back?’ I honestly thought we were going to lose everything we had.”
But locals responded and kept coming until the day when the chalet could open its doors once again.
“It was amazing. They would come up and say we’re coming, Sean. We’re gonna get you through this.”
They’re still trying to get up to their original staff numbers. For that reason, they ask for patience if you wait to sit down for supper is little longer than usual.
But there’s always space at the bar that offers one heck of a sunset over the Bay of Green Bay.
And then there are the stories one hears. Like the one about the ghost of the chalet. Customers and staff alike have seen a mysterious figure they believe to be a woman.
“Almost every day a person comes down the stairs to the dishwashing room,” says Christman. “It’s just a shadow.”
Legends abound in this historic place, where the tradition of the Wisconsin supper club is served up with the kind of hospitality that stands the test of time.
“You get to know your customers and that’s really nice getting to know them a little bit,” says Rowell.
Perhaps one customer said it best as they hugged fellow customers goodbye and walked out with a to-go box.
“The best part of Green Bay supper clubs is you make new friends and keep coming back every week!”