SEYMOUR, WI (WFRV) – Even on a Monday night, the parking lot at Krabbe’s Kountry Klub in Seymour is packed.
If you rushed to get there, the welcome signs say it all; time to slow down.
Owner Steve Krabbe is behind the bar where they offer all forms of Old Fashioned.
His wife Cheri keeps things cooking in the kitchen.
It’s a match made in supper club heaven.
“It was meant to be I think,” says Steve. “She worked at a restaurant I was a bartender. You got the two major keys right there!”
Steve proposed at table 11 when it was Frank’s supper club.
They would take over in 1980 and raise their kids and grandkids here.
“Every one of our children has worked here because I told them they had to work somewhere,” Steve recalled with a chuckle. “They’ve all gone to other businesses. They’ve done very well.”
So, now they’re selling. And outside the family.
Cheri is coming out of breast cancer treatment and Steve longs to venture out more together as part of his travel business.
“It changes how you look at life,” Steve reflected. “That you’re not going to be here forever. It seems like just a blink of an eye we’ve got all these years in. But it’s time to do things when you want.”
For weeks customers and former co-workers and employees have come back to say thank you in person.
“Steve and Cheri are the best bosses ever,”‘ former server Lynn Samuelson tells Local 5 News. “We’ve always been friends. I love them. I love the two of them.”
Of all the challenges the Krabbes have faced over the years, the hardest part was during the Covid-19 pandemic when Steve looked out on his dining room and saw none of his regular customers.
“I was a firefighter for 30 years,” Steve shared. “When you go into a place after a fire it’s eery. That was the feeling here. Time stood still for 11 weeks. I was so happy to get back open and see the same faces again.”
It’s with their customers in mind, that the Krabbes chose their successors who turned out to be their neighbors.
“Steve and Cheri have built Krabbe’s Kountry Klub to where it’s a household name,” new owner Jeanine Rasmussen tells Local 5 News. “We’re honored and humbled to take it over.”
Jeanine brings 17 years of bartending experience to the table.
Cheri’s offered to help in a pinch and shared her recipes to keep the tradition.
And yes, the name is staying.
“When something works as well as it has for Steve and Cheri for 37 years, ya know, they have the special sauce, we decided we promised them we wouldn’t change it we’d keep it the same,” explained new owner Erik Rasmussen.
Steve Krabbe thinks they’ll do very well.
A passing of the torch.
Wisconsin Supper Club style.
Customers are friends.
Co-workers are family.
And it’s all in a savory mix that tastes like home.