HORTONVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) – If the motor’s humming and the guitar’s strumming, then it must be Wheel Wednesdays at MJ’s Supper Club.
Nestled on a picturesque spot along highway MM in Hortonville, this supper club serves up a mountain of your favorites but also started a liver and onions special at the request of the uncle of head chef Isaac Solbert.
And it’s been catching on.
“I don’t like serving it or making it,” admits Solbert, “But the customers like it. So, I pretty much make them what they want.”
Chef Isaac and his crew have a lot more fun with their other unique offering called loaded potato cakes.
“We mix all the ingredients, and I can’t give you the recipe,” said Solbert. “And then I ball them up. Do an egg wash and breading. Pan them out in the freezer for a day.”
It’s when you fry them the next day that the magic really happens.
“They’re amazing,” Head Server Keyarra Schilpp told Local 5 News. “It’s nice and crunchy on the outside. Then they melt in your mouth when you eat them because the mashed potatoes are so warm.”
It’s a very popular dish. Chef Isaac says he served up more than 7,000 last year.
When you make a pit stop there, be sure to check out all the old photographs they have on the wall just by the indoor bar. It harkens back to when the pond out back was the community watering hole. They even have a locker on display from when kids used to come here to learn how to swim.
“It was owned by some of my relations years ago,” recalled customer Bob Schmidt. “We used to come out here quite often with the gang and swim. It was quite deep as a matter of fact. I used to dive off the deep end. It was very, very nice.”
Head bartender Jodi Shostak says she loves to hear old stories from customers.
“Some of them talk about how it’s where they had their first kiss,” chuckled Shostak. “It’s really cute.”
There have been some rough waters. Back in November, a fire destroyed their popular backyard bar where countless keepsakes were lost.
But that’s when MJ’s kicked into gear. They put up a tent and transformed a shed into a bar to keep it rolling until they can rebuild.
“We’re gonna make this go until hopefully in October by our Halloween Party we’ll have a new bar,” said Shostak.
There are so many spots to settle in. From the front porch to the bar to the main dining room.
There’s a real sense of home here and a sense that people matter.
“We mainly come out here because of the people,” said Schmidt. “They’re wonderful people that own this place and wonderful people who come out here.”
And it’s the kind of job that’s offered a great opportunity for UW Oshkosh Student Keyarra Schilpp. The evening hours allowed her to attend class in the mornings. And since supper starts around 4 pm and ends at 9 pm she’s home early enough to study.
“So I paid for the first year of school from my savings account waitressing here,” said Schilpp with a smile.
But it’s not the lure of money alone that keeps the hardworking servers hammering away.
“The employees are great to work with,” added Chef Isaac. “I love it so much I’ve never called in sick yet. I took off two days when my mom passed away. But other than that, I’m always here.”
Go ahead call them old-fashioned.
Because at MJ’s, a cocktail and conversation always come before supper.
You come in as a customer and leave here as family.