Long Drive Supper Club tees off in Hobart
By Kevin Boneske
HOBART – Two former Wally’s Spot employees have started their own supper club at the Brown County Golf Course.
“We definitely wanted to take on the chance of having our own place after Wally’s closed,” Krause said. “We didn’t want to have another boss. Instead, we wanted to be our own boss. So, we started to look at different locations, but this one was such a perfect fit. It’s not too often that you have a business where they literally drive people up to your door, and you’ve just got to get them inside.”
The pair said they entered into a three-year lease with the county to operate in the building where the Trout Creek Pub & Grill closed last year.
“(The Trout Creed Pub & Grill) had the unfortunate luck of having taken it over right at the beginning of the (COVID-19) pandemic, so the cards were stacked against them,” Krause said. “But before that, it was Safari Steak House, and Safari Steak House was a very successful supper club for a long, long time. Once Trout Creek decided they were going to back out… it was an easy decision to come in and bring it back into the supper club aspect that the locals had loved for many years.”
He said it was clear the area was missing a supper club.
“It was something that we knew that the area needed and would be really able to embrace easily, as long as we give them the food that makes it worth it,” Krause said.
The building seats about 115 people in the restaurant area, along with a 20-capacity bar and a separate dining area that seats about 50 for special luncheons or meetings.
“(The building) came ready to go, so… we didn’t have to do any renovating on it,” Krause said. “It was already a beautiful establishment and ready to go as far as all the major issues with it.”
Krause said the name they chose for the supper club is a play on words to encourage folks to make the drive there.
“That’s also because we’re all east side Green Bayers,” he said. “When we were coming out here, we thought the pun was funny – it being a long drive for us to get here. We figure that’s going to be something that we have to battle from time to time, and get people to want to make the drive out here from our area of town, because people don’t travel from east to west very often, and west to east in Green Bay for whatever reason. We just liked the pun of it.”
Jackson said Long Drive offers “a modern twist to a supper club, and make it more functional.”
“We have the Old Fashioned,” he said. “We have the ice cream drinks. On our salad bar, we keep all the cheese spreads… as the old-school supper clubs.”
Krause said they’re keeping traditional aspects of a supper club in mind, while Jackson’s Louisiana background provides “a little bit of a different feel as far as the actual food product that we have.”
“It’s got a little more seasonings, a little more flavor,” Jackson said.
With no golfing taking place this time of year, Jackson said they are able to operate at a slower pace and bring in more supper club patrons.
Once golfing resumes, Krause said he expects to streamline operations more to get out the food quicker for the golfers coming inside.
In addition, Krause said the turn – the area outside between the first and second nine holes of golfing – will feature grilled burgers, brats and hot dogs.
“That’s going to be where we think most of the golfers are going to gravitate towards the outside food when they’re actually out on the course,” he said. “So, we’re not anticipating as huge of changes on the inside food (during the golf season), but we will have to make sure to streamline it and be more accessible to to-go orders, and stuff like that.”
Krause said he expects staffing to at least double in the summer.
“We will have to deal with the cart service and the turn, and the inside’s going to be a lot busier on a daily basis,” he said. “Our hours are going to expand, where we’re going to be open all day and all night, instead of having truncated hours during the winter.”
Krause said it’s been nice seeing the community welcome the supper club since it opened last month.
“The fish fries have been overwhelming,” he said. “That’s really great to see the community embrace those right away. You can tell that they miss that from Safari Steak House the most.”
The Long Drive Supper Club offers fish fries on Wednesday and Fridays.
During the winter, it’s open for lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with a Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We think that brunch was another thing missing in this area, and so to offer the locals a place to go for a good brunch… from 10-2 on Sundays, we think that’s going to be a big draw,” Krause said.
Special events planned for next month include Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day, with details to be posted on the Long Drive Supper Club’s Facebook page.
Leeya Nolan was brought onboard as the manager.
Nolan said she has known Jackson and Krause for many years and was the manager of Plae Bistro in Bellevue for about eight years.
“They reached out to me earlier this summer and really asked if I would come onboard with them and help out figuring out the front-of-the-house operations and the staffing, the bar and all that kind of stuff,” she said. “I was really excited to help these guys out, because I see the vision and the passion, and I just wanted to jump at that opportunity to get this off the ground, because I think they’re going to do so well.”
Nolan said she expects to begin taking applications for summer help starting in February.
More information about the Long Drive Supper Club is available online at: longdrivesc.com