“What is a supper club?” Visitors to Wisconsin often ask that question, a notoriously difficult one to answer. While a definition of a supper club is hard to come by, you know a supper club when you see it. Or, to put it better, you know a supper club when you experience it. Door County supper clubs, some of the most popular places to eat in Door County, can help you gain that unique Wisconsin experience.
Here is what we’ll cover in this post:
What Is a Supper Club?
Once again, supper clubs defy easy definition. One way simple way to identify a supper club is that it is a place you go as a destination rather than a place to eat on the way to somewhere else. Because of this, completely absent is the expectation of many restaurants that you eat your meal and be on your way. You can linger at a supper club, and that’s part of the whole experience.
Supper clubs are intimately connected with the community. They are usually locally owned and owner-operated. Half the staff is probably related to the owners, and you probably know half of the staff. The staff at supper clubs tend to work there for years, even decades because it is a place where they connect with friends and family just as much as the customers. And, connecting with friends and family is a huge part of the supper club experience.
The bar at supper clubs is as important as the restaurant. While at many restaurants, people sit at the bar while waiting for tables, sitting at the bar is part of the supper club experience. Most patrons show up early and spend some time at the bar drinking Old Fashioneds before taking a table.
The fare at supper clubs tends to be simple, meat-and-potatoes type food. Expect steaks, roasted chicken, baked or fried fish, and baked potatoes. Many supper clubs have either a salad bar or offer relish trays before dinner. Friday night fish fries are mandatory. Topping everything off with a delicious ice cream cocktail is an indulgent delight that is customary at a Supper Club.
10 Best Door County Supper Clubs
If you’re looking for a Supper Club in Door County, this is your go-to source for the ten best.
Sturgeon Bay Supper Clubs
The Nightingale Supper Club
Is it the NightIngale Supper Club or the NightEngale Supper Club? Nobody really knows how it’s spelled, because it has signs for both spellings. This is just one of the many endearing things about this classic Door County supper club.
The Nightingale is where Door County locals go to celebrate a birthday or an anniversary. To a Door County local, the Nightingale is the fancy place to eat. And, its decor does have a certain retro upscale feel to it. However, the dress is comfortable. The ladies pair a sweater with jeans, and the men don their nicest hoodies. Yes, there’s such a thing as a “nice hoodie” for locals in North East Wisconsin.
Nightingale perfectly encapsulates a true supper club’s tight connection to the community. Several walls in the bar area have pictures filled with pictures of area servicemen and vets, along with newspaper clippings about them and their service. The are in the dining room reflects the area’s maritime industry. Much of the staff have worked there for years.
Par for the course, the Nightingale offers classic Friday night fish fry options
Despite being full of locals, there’s still a place for you at the Nightingale. Get a reservation, show up early to sit at the bar, top off your dinner with an ice cream drink, and you’ll be an honorary citizen of Sturgeon Bay.
Address: 1541 Egg Harbor Rd, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
Donny’s Glidden Lodge
With a dramatic setting right on the shores of Lake Michigan, Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience. The building and grounds of this classic Door County supper club are timeless and classy. It seems that not much has changed over the decades at this supper club, and that’s a good thing. Just like Lake Michigan itself, it seems that Donny’s Glidden Lodge has always been there, and that it will be the same the next time you come, whether that’s in a month or in a decade.
People tend to dress a little nicer at Donny’s Glidden Lodge, and given its location next to the Glidden Lodge Beach Resort, it caters to many out-of-towners.
Hello Door County named Donny’s Glidden Lodge the best Door County restaurant to celebrate an anniversary in our post The Best Door County Restaurants for Every Occasion.
Phone: (920) 746 9460
Address: 4670 Glidden Drive, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
The Mill Supper Club
Right on the way to the Northern Peninsula, The Mill is a Door County institution. Steeped in the traditions of Northeast Wisconsin, their menu has a German specialties section, and this is a favorite spot for Friday night fish fries.
Customers appreciate the cool old barback and the bright, clean atmosphere in the dining area.
The Mill Supper Club is Hello Door County’s pick for best Friday night fish fry in Door County.
Address: 4128 State Highway 42, WI-57, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
Sister Bay Supper Clubs
Sister Bay Bowl
Billing itself “Your Go-To Bowling Hub and Supper Club,” Sister Bay Bowl is a third-generation family institution in Northern Door County. You can spend an entire afternoon and evening at Sister Bay Bowl. Bowl a few rounds in the late afternoon, have dinner in the supper club, and stay into the evening for their frequent live music concerts. The Sister Bay Bowl epitomizes the supper club quality of being a destination rather than a stop along the way in one’s evening.
Address: 10640 N Bay Shore Dr, Sister Bay, WI 54234
Fish Creek Supper Clubs
The English Inn
The roots of the English Inn go back over a century, when the original building on the site, a lumber mill, was constructed. Over the years, owners have added on to the original building, but that classic edifice still stands as part of a classic Door County supper club.
Inside you will find dark wood, suits of armor, crests, shields, and swords. Outside is a lovely garden patio with miniature fire rings at every table and babbling water features. Throughout the English Inn, customers are greeted by friendly staff and top-notch food.
This is a fun place to spend the evening.
Address: 3713 WI-42, Fish Creek, WI 54212
Greenwood Supper Club
The Greenwood Supper Club in Fish Creek is a wood-paneled classic. In 2022, Greenwood Supper Club was only open for drinks. It appears that they were not able to get enough staff to run the dining room and kitchen. Check back to get updates. As soon as we have any updates on the status of this supper club, we will post updated information here.
Alexander’s of Door County
A contemporary take on the supper club experience, Alexander’s of Door County is one of the most highly rated restaurants on the Peninsula. The decor is more clean and modern than most supper clubs, and the menu quite a bit more adventurous. However, the central element of a supper club endures at Alexander’s. This is a place to linger.
Address: 3667 WI-42, Fish Creek, WI 54212
Baileys Harbor Supper Clubs
Florian II Supper Club
The Florian II Supper Club exudes the essence of a Wisconsin supper club, with buildings from the 70s, neon signs, and a family-run operation. Now in the 4th generation of family operation, the Florian II has one of the most amazing Lake Michigan views from their dining room, and live music is at the center of the experience that they offer.
Even if you’re staying on the Bay Side of Door Couty, make your way over to Door County’s quiet side for this unforgettable experience. The Florian II does not take reservations, however, so be ready to wait at the bar for a table. This is all part of the supper club experience.
Address: 8048 WI-57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202
Egg Harbor Supper Clubs
The Log Den
Many restaurants have begun sourcing local ingredients for their food. How many source local materials for their buildings? That’s the Log Den’s claim to fame.
The idea of the Log Den began in the 80s when owner Wayne Lautenbach felled some lumber in the Ellison Bay area for their log home building business. The pieces were far too big to go into a home but would be perfectly suitable for a commercial building. Over decades of collecting such lumber, they were finally able to construct this unique edifice with a northwoods feel.
When eating at the Log Den, not only the food, but also the building has been hand crafted. This is a supper club with soul.
Address: 6626 WI-42, Egg Harbor, WI 54209
Jacksonport Supper Clubs
Mr. G’s Logan Creek Grille Update 05/01/2023 – Permanently Closed
Unfortunately, after decades of faithful service to Door County, Mr. G’s has closed its doors. This seems to be caused in part by arson to the property in the Fall of 2022. This is an unfortunate loss to the Door County community, and it’s always sad to see a long-standing institution go by the wayside.
Make sure to patronize some of the other supper clubs in Door County in order to keep these classics afloat.
A Door County institution for fifty years in the Jacksonport area, Mr. G’s Logan Creek Grille is legendary for its fun and friendly staff. Out in the country on Door County’s “quiet side,” Mr. G’s is one of Door County’s hidden gems.
Frequently Asked Questions
A supper club in Door County, Wisconsin is a locally-owned destination restaurant that typically serves classic American cuisine, including steak, seafood, and cocktails. They are often characterized by a cozy, nostalgic atmosphere and a focus on traditional hospitality.
There are several popular supper clubs in Door County, Wisconsin, including The English Inn, The Nightingale, and Donny’s Glidden Lodge. Every supper club in Door County has its own unique menu and atmosphere, but all offer delicious food and a charming dining experience.
Supper clubs in Door County, Wisconsin typically have a casual or business-casual dress code. While there is no official dress code, it is recommended to avoid overly casual clothing such as shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops. Dressing up a bit can enhance the experience and make it feel more special.