union hotel and restaurants

Restaurant of the Week: Union Hotel & Restaurant

Step back in time at Union Hotel & Restaurant in Downtown De Pere, where this quaint restaurant has been serving up traditional supper club food and vibes for more than a century.

Union Hotel & Restaurant’s three-story Cream City brick building with vintage neon light serves as a beacon for those looking for a delicious meal, old school service and an evening steeped in rich history. Built in 1883 with several add-ons and reconfigurations since, Union Hotel looks and feels like it did decades ago with antique furniture and fixtures, a beautiful curved wood and leather bar with a gorgeous mirror behind it and an old school telephone booth (which still works). The restaurant portion began in 1940, and has been delighting locals and tourists alike ever since.

We recommend starting the evening at the bar with a martini, traditional brandy Old Fashioned or glass of wine from Union Hotel & Restaurant’s Wine Spectator award-winning list of more than 350 selections. Guests can enjoy a stroll through the lobby and parlor and have two separate dining areas to settle into and enjoy a relaxed meal.

All entrees at the Union Hotel & Restaurant come with choice of soup or house salad, relish tray with ham salad, liver pâté and cheese spreads and delicious warm rolls made from fourth-generation owner McKim Boyd’s great-grandmother’s original recipe. Choose from a selection of steaks from rib eye and NY strip to tenderloin, porterhouse and T-bones. Guests can add a half order of shrimp or scallops to any meal as well.

Additional popular menu choices include the pan-seared ahi tuna, baked salmon, lobster ravioli and roasted duck. Supper club dessert is a must at Union Hotel & Restaurant including carrot cake, strawberry Schaum torte or a cool ice cream Grasshopper.

Chances are that Boyd will be at the hotel greeting guests. A true delight, ask Boyd to regale in some stories about the hotel’s early years including the night the Great Lakes Naval Band stayed and escaped the 1918 Spanish flu or how guests’ horses were housed in a stable next door. We love the story about his feisty Great Aunt Cecil who concocted her own brew during prohibition from the “still closet.” Make sure to ask about him to show you the extensive tie collection (and we are talking hundreds of ties)–many kept in that old still closet.

One year older than the Green Bay Packers organization, Union Hotel & Restaurant has its own Packers history as well. Legend has it the Packers’ famed “G” was created by a longtime hotel resident and equipment manager during his stay at the Union Hotel in the early 1960’s.

The Union Hotel still offers lodging with 20 rooms available. Four of those have bathrooms, and the rest of the rooms offer a communal option. Guests looking for a unique stay can contact the hotel directly at 920. 336.6131.

Union Hotel & Restaurant is open for dining Wednesday through Sunday, 5 to 8 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended. For more information about Union Hotel & Restaurant, visit www.facebook.com/UnionHotelDePere.

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