News: Neillsville - Fannie’s Supper Club (Open - 2017)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Hilliard, Hasz, Elmer, Ziebart
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/01/2017
Neillsville - Fannie’s Supper Club (Open - 2017)
Fannie’s Supper Club is Open for Business
Fannie’s Supper Club and Motel is open to the public after sitting empty for over a year. Former Colorado residents Nate and Melissa Hilliard purchased the business and building May 31, and spent five months remodeling the home and restaurant. Earlier this month, Melissa attempted a quiet opening. “It was hard to keep it quiet,” said Melissa. “The community’s response has been overwhelming.” For more details on business hours, call 715-743-2169. (Nancy Curtin/Clark County Press photo)
By Nancy Curtin
It has been a year since the former owners of Fannie’s Supper Club and Motel (Fannie’s) closed the doors of the restaurant, and a chapter of their lives. Since January 2017, rumors have been circulating regarding the future of Fannie’s, and if it would reopen as a supper club.
Over the last six months, members of the community and surrounding area, have eagerly been waiting for the doors to reopen to the public upon learning of the sale to former Colorado residents Nate and Melissa Hilliard, who have now moved to the Neillsville area.
Melissa (formerly Hasz), grew up on the family farm in the Town of Lynn and went to school in Granton, while Nate grew up in southwest Colorado in a small ranching community. They met in Florida in 2011, while she was employed with Outback Steak House, and he was working for Delta Airlines.
It didn’t take long for them to realize they were meant for each other and in 2011, they married and settled in Colorado. The Hilliard’s welcomed their daughter Lyla in December 2015.
“While visiting family here in Wisconsin earlier this year, the idea of ‘what if we bought Fannie’s’ became a topic of conversation amongst the family,” Melissa said.
It didn’t take long before Nate and Melissa started to give it serious consideration.
On May 31, they closed on the purchase of the property, making Fannie’s their new home and future.
Nate returned to Colorado and spent the month of June packing. On July 3, he left his home state in a U-Haul. A week later, Nate started his new job as sales consultant at Gross Ford in Spencer.
Meanwhile, Melissa remained here and became immersed in all the work involved with getting the house, restaurant, and motel ready.
Once they owned the property, Melissa tackled the house first.
“It needed some TLC, as no one had lived in it for a number of years,” she said.
With the help of friends and family, Melissa put in new flooring, painted every inch of the house, and completed a few other projects before moving in.
Nate said it was difficult for him to be alone in Colorado while his girls were here working hard on their new home, and business.
Some of the major projects involved with rejuvenating the restaurant portion were updating the bathrooms and some plumbing, installing new carpeting in a couple of the rooms, and doing a lot of painting in various areas. New window treatments, hand-sewn by Melissa’s mother Dawn Hasz, give the space a homey feel.
They spent a lot of time pondering over how to update some of the areas while maintaining the supper club-feel Fannie’s is known for. Melissa’s parents had their wedding reception at the supper club.
Updating work in the kitchen was minimal.
“Former owners Dan and Myrna Elmer put a lot of pride into that kitchen,” Melissa said. The equipment is used, but it was well maintained. Melissa painted the walls and ceiling and gave the kitchen a thorough cleaning.
The motel needed some refurbishing before its doors were opened to the public. The biggest task on the list was replacing all the beds, followed by installing all new carpeting. Each room was completely repainted.
“The paint alone has done wonders,” Nate said. “It really brightened up the dark wood paneling.”
The Hilliard’s also spent time repurposing some areas that hadn’t been utilized to their full potential. Two new fire pits were added, one outside the supper club and one outside the motel.
“There’s a ton of sweat equity put into this place.” Nate said. Melissa’s brother Chris Hasz of Marshfield built the countertops in the bathrooms.
Melissa’s uncle Herb Ziebart of Pittsville spent countless hours painting, cleaning, and anything else that was needed in the motel.
“He has made that his baby,” Melissa chuckled.
They are looking to implement a few new ideas for the motel.
The entire family deserves a shout-out for all their hard work in helping make this dream come true.
“It’s made our family even closer,” she said.
The supper club features a brand-new menu, along with a few popular items from the previous menu. A few new items, including dessert nachos, have been added to the fare.
Over the past weeks, Melissa tried to open Fannies quietly.
“However, it’s hard to keep a secret in a small town, and we’ve had a lot of excited patrons already stopping in to check us out,” she said.
The Hilliard’s are grateful to member of the community for their patience and support during the remodeling and preparation for opening day.
The supper club is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. A Saturday and Sunday brunch is coming in December 2017.
An early dining menu will offer smaller portions Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. as an alternative to Senior Night specials.
For more information, call 715-743-2169, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new owners of Fannie’s Supper Club and Motel (Fannie’s), Neillsville, Nate, and Melissa (Hasz) Hilliard and their daughter Lyla (front row) pose with Melissa’s family. “Each person in the Hasz clan played a significant part in making this a reality,” Melissa said. “There was a lot of sweat equity involved with all the painting and remodeling,” Nate said. The Hilliard’s are grateful for the patience and support of the community while they worked hard to open the doors once again. Fannie’s will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will offer a light menu Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Call 715-743-2169 for more information or to make a reservation. (Nancy Curtin/Clark County Press photo)
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