"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
I have lived in Madison for 33 years, Al about 23, and we had never been to Smoky’s Club before. We figured it was about time! For those who don’t know, this is a supper club, only open for dinner. Wisconsin is famous for them all over the state, and we hope to spend more time exploring them. Find a supper club in your area here.
Smoky’s opened back in 1953 before there were many businesses on University Avenue. I hope they are there for their 100th anniversary in 2053. My Grandparents Norman and Barb Braton brought many people here during the 60’s-80’s. Leonard and Janet Schmock are the current owners and are grooming the next generation to continue the great service here.
When you enter, you forget it is 2017. It is the 60’s again and big band music plays softly in the background. No bright lights here, subdued lighting and a tension-free background leads to a relaxing dinner here.
Yes, that lamp above is a puffer fish.
We ate in the back dining room, inside was a picture of John F. Kennedy and candlelit tables with cloth napkins. The long table was soon filled with Badger football fans enjoying dinner after the game.
Our meal began with relishes, veggie while we wait for the meal.
And dinner itself! We ordered the sirloin steak with hash browns, another item Smoky’s is famous for. The steaks come a 500°F heated metal platter, you are warned not to touch it by your server. You also get a bread basket with your meal.
Dinner was delicious and we had no leftovers. Enjoy some pictures of the bar area, many twinkly lights and neat decor.
Get out of the water, SHARK!
We really enjoyed our dinner here and the relaxing ambiance. We recommend coming here for a great dinner, especially steak, as they are famous for them. Don’t pass up the hash browns either, Smoky’s is also famous for them as well.
Many places in the Madison area are decorating their establishments with lights for their patrons to see them at night. It is a fundraiser idea that has been getting more popular over the years. The Henry Vilas Zoo jumped on the bandwagon this year with their first Zoo Lights event. We went on the first night while it was still warm outside.
This event was well attended for its first night, the weather helped too. Madison radio station Z104 was also there that night. Many animal lights too of course, very cute!
See all the displays in our video!
The Vilas staff and volunteers did an awesome job in their inaugural year of this great new event. We look forward to seeing what they will do next year!
This is the 18th year of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, an exciting fundraiser for area food banks along the route the train takes in the US and Canada. It was only in Wisconsin for a couple of days and the timing of it’s stops are different each year. We were lucky this year, we could go!
We chose the village of Sturtevant to see it. This community is located just west of Racine and about 1 1/2 hours from Madison. After dinner we were directed into a parking lot in a shopping mall close to the depot. The lot was filling up fast with an excited crowd waiting to see the train. Many people probably saw the train yearly. This is the view from the lot.
KTI Country radio station in Milwaukee was there to cover the event with a live broadcast.
We were well prepared for recording this event, Al recorded from the ground with our mini-video camera and I roamed the grounds with my new camera. I went up the stairs in the structure above the track to see it coming from above.
I could soon see the headlight and hear the train horn. It was right on time, 5:25 PM! The crowd cheered and whistled!
Join in the fun! Enjoy our video! The train was at the station for 45 minutes and we enjoyed a 1/2 hour Christmas music show. Performers were Colin James and Kelly Prescott.
This event was incredibly fun and worth the journey to get there. Thanks Canadian Pacific for bringing such joy and goodwill on the rails!