"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.
Cross Plains is a community of 3500 in Dane County, incorporated in 1920. It is also known as the “Gateway to the Driftless Area” of Wisconsin. It was named by one of the early settlers named Berry Haney. He was from Cross Plains, Tennessee and named the community after his hometown. On the east edge of town is a marker honoring Haney and his business, Haney Tavern.
Behind Main St. flows the Black Earth Creek with a bridge going across and a recreational path.
And here is one of the town’s favorite places to eat, Coach’s Club. We will eat there the next time we visit.
Now we reach the end of Main St. before leaving town. Before we do, there are some other places to see first.
We saw a couple other historic buildings. We don’t know the history of this one yet.
The Old Stone Dental Building is quite beautiful. It was constructed in 1849 by Peter Hill. It has been many things over time, but became a dental office by 2002.
Visit the Cross Plains Brewery also. A proud history going back to 1852. Read this recent article about the brewer. Get Esser’s Best beer here.
When the Historical Society Museum isn’t open, you can learn more about Cross Plains at the Rosemary Garfoot Public Library. It also holds the distinction of being the first “green” library in Wisconsin. They always have something going on there, check their website for the latest events!
Cross Plains also has a supper club called The Hilltop at 4173 County Rd. P. They have been there over 40 years! A great place to celebrate a special event or Wednesday AND Friday Fish Fry! They came under new ownership in January of 2016, Steve and Vanessa took over from Jerry and Mary Thompson to keep this Cross Plains institution open. They opened and owned the restaurant in 1976, 40 years. The new owners changed the name from The Hilltop Inn to just The Hilltop because the original name made people think they also offered lodging which they do not. They look forward to serving you beginning March 16, 2016. They are a supper club, open 4-9 PM.
We had a great visit to Cross Plains and hope to make it to one of their many festivals this year.