March 21, 2018 – West Bend, WI – There’s been some rumbling around West Bend the past few weeks regarding the future of Dublin’s, 110 Wisconsin Street.
On Wednesday afternoon those rumblings were confirmed as Dublin’s owner Todd Ceman said they are closing the Irish pub at the end of the month.
“My wife Jamie relocated and accepted a job in California,” said Ceman. “It was too good of a job to pass up. She moved in the early part of February and I moved with her and that unfortunately left Dublin’s and I was unable to continue running it from California.”
Ceman said they looked at a couple different options to possibly pass the business along to employees but “unfortunately the stars did not align.”
“Yes, the business is closing but not out of distress,” Ceman said. “This is really a bittersweet decision. There was a lot of work effort and we made a lot of friends, consistent customers and I will miss this a lot.”
Ceman wanted to make sure to recognize his great staff. “They have been my rock for the last four-and-a-half years. They’re the highest levels of integrity and they’re the reason people patronized the business,” he said.
Ceman runs the business in partnership with Dave and Kristin Toman; the couples have two other restaurants in Oshkosh. He said those establishments will remain open.
“The employees are OK with all this. They’re extremely awesome but they are sad about the closing,” Ceman said.
Shelby Neelis is a server and bartender at Dublin’s. “Todd Ceman is one of the best bosses we could have asked for, we’re sorry to see him move to California but all his employees are going to stick it out until the end,” she said.
Jordan Zeitler is a bartender/ server at Dublin’s. “I was sad when I heard but we appreciate everything Todd has done for us here; we all care about him,” he said.
Customers were shocked to hear the news. “I had one lady say ‘I’m going to just go out and recommend this place to all my customers’ and I appreciated that but this is it,” Zeitler said.
When employees found out, Neelis said everybody was sad. “Unfortunately it’s not going to stay open just for us but at the same time we’re happy as long as Todd is happy,” she said. “He’s been there through thick and thin with us and he knows all our names and we know he cares about us.”
The atmosphere and the 40 beers on tap is what Neelis said was a big draw and helped make Dublin’s a success.
Neelis said the building has been a mainstay in the community. She remembered the train through the rafters and the popcorn machine in the entry when it was The Binkery. (and the head in the upstairs window)
Kelly Jordan of West Bend has been coming to Dublin’s since it opened and before that she patronized The Binkery. “I really liked the Irish food here and the old building,” said Jordan. “We’d come off the Eisenbahn bike trail and have lunch outside. This has always been a wonderful place to sit and have dinner and take mom and have an Irish beverage and Irish meal after work.”
Marlene Jennings of Slinger said she loved coming to Dublin’s. “I would look forward to spring and summer on the patio and my Irish whisky,” she said.
The Dublin’s name is owned by Ceman.
For people with Dublin’s gift certificates, Ceman said those will be accepted in Oshkosh.
The owner of the building is Kevin and Amy Zimmer. So far the couple has no comment on the future of the location.
On an editorial note, if anyone is familiar with the Zimmers and their connections it’s likely the building will not sit empty for long.
Dublin’s last day will be Saturday, March 31, 2018.
On a history note: It was Sept. 15, 2009 when the former Binkery was moved from W. Washington Street to Wisconsin Street in downtown West Bend. There was a slow-moving parade to the east. Watch the entertaining video courtesy of pauljolry
The video begins with a slide show display of the building as it’s prepared, in stages, for the big move. Windows are boarded, the foundation is dug, and the old tavern is shifted onto a flatbed truck; that horizontal transfer takes two days.
The moving crew is highlighted in a photo along with some of the help; nervous concerns at heart and cameras in hand some of the regulars include Washington County Judge Andy Gonring and former establishment owner Bink Steinbach.
The march to the east begins; the trek is about a mile and it’s probably the longest distance most have walked in their life.
The video of the move is shot in the middle of the night. Red emergency lights from police vehicles bounce off road signs as the mammoth building slowly makes its way east on Highway 33.
A Mack truck bearing a yellow ‘WIDE LOAD’ banner tows the 90 ton, 35-foot-tall building.
Tavern owner Melanie Krupski runs in front of the truck carrying a handmade cardboard sign that reads: “Move that Binkery” a saying similar to Ty Pennington’s during the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
More than 1,000 people were on hand for the move and about half as many walked in front of the video camera that shot the event.
In 2012 the Binkery was in the courts:
Mortgage foreclosure against The Binkery June 9, 2012 By Judy Steffes
According to Wisconsin Circuit Court Access, Westbury Bank filed a civil suit April 13, 2012 against Restaurant by Design Corporation which includes owners and investors of The Binkery. Restaurant by Design Corporation, run by Melanie and Ray Schafer, purchased the land on Wisconsin St. from the Redevelopment Authority of the City of West Bend in October 2009 for $34,517. The Schafer’s moved The Binkery in Sept. 2009 and relocated the old Wisconsin farmhouse from its home on W. Washington St. to just west of Veterans Ave. in downtown West Bend. In March, owners Melanie and Ray Schafer contracted with Coldwell Banker to sell the bar/restaurant at 110 Wisconsin St. for $629,000, which also includes equipment, furniture, and other amenities. The 2011 city assessment on the property is $292,500. Last week Tuesday the price was lowered to $550,000.