Hartford, Wi – A difficult day on the lake. “We are closed indefinitely,” said Dan Mueller, owner of Mueller’s Linden Inn. “It is what it is. Finding help has just gotten so difficult we just can’t sustain anymore.”
It was May 2018 when Mueller and his wife Peggy purchased Padway’s, 4919 State Road 144. The restaurant on the west side of Big Cedar Lake has been a fixture in the community for years.
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An announcement was made to staff last night. A large sign in the parking lot simply reads, “Closed.”
“I grew up in this community, which is part of the reason why we bought the restaurant,” said Mueller. “I know the history of the area. We’ve been here five years and between COVID and everything else it just got tough.
“The community has been great to us, absolutely great. We’ve made a lot of friends because of the restaurant that we will have forever. The business was there, the help was not.”
The restaurant is going on the market next week.
On a history note:
May 1, 2018 – Big Cedar Lake, WI – Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake has been sold. Dan and Peggy Mueller, closed on the purchase of the restaurant, 4919 State Road 144, on Monday.
Feb. 24, 2017 – Big Cedar Lake, WI – Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake is for sale. Shorewest has the listing for 4919 State Road 144, West Bend. Current owner Joe Weinshel closed on the purchase of the old Wegner’s Cedar Lake Inn in August 2014 when the asking price was $1 million. The current asking price (2017) is $795,000.
In August 2014 an article in Around the Bend ran about the purchase of the former Linden Inn by Joe Weinshel.
AROUND THE BEND August 2, 2014 By JUDY STEFFES
Old Linden Inn changes to Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake
A lakeside restaurant that’s been an institution for over 50 years on Big Cedar Lake has a new owner.
Joe Weinshel closed on the purchase of the old Wegner’s Cedar Lake Inn, 4919 State Road 144 in Hartford. The asking price was $1 million; he sealed the deal at $725,000.
“When I was a kid, I told my mom I was going to own this place,” said Weinshel. “That was back in the 1950s when it was really nice and called the Linden Inn.”
Now, at age 67 Weinshel has followed through. “I’m calling it Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake; Padway was my mom’s maiden name,” Weinshel said.
In an effort to bring the restaurant back to the day when it had really excellent food, Weinshel has hired chefs Brian Bellehumeur and Luis Mendez.
“The menu is going to be Americana supper club,” Bellehumeur said. “You know old is new again and we’re going to update the old and also have an emphasis on farm to table and working with local vendors.”
Bellehumeur’s afternoon schedule included visiting Held’s Meats in Slinger to see if he could get their bacon on the restaurant menu. “Padway’s is not just about throwing food on the table – we want to be part of the community and help promote others.”
Memories of the food at the old supper club resonate with locals along the lake. Back in the day when Dick Peel owned the Linden Inn neighbors remember the key lime pie, the brandy sauce sundae or the skipper sundae made with a scoop of ice cream, waffle cone, two chocolate chip eyes and a cherry nose.
“The biggest change people will notice with our menu is that nothing comes out of a box, nothing comes out of a jar, we make everything in house which means a freshness and higher quality,” said Brian Bellehumeur.
“We’re going to have customers that are millionaires, and we’ll have people on a budget and my challenge is to appeal to these tastes without alienating anyone,” said Brian Bellehumeur.
Amy Bellehumeur, who recently worked at Timmer’s, is the manager at Padway’s. “She’s the every man’s Rachael Ray,” said Brian Bellehumeur touting his aunt as a solid manager who can handle staff, ordering, and maintain customer satisfaction.
Currently Weinshel and his staff are busy cleaning and painting the roughly 10,000-square-foot restaurant and bar. An invitation-only opening will be held August 14 with the grand opening set for Friday, August 15.
“In the meantime, we have our outdoor tiki bar open every day from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and starting at noon on the weekends,” Weinshel said. “We have some tents, barstools and throw in some booze and burgers and it’s overlooking the lake; people are loving it and the tiki bar will be rockin’ every day until the restaurant is open.”