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On a history note | VIDEO | Moving the Binkery down Highway 33

West Bend, Wi – It was 14 years ago in September 2009 when neighbors stayed up past midnight and paraded down Highway 33 as the old Binkery tavern was relocated from 1710 W. Washington Street to the northwest corner of Water Street and Wisconsin Street. The video below is courtesy Pauljolry.

The move occurred at midnight, September 13, 2009.

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The century-old farmhouse had been recently purchased from Bink Steinbach by Melanie Krupski and Ray Schafer. The couple opted to move the building and save the tavern/ restaurant from the wrecking ball.  The property, at the corner of 18th and W. Washington Street will soon be home to a new Walgreens pharmacy.

That Wednesday the Redevelopment Authority approved a temporary storage agreement for the Binkery building in TIF District No. 5. RDA chairman Mike Palm said the building will be allowed to sit somewhere between Washington Street, the old Veteran’s Avenue and Wisconsin Street. “Kind of on the north end by the old train depot,” said Palm.

Krupski and Schafer will be allowed to store the building on the site until discussions about purchasing the property and building renovations are completed.


The Binkery 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 1000 people were on hand for the move and about half as many walked in front of the video camera that shot the event.

If you want to continue to step back in time, below are other hot topics in the local news from September 2009.

Supervisor McCune proposes pay cut for county board… again..  

Washington County Supervisor Mark McCune has proposed a 10-percent cut in pay for county supervisors.

“In my opinion it would set a good example for what we’re trying to do,” said McCune. “So, I’m hoping the sheer embarrassment will get the support of the other supervisors.”

McCune has been a county supervisor representing the Erin area for the past eight years. Each year THAT he’s been in office he’s proposed a cut in pay.

In 2004, McCune proposed the salaries be cut in half. “That’s not going to happen; I won’t get enough votes,” he said. “I’d love to see it get cut three-fourths or by 25 percent, but I don’t think I’ll get that, so I figured I’d try a reasonable number and hopefully it gets approved this time.”

McCune made the proposal during the executive committee meeting Tuesday, August 25.

During that same meeting, the executive committee put the hammer down on another proposed budget increase.

“We voted on the budget for county attorney, and she proposed a three-percent raise, and I made a motion to deny that and she went back and worked on that and reduced it and we voted for that to be forwarded down to finance,” he said.

Washington County supervisors are paid $550 a month. A 10-percent cut would reduce monthly pay to $495.  With 29 supervisory seats, the annual savings would be $19,140. Board salaries are paid by property taxes, which county departments are working to trim for next year.

McCune’s proposal has been shot down in the past, but he said this year they’re asking some tough budget questions and supervisors need to set an example.

“I’ve said from the beginning that this year is going to be tough. County Board chairman Herb Tennies asked all of the unions, and every non-union representative employee of the county, to take a wage cut or go to a flat rate from the previous year, and if they’re going to do it I thought we should as well,” said McCune.

“In this year I really feel this may be my first time I actually get approved, at least for reduction, because I think everyone would be embarrassed if they didn’t take a cut based on the economy and what we’re asking the other county employees to do,” said McCune.

Fellow Executive Committee member and Supervisor Charlene Brady was brief in her response to McCune’s proposal. “If Mark wants to forego HIS salary or expenses, that’s fine with me, and there might be a resolution to allow that,” said Brady, a representative for the Germantown area.

The executive committee meets the fourth Tuesday of every month.



Lee DeRuyter has retired after 26 years with the West Bend Police Department.

DeRuyter started as a dispatcher December 7, 1980, advanced to communication supervisor in May 1997 and became technical services manager in August 2003.

DeRuyter’s last day was August 21, 2009.



City Administrator Dennis Melvin is wearing quite a few hats these days. Aside from his normal duties managing daily activities of offices in the city, Melvin is now the interim Director of Public Works. Alderman Allen Carter, who also heads the Public Works committee, said it is normal procedure for the city administrator to fill the opening.

In late June, Terry Kiekhaefer retired from the DPW. Rick Heisler took over as supervisor of Public Works, Steve Schmeling heads-up Vehicle Maintenance, and Jim Kell is head of Water.

Kell is now on a short-term medical leave and Melvin is helping in the interim. The city has yet to post the opening for Kiekhaefer’s position.


St. John’s Lutheran is expanding and will be leasing space across the street from the church in the West Bend Plaza.

“The need for additional space is two-fold,” said St. John’s Pastor Rob Donaldson.

“Internally we’ve been growing a lot with young families, and we’ve been looking for added resources and space,” he said.

The added space at 820 S. Main is the former (removed comma) site of Brown’s Shoes. The 5,000 square foot space will be a non-traditional setting with an appropriate altar-type area, but not the typical big granite altar similar to the church.

Donaldson said the location will have a faith-based feel.

“We’re going to have worship and Bible study opportunities on Sunday mornings. We’ll also use the space for discipleship training, support groups and parental support sessions,” he said.

“We have a strong commitment to our current campus, and we’ve embraced a multi-site perspective; we’ll let that growth take its course.”

St. John’s has been exploring off-campus options since March. They will lease the space across the street. Occupancy is expected next month.


On Monday, Pet Stuff opened at a new location, 822 S. Main Street, just to the south of Decorah Avenue in the West Bend Plaza.  “Our goal was to stay in West Bend because this is a great community and the people are very supportive,” said owner Matthew Kelley.

Pet Stuff originally opened in July 1999 in the Paradise Plaza. Kelley said high rent and a poor economy forced him to explore his options. He said he contemplated moving the store the past few months.

“I like this location on Main Street because there’s better parking and accessibility,” said Kelley.

Pet Stuff is the only independently owned pet store in West Bend. They carry live fish and reptiles, small animals and birds along with a variety of pet supplies.



The street sign for Dick’s Pizza has been removed. Dick’s Pizza & Grill, 1750 W. Washington Street, closed July 24, 2008. The building will be razed in the coming weeks to make way for a new Walgreens.

The price has been reduced for the old City Hall on the northwest corner of 6th and Hickory. The green and white “for sale” sign at the front of the building reads: PRICE REDUCED MAKE AN OFFER. The cream city brick building has been vacant since July 24, 2008 when CMS Claim Management Services relocated to the firm’s headquarters in Green Bay. The property is being marketed by CB Richards. The building was assessed in 2008 at $705,500 with a fair market value of $761,500.

The West Bend Chamber of Commerce has opened in their new location on the first floor of the Frisby House at 304 S. Main Street. August 31st was the first day for the Chamber and Visitor’s Center, which will be leasing the space. The Chamber moved from 548 S. Main Street.

The roof has been finished at BJ & Company. The business at 446 S. Main Street is being repaired after it was severely damaged in a fire last April 6. A target opening date has yet to be announced.

Cast Iron Luxury Living


The weather was a little windy and chilly last Saturday but nearly 300 hearty athletes participated in the inaugural “Under the Influence of Adrenaline Triathlon” at Ackerman’s Grove County Park.

The event, organized by The Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse of Washington County, included a 1/4-mile swim, 13-mile bike ride, and a 3.1-mile run.

The first-place male was Nate Hoffman who completed the course in 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 14 seconds. The first-place female was Nikki Mitchell who finished in 1:12:38. The youngest participant was 13-year-old Mitchell Bilitz who finished in 1:22:46. Finishing first in her age group was 66-year-old Lavonne Suring with a time of 2:03:53.

The AODA is a local organization that serves the community by educating individuals and families on responsible and legal choices regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and supporting and motivating them to build healthy lives free from abuse and addiction.

A full list of results can be found online at http://www.onlineraceresults.com.


West Bend Optical is moving out of the Westwood Mall, better known as the Pick n’ Save north building and will open October 1 at Shepherd Center One located on Shepherd Drive across from the old Charcoal Grill.

“We’re moving because Pick n’ Save is moving,” said West Bend Optical manager Sandy Olson.

“We’re really excited,” said Olson. The new optical center will grow from 1,000 square feet to 1,800 square feet and will include a waiting room and a contact lens teach room.

West Bend Optical moves into the old Accurate Surveying site and will be visible from Highway 33.

The other interior satellite stores that will also not be a part of the new Roundy’s Pick n’ Save include Westbury Bank and Aurora Pharmacy.


Jeff LaBomascus got his start at the University of Wisconsin – Washington County and he’s the latest alum featured on the school’s promotional billboard along Highway 45.

LaBomascus is the current president of Mayville Savings Bank. “I attended UWWC from 1971 through 1973 and took 15 credits per semester with one summer class,” said LaBomascus

A former member of the UWWC University Council and a letter winner in tennis, golf and basketball, LaBomascus said the “small class size at UWWC made courses tougher” but he said the “teachers got to know their students and knew what it took to challenge them.”

LaBomascus touted Tom Brigham as a very influential person during his years in school.

LaBomascus received his degree in corporate finance from UW-Milwaukee in 1975.


 El Tapatito Jaliscos will be celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day with a Mexican dance Saturday night, Sept. 19. A five-piece band from Milwaukee will perform. Admission is $5 at the door and ladies are free.  Sept. 16 is the day Mexicans all over the world celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule.


This Thursday, Sept. 24 a handful of female owned businesses in downtown West Bend will be celebrating their first DIVA Night.

The evening will feature food and shopping followed by more food and shopping.

Jeanne Mueller from Jeanne’s Collectibles has been working in the downtown since 1967. “The downtown used to be made up of family-owned businesses,” said Mueller citing examples like Sager’s Men’s Store, Mehring’s Fish Market, and Roland Jaeger and his wife who owned a candy and ice cream shop.

The latest marketing effort is designed to bring more business to the downtown. Mueller said women have stepped forward because of their strong work ethic.

“Women are the ones that keep everything going,” she said. “And they’re enthusiastic. I thought I was enthusiastic, but they wear me out!”

DIVA Night will offer “everything” said Mueller. “Everything is free; we’re paying for the trolley to haul them around; we’re giving away stuff and that’ll be fun. I wish I could take off that night and ride on the trolley,” she said.

Participating businesses include Serendipity, Flowersmith, Somedays, Moondance, Apple Barrel, Season 2 Season, Januli’s Pizzeria & Italian Deli, Jeanne’s Collectibles, Cherry Pickins’, and Savoring Thyme.

DIVA Night begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. at Januli’s restaurant with drawings for door prizes.


Vanden Heuvel& Dineen, S.C. Attorneys at Law are opening a new office in downtown West Bend. The office is located on North 6th Avenue, between the old 6th Avenue Cards & Comics store and Artistic Shears.


Three hardcore athletes from the West Bend area were among the 2,397 finishers Sunday in the Ford Ironman triathlon in Madison.

The event included a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile run. John Lyons of West Bend finished in 12 hours, 35 minutes and 24 seconds. Bob Zimmermann completed the course in 12:23:07, and Tammy Wuebben of Kewaskum finished in 13:36:17.

The winner of the event, Raynard Tissink of South Africa, finished in 8:45:19. Amy Marsh of Texas was the first place female with a time of 9:43:59.


The Daily News has started printing domestic partnerships in the same column as marriage licenses.  Wednesday, August 19 was the first time the partnerships were posted.

Couples in Washington County started applying for declarations of domestic partnerships in August under the provision that was part of the budget Gov. Jim Doyle signed in June.

Wisconsin is the first state with a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions, to provide domestic partnerships for gay couples.

The cost for a declaration of domestic partnership in Washington County is $90; that’s the same amount as a marriage license. Couples need to present certified birth certificates, photo identification and Social Security numbers.

Some of the licenses issued in Washington County include Dionne C. Hall, West Bend, and Jennifer M. James, West Bend. Issued Aug. 10. Jill C. Konicek, Germantown and Linda J. Martin, Germantown. Issued Aug. 12. Torrey R. Lauer, Germantown and Michael W. Pickett, Germantown. Issued Aug. 12. Douglas M. Chinnock, Richfield, and Kyle D. Johnson, Richfield. Issued Aug. 12. Damon M. Schopen, Hartford and Randall L. Schultz Jr., Hartford. Issued Aug. 12.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 16 eleven domestic partnership licenses had been issued in Washington County.


If you’re a local small business looking for the best way to use Internet as a marketing tool you may want to check out a course this Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. titled Essential Social Media Tools for Small Business.

“Everybody hears about Facebook and Twitter and everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon and this is really to help businesses figure out which medium is appropriate for their business,” said Paul Roback from the UW Extension office in West Bend.

The one-night course is $30 and will be held in Room 113 A&B at the Public Agency Center on the corner of Indiana Avenue and West Washington Street.


The card tables have been packed up and the stages stored as Germanfest wrapped up another year.

Lillian Oehlhafen, Germanfest

Organizer Judy Etta was extremely pleased with the sales at the dessert tent.

This year there were four different tortes, five kinds of cheesecakes, including a new pumpkin cheesecake, cherry strudel, apple slice, almond horn, a cheese puff, and a Beinenstich, otherwise known as bee sting cake.

“It’s very German, sweet dough based,” said Keith Hankerson of Hankerson’s Bakery. The Beinenstich has a sugary-almond crunchy crust with almond-flavored custard inside.

All items were made from scratch by Hankerson, who started prepping a week ahead of time. “We used 180 pounds of cream cheese, which equals about 360 of those little 8-ounce packages you’d get at the store,” he said.

Other ingredient totals included 560 eggs, 125 pounds of sugar, 160 pounds of custard made from scratch, 120 pounds of cherry pie filling, 100 pounds of apple pie filling, 25 pounds of almonds, 110 quarts of whipped cream, 150 pounds of flour, and 80 pounds of shortening.

Hankerson’s deliveries included 78 cheesecakes and 80 tortes.

Dessert Frauen Etta ran out of all the cheesecakes, tortes and strudel at 5:45 p.m. Sunday, the last day of Germanfest.

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