February 13, 2020 – Town of Trenton, WI – A story you saw first on WashingtonCountyInsider.com is now morphing into another chapter as Walden – A Supper Club, 2472 Wallace Lake Road, in the Town of Trenton will be changing its name.
According to owners Amy and Kevin Zimmer the new name will be Wallace Lake Supper Club.
The iconic business along the shores of Wallace Lake was once known as White Oaks Resort. It also called Benike’s after owners George and Carol Benike; they purchased the club from Dorothy and Nick who ran it as Dot’s Club in the 1970s.
Word about the sale of the supper club drew quite a few comments. Many neighbors remembered the famous salad bar and the lazy Susan serving trays. Yvonne E. Ondrejicka remembered celebrating her birthday in 1959. Below is her story.
Thanks so much for writing the article about the recent sale of Walden’s Supper Club on Wallace Lake. I am so very happy that this establishment will keep running with its great ambiance and food! Here is a little story of my own….
My story with Walden’s goes way back to 1959 when I was 4 years old. My parents lived about four cottages down from what was then known as another name of which I cannot remember, it may have been called “Carl’s or Hansen’s Supper Club” at that time.
At that time it was owned by Carl and Mushy Hansen and they were very good friends of my parents.
My parents and I walked “down the road” on the stony road to meet up with my godparents for my 4th birthday fish fry. I have attached a picture of this memorable evening.
I totally remember my time spent at this supper club and my husband and I frequent it as much as we could get there, with us living in Waukesha.
Five years ago, we celebrated my 60th birthday at Walden’s which fell on a Friday and it was 56 years ago that very night when I was first there as a little 4 year old.
That night was very special, celebrating with family members and good friends that came along for my “ride.”
I talked with the owners Bob and his wife many times about my story and they so enjoyed hearing about it as they knew the Hansen’s also.
My parents did frequent Dot’s Supper Club after the Hansen’s sold the business and I was able to partake in that supper club as well.
To this day, I still remember the pine walls and the atmosphere for me, hasn’t changed all that much. I miss those days immensely!
Yvonne E. Ondrejicka
A bit more history on the supper club is below.
Walden-A Supper club began life as a summer home for Lucy and her family from the Milwaukee area in the early 1940’s. Emil Kufahl and his family operated the White Oaks Resort using the current dining area as a bar and four cabins once located along the western boundary of the property.
Kufahl’s were convinced by several Friday customers that they should start offering a Friday Fish Fry. In addition to adding a small kitchen, Kufahls added a bait shop lake side. Rental cabins, boat rental, fish bait sales, bar business and Friday Night Fish Fries kept the White Oaks Resort quite busy.
Several owners succeeded Kufahls each bringing a uniqueness in talent, interest and personality, blending to give Walden a character all its own.
Karl and Mush Hansen greatly expanded the dinner menu beyond the Friday Fish Fry. At this time, the bar was located across the fireplace wall. The Hansens sold the supper club to Nick and Dorothy Jonas who named the restaurant Dot’s Club.
Over a 22-year period, Dot’s Club became an even more inviting place to enjoy the food, the company, the lake and turtle soup. Nick and Dot added the Cocktail Lounge in 1974. The knotty pine was added to the dining room along with the beautiful field stone fireplace.
The Waldens made significant changes in the kitchen, enabling them to expand the menu. Windows were added to the dining room for the view and expanse. Booths were added in the area which had been a front porch for Lucy. Banquets were added to the Cocktail Lounge. And a beautiful patio has been added outdoors, lake-side, next to a waterfall garden.
The property was last assessed at $496,800. Fair market value is listed at $533,100.
The Zimmers’ plan on keeping the supper club open while a remodel is underway.
What are your favorite memories of Walden – A Supper Club?