March 16, 2018 at 7:02 p.m.

Rhinelander Cafe and Pub undergoes changes

New name, taproom for historic restaurant
Rhinelander Cafe and Pub undergoes changes
Rhinelander Cafe and Pub undergoes changes

By Kayla Thomason-

The Rhinelander Cafe and Pub, a fixture in Rhinelander for more than 100 years, has undergone some changes recently, including a new name.

The restaurant is now known as the Rhinelander Steakhouse and Pub, which better reflects what the business offers. A name change isn't the only thing that's new at the Pub. Customers will notice a bright new taproom off the Brown Street entrance.

"The Rhinelander Cafe started in 1911 and for years it was just that - a cafe - and we are very far from being a cafe," explained the restaurant's owner, Mark Gutteter.

Gutteter tells patrons not to fret, however. There is no new partnership, no owner change, and he said the quality of food and service customers have come to know love will remain the same.

The idea of putting a taproom in the historic Rhinelander restaurant is not a new one for Gutteter, who had a brewery in Ashland in 1995. When he purchased the Pub 2006, he had ideas of remodeling the taproom then. After mulling around what he'd like to do, he decided this year was the time for change. Shortly after the new year began, the transformation started, making the taproom stand out.

The walls in the taproom have been painted white, with a dark trim around the stained glass windows, the bar has a cream-colored granite countertop with a red oak trim, tucked around the bar is dark walnut-stained stools with beige cushions, and a replica of a dark antique tin ceiling pulls in the colors of the rest of the business.

"For some people it's a real shock, others love it," Gutteter said of patrons' reactions to the remodel.

In addition, Gutteter said he will be adding three times as many booths in the dining room - in addition to the ones in the taproom - once the new furnature arrives in about a month.

"It's a slight pattern, we felt that it kind of had that marine nautical feel to it so it's just a splash of color," he said.

The old bar had eight taps, but the new bar has 24 - allowing the establishment to carry a wide variety of brews - from ciders, to pale ales to stouts and porters.

The taproom will include some menu changes in the upcoming weeks.

"It's more of a process, I don't know that you are ever complete when you do something like this, you make some changes and you constantly evaluate 'OK, what can we do better, what can we do differently?'" Gutteter said.

He said the menu will include shared plates - a trend on menus in bigger cities - adding more sandwiches, salads, appetizers while lowering the pricepoint for some items.

These additions will be offered throughout the building and is not exclusive to the tap room. Gutteter said patrons will begin to see the menu changes over the course of the month.

As in other establishments, the Rhinelander Steakhouse and Pub will have happy hour, food and drink specials, and football specials when the season is in swing.

Gutteter is excited to unveil the changes during a grand opening, which will occur five to six weeks after getting everything in and settled.

The tap room will open at 11 a.m. every day, and the close time will be decided after a period of reviewing customer traffic.

Kayla Breese may be reached at [email protected].

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