Calumet County is "Supper Club Capital of the Midwest"

CALUMET COUNTY (WITI) -- Calumet County can now officially call itself the "Supper Club Capital of the Midwest" thanks to the federal government. Leaders in the area hope the title will increase awareness and bring visitors to the county.

Since 1957, Schwarz's Supper Club in St. Anna has been serving up steaks and old-fashioneds to diners from across the area.

Stephanie Schwarz says supper clubs offer an experience different from other restaurants.

"Rather than just an in and out kind of thing, a lot of people make it their special night. You become friends with who you're sitting next to and a lot of people come back week after week and meet that same friend there," Schwartz said.

And including Schwarz's there are about 30 supper clubs offering different experiences across Calumet County.

"We thought we'd capitalize on that and actually get it registered that we're the Supper Club Capital of the Midwest," Julie Schmelzer said.

Traditional supper clubs are concentrated in Wisconsin and surrounding states and Julie Schmelzer wanted to use her county's clubs to promote tourism. So, last February, she applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark office to receive a service mark noting Calumet County as the "Supper Club Capital of the Midwest."

Approval came in October and now the county has printed maps showing each of its supper clubs.

"We don't have the water parks. We're not busy like Door County. So oftentimes, people don't think of Calumet County as a tourism destination," Schmelzer said.

Schmelzer says she hopes this new title and attention will help bring more people in.

"It's good for economic development, tourism. It's a good way to get people into the county to see what we have here. So even if they're here for the supper club or not, they're actually getting to see the beauty of the county," Schmelzer said.

Schwarz says she hopes so too.

"I don't know other places that would have that kind of following of restaurants. So we were very excited to be included in that special honor," Schwarz said.

It costs about $300 to apply for a federal trademark, or in this case, a service mark.

The county also paid about $2,000 to print the supper club maps.