WEST ALLIS, Wis. - Twenty-five historic restaurants across the U.S received funds to help recover from the loss of the pandemic. And one of those restaurants is hidden right here in southeastern Wisconsin.
Set in West Allis, this almost 100-year-old restaurant is rich in character. And it's that history that stood out in a grant application.
"We were one of few that still run for nearly 100 years within the same family," Stephanie Kegel said.
Kegel's Inn is one of 25 restaurants across the U.S. to receive $40,000 of funding through the "Backing Historic Small Restaurants" grant program.
The hope of the grant is to ensure the staple restaurants survive these tough times.
"This extra grant money just really helped solidify the deal with that feeling that we’ve really done a great job and that we're going to be here for a lot longer," Julian Kegel said.
The now fourth-generation restaurant opened in 1924.
But 2020 was a year full of new challenges.
"We were just like any other small business during the pandemic where week-to-week we were struggling," Stephanie Kegel said.
This grant money comes at the perfect time as the owners focus on revamping the outdoor space.
The money put towards exterior improvement, more greenery at the beer garden, and the restoration of their sign -- which hasn't worked for nearly 40 years.
"This place is nearly 100 years old and without your support, we can’t last another 100 years — which is our goal," said Julian Kegel.
The owners want to say thank you to the community for supporting the business.
It's thanks to those patrons, they survived the pandemic.