In Times Square

Tom Schultz

Silver Moon generates interestThe Silver Moon Supper Club name is getting more and more attention as work on the facility at 1601 East Gate Drive, continues and the Facebook comments continue to overflow.

The supper club has been closed for several years, but about a year ago it was acquired by new owners who are committed to a complete interior and exterior renovation and have been eyeing a fall opening for the facility. As they said in a post, “We are not in a rush to open so it’s looking more like fall. We just want to make sure we get everything done right.”

The Facebook page is accompanied by several photos that show exterior work being undertaken and if you drive by this beautiful location you’ll find there is a lot going on there.

The restaurant will cater to both individuals and large groups and the Facebook page notes the building is about 8,400 square feet of space and that will handle a lot of people.

People will have to wait a while longer before they get a good look at what’s in store for this facility.

But, it does have a long history in Watertown and this next chapter seems exciting and it should be another great asset to the community and a draw for people both in Watertown and the surrounding areas.

Silver Moon was the original name of the business at this location, dating back nearly a century. There are records that date it back to the 1930s, when the property included a hamburger stand, gas pumps, cabins for tourists, a grocery store and even a couple permanent homes.

The place was popular throughout the area and also drew regular crowds of people from nearby cities and some as far away as Milwaukee and Madison. One of the early owners was Arthur Friede. Alton “Fats” Gritzner, another one of Watertown’s colorful people, purchased it in about 1954 and operated it for many years before selling it to Al Aagaard and Bob Schumacher.

Gradually the gas pumps, the hamburger stand and the cottages were all removed and all that remained was the tavern. It was ultimately razed and replaced by the large facility on the property that is being renovated today.

For a number of years John and Barb Bendel of Oconomowoc owned and operated the building under the names of Shooters Bar and On the Rock Restaurant and now new owners are getting it ready for a fall opening and a new mission.

The building is situated at the edge of the city limits, right on a bend in the Rock River. It has a beautiful view of the river and the accompanying rustic shoreline.

It will be fun to see how this whole development works out and from what is being said, the grand opening could come as early as this fall.

Riverside Park wall restoration

As the readers of this column know, enough funding has been received for the new Christmas decorations for downtown Watertown. The order has been placed and if all goes according to plan, the new ones should be on display for this Christmas season. They will be located on Main Street from Sharp Corner Park west to Church Street and on Church Street from Main Street south to Milwaukee Street.

The other project I have talked about in this column is the need to repair the beautiful stone entrances to Riverside Park. The entrances have been there for decades and decades and are now showing signs of deterioration. The mortar and the concrete caps and pillars are cracking and the water seeps in those spots and of course when it freezes and thaws the damage continues, year after year.

The Watertown Area Community Foundation has received some funds for these repairs and more is trickling in. To date nearly $10,000 has been given to the foundation for this project and some others have inquired about making a donation. There are a couple businesses that are also putting out donation jars so things are moving in the right direction.

The park and recreation department has estimated the overall cost of the project to be in the area of $125,000 so more funds are needed.

If you’d like to help this worthwhile project you can send a check payable to the foundation to P.O. Box 351, Watertown, WI 53094.

Let’s hope more people will be motivated to make a contribution. Any amount is helpful.

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