I can’t believe it’s true, but the iconic Gobbler in Johnson Creek is coming back.
On May 22, Daniel A. Manesis, of Manesis & Associates of West Allis purchased the long vacant restaurant, that last was, as I recall, a barbecue place and served one of the worst meals I ever had in a restaurant. But that was probably in 1999 or so.
You’ve probably driven past the Gobbler a million times on your way to Madison. It used to have a slowly rotating floor, and was the ultimate in retro kitsch. Across the street once stood a the Gobbler Motel, with themed rooms. That’s gone, too, unfortunately. Johnson Creek Fire Department burned the motel to the ground as a "practice fire" for its firefighters.
Built in 1969, the new owners will convert the property into a live entertainment venue featuring music and comedy. This amazing place was designed by Helmut Ajango and finally closed in 1992. Its story is pretty great, and worth a read.
According to the release, interior remodeling will commence shortly with removal of the "Roost Dance Floor" and conversion of the kitchen area to a stage.
And yes, the revolving bar will remain.
With an anticipated opening in spring of 2015, the Gobbler Theater will provide stadium seating for up to 500. It is adding "state-of-the-art sound and lighting," too.
Here’s to hoping this plan works and the Gobbler is back for good!