By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 20, 2022 at 1:31 PM

Since 1847, Red Circle Inn, N44 W33013 Watertown Plank Rd. in Nashota, has long been a destination for its hand-cut steaks, seafood and private events. But new ownership is slated to bring new life to the iconic 175-year-old eatery, which boasts a Pabst bar dating back to 1889 as well as several private event spaces.

Formerly owned by Frederick Pabst of brewery fame and later by Aat Groenevelt the owner and founder of Provimi Veal, the historic Red Circle Inn has been acquired by Geronimo Hospitality Group, owners and operators of numerous brands including Blue Collar Coffee Co.I.d. and the Delafield Hotel along with hospitality brands in Beloit, Wisconsin, Indianapolis and Boise, Idaho.

The hospitality group plans to continue operating the venue as a restaurant and event space; however, there are also plans to make both interior and exterior improvements throughout the venue. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to add Red Circle Inn to our collection of hospitality brands,” notes Jeff Whiteman, chief operating officer at Geronimo Hospitality Group. “It’s a special place with a great story and incredible staff and we’re proud to usher in a new era, honoring its history and paving the way for all that’s to come.”

Updates to the decor and furnishings will pay tribute to the Inn’s storied past, while modern amenities will ensure the venue’s relevance for years to come.

To accommodate the improvements, the dining room at Red Circle Inn will be temporarily closed with a reopening forecasted for later this fall. The events venue will remain open for private events during the refresh.

Norm Eckstaedt, the Red Circle Inn’s most recent owner, says he and his wife are grateful for the 29 years they’ve spent as caretakers for the historic destination.

“The events, the guests and the staff are all most memorable but the relationships and friendships that have been built over these many years are priceless and will endure forever,” he says. “We are both looking forward to the next exciting chapter that Geronimo Hospitality will write.. one that will embrace the history while providing an excellent product with gracious Lake Country Hospitality.”

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.