Sippels cater to outdoors recreation with Richards’
Our Town Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine/Goodman-Armstrong Creek
DUNBAR, Wis. — What was once empty commercial property in Dunbar, Wis., is now a hub for off-road vehicle and snowmobile riders.
Richards’ of Dunbar Supper Club and Motel reopened in 2015 after Randy and Lynne Sippel saw the property languishing on U.S. 8.
Richards’ was a familiar sight for Randy, originally from Elkhart Lake, Wis., since he was a young man vacationing with his family on Three Mile Road in Dunbar. Before buying the business, Randy was a sprint car mechanic and driver. Lynne had been a bartender and sheet metal worker.
“That was the reason for keeping the Richards’ name,” Randy said. “It was so well embedded in this area. Everybody knew where Richards’ was.”
And though the motel units have been refurbished, the restaurant flooring redone and the roof replaced, Richards’ is still just as familiar — even its sign.
“We kept the old-style look, but it’s totally rebuilt,” Randy said. “We put all-new wiring, all-new LED lighting in.”
While Richards’ often is frequented by fishermen and hunters, the most common patrons are off-road enthusiasts, given the business’ close proximity to a network of trails and the Dun-Good Riders Inc. clubhouse.
Dun-Good is a non-profit organization that maintains more than 130 miles of trail for utility and all-terrain vehicles and 70 miles of snowmobile trails, some of which run behind the supper club and motel.
“They do a fabulous job,” Randy said, adding, “People come from all over the state, all over the Midwest, to ride these trails.”
When riders are done for the day, they gather at the supper club to eat and drink, then rest in one of the motel’s units, Randy said.
The supper club is known for its prime rib, barbecue ribs and deep-fried chicken, as well as its old-fashioned cocktail, Lynne said.
The lower level of the club, known as the Holly Room, can accommodate 100 people for wedding receptions, holiday parties and game day viewing events.
Randy and Lynne, both 57, said they have enjoyed the business because it allows them to meet new people — though it has not been without difficulties.
Because of the building’s age, maintenance is a never-ending chore, Randy said.
But “the biggest challenge is finding help,” Lynne said. The Sippels are looking for a new head cook as well as bartenders and waitresses.
“Everybody’s got the same problem,” Randy added.
Still, the business is expanding. In the spring, Randy and Lynne plan to open a gas station and convenience store on the property, making Richards’ even more attractive to its dependable customer base.