Our first commerical rehab was transforming the iconic West Bend Binkery building.
The building that rests at 110 Wisconsin Street is rich with history. Built in the early 1900’s this beautiful home housed a hardworking farm family for many years. Due to development in the area, the house was picked up and moved from Silverbrook Drive to HWY 33 around 1963.
It was at this location that the infamous Franz “Bink” Steinbach, along with his family, opened it as a tavern naming it The Binkery. The night before Thanksgiving, in 1979, they served their first drink to a thirsty patron. Many locals reminisce about this watering hole, with a wide grin and a twinkle in their eye.
The Second Move
Ready for a change Bink sold the property to another set of restaurateurs. They kept the name, tweaked the menu, and kept the business in operation. West Bend’s continued growth once again put the house in jeopardy of being torn down. It was decided to pick up the old gal and move her to her final home. The move was costly. After several months the restaurant was not able to survive and the property ended up in foreclosure. The building sat sad and empty for months.
The longer it stood silent, the more it seemed like the good times and cheer slowly drained away. The romance of old buildings runs deeper than “if these walls could talk”. The hundreds of craftsmen hours that built a dream into reality. I feel it is our responsibility to breathe fresh life into tired buildings so their stories only get longer. By demolishing old buildings, they become faded memories.
We Bought It And Gave It New Life
Kevin and I have taken on the hobby of finding local unique spaces and renewing them. That is part of the reason these buildings take us longer than average to turn over. These are passion projects for us, not a revenue stream. We don’t do this for a living, it is something we have fun doing together. Other people watch sports or play board games, we do remodels. We enjoy finding the balance between the old and the new. We brought this passion to fruition for the first time with this building. It was our first “commercial” rehab.
The Old Bar Area Was Completely Removed
We started this project the same way we have with our projects since. We knew that it should remain a restaurant, however we didn’t have a designated operator agreement in place. Not the way most people would make an investment, it is fairly backwards. However, we like the creative control over transforming our buildings, believing the right operator will come along.
These gorgeous pocket door remained buried treasure in the walls. They were too special to remain hidden so we made them into a hostess stand.
Many changes were made. Even after being moved twice the farm house’s first and second floors remained mostly the same since the 1900’s. therefore it had multiple small rooms and a narrow hallways.
We completely opened up the first & second floors while adding boothes for better flow and more tables.
We completely blew out the walls on the second floor for wide open dining. We also took out two thirds of the attic allowing for a very fun lighting scheme. We left just enough attic space to create a private dining experience that seats 8-10 people.
The exterior also got an upgrade with a swanky designed fence and fireplace
We added an addition to the building from the first floor to the second that housed a stairway for staff to run food. This way they could easily go up and down without disturbing customers on the grand open staircase.
We find that in all of our remodels, from the little unique design touches to the major structural headaches, we love every minute of it. Can’t wait to show you more of our projects!!!
You need your own TV show!! Although I can’t imagine a film crew disrupting your life on the farm. But your animals are natural “actors” and you would be a perfect host. Still don’t know how you do it all, and with a smile in your heart. I found your site during this crazy COVID-19 shut in, and it has really helped me stay calm and remember to keep things in perspective. Thank you. Signed, Baby Wally’s Biggest Fan ;o)