Sunday, January 28, 2007

Revisiting State Street in 1966: The Case of the Missing Brathaus

Postcard of the original Brathaus courtesy of Ann Waidelich

A few weeks ago, one of my posts had a link to a list of businesses on State Street in 1966, compiled for Isthmus by Dave Medaris.

One astute Central alumnus, "WormDr MCHS-64," who, like Madison Guy, is apparently opting to remain anonymous, left the following comments:

Seems that the Brathaus at 603 State Street has been mysteriously left of the list. Wonder why.
The Brathaus was built in 1953 on the corner of State and Lake. It replaced the Log Cabin which was a block up State Street more or less across the street from where the Pub is now.

Recently, during one of my visits to the Downtown branch of the Madison Public Library (called the Central Library), I checked the 1966 city directory and discovered the Brathaus was not the only business on the 600 block of State Street omitted from that list. MacNeil & Moore (602 State Street) was also absent.

I also had a look at some of the folders in the library's vertical files and found a 1989 Milwaukee Journal article about the closing of the Brathaus, which I scanned. The scanned image, which includes a photgraph, is reproduced below. It will give you an idea about how much the building changed during its more than four decades on State Street.

I also found and scanned an article about 1977 the opening of the Brathaus Too at 10 W. Mifflin on the Square. According to the article, the Brathaus Too was located in the "old Chandler's Shoe Store building"). Like its older sibling, Brathaus Too has long been closed. The photo accompanying the article was just too tasty to ignore.

The didn't cut a ribbon when they opened Brathaus Too. Instead, Mayor Paul Soglin sliced through a ribbon of Bratwurst. Show in the photo, from left to right are: Sue Springman; Gary Jackson, owner of the Brathaus and Brathaus Too; Soglin; Carl Capicik, the restaurant manager, and Jim Tighe from Findorff Construction.

And for those of you who haven't been back to Madison for a long time, here's what the building looks like now (photo was taken in September 2005). State Street Brats still serves bratwurst, but it's a very different place from its much-beloved predecessor.

Reminder: Double click on any of the above images (scanned articles or photos) to enlarge them in your browser window.

1 comment:

D Strand said...

It's not that much different now than then. I still go there almost every time I come to Madison and I feel the spirit of the old place in the new, if I may be so nostalgic!!