Gobbler Supper Club reopens as live music theater
After being closed for more than two decades, about 500 Wisconsinites helped reopen the historic Gobbler Super Club Thursday night as it became a live music theater.
“We want to have it fit into the community. I want to have it be a fun place to bring your kids. Bring your family,” new Gobbler Theater owner Dan Manesis said.
Many parts of the original Hartwig poultry family turkey-shaped roadside attraction, which opened in 1969, remain in the newly renovated $2 million auditorium.
“A funky kind of supper club, is what many people called it,” Manesis said.
That includes chrome foil wallpaper and shag carpeting in the basement. And the Gobbler’s much anticipated trademark, a rotating bar in the concert hall.
“This is really strong memories of my husband. When he was living we would always bring out of town guests here. And it was just a delight. You would never tell them the bar was rotating so when all of a sudden they look around and say the scenery is changing here, something’s happening,” said Joan Rubens, who traveled from Madison to get the first seat.
Johnson Creek high school choir and band members opened the theater with its’ first concert.
Kris Neary and her husband, Joe, who both visited the Gobbler Super Club as children, said it felt full circle to watch their daughter perform here.
“It does make me feel like a child in a way, kind of an amazing feeling,” Kris Neary said.
Manesis said the plan is to start out slowly with the Gobbler hosting live music about once a month, and eventually renting out the historic facility.