The Hitching Post will be reopening under new owners March 5 after being closed for most of this year.
Mike Bergman, of Reedsburg, and Steve Boelter, of Portage, are adding the first initial of their last names to give the restaurant the name B&B Hitching Post. The co-owners also will work together as chefs at the W. Wisconsin Street restaurant.
The B&B Hitching Post will be open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Bergman, who owned The North End on Lake Redstone for 11 years in the 1990s and into the 2000s, said he has always enjoyed cooking. After selling his restaurant, he then worked as a cook and manager at Longley’s Restaurant and Erin’s Snug Irish Pub in Reedsburg.
Boelter worked in a factory for 22 years, but always enjoyed cooking. He worked as a chef at Iron Skillet, RJ’s and Shooter’s before getting the chance to realize a dream.
“Cooking is my passion,” Boelter said. “This was my dream to work for myself.”
Bergman and Boelter got to know each other while working as chefs for
Let’s Eat in Portage. When it closed down due to financial issues between the building owner and restaurant owner after six months in 2011, Bergman looked to own a restaurant again and possibly hire other cooks from Let’s Eat.
“I passed up on some other good jobs for this,” Boelter said. “I wanted to be with Mike. He’s a great cook.”
Bergman said they plan on serving comfort foods and creating a friendly atmosphere at B&B Hitching Post.
“It will have a homey-type feel to it,” he said. “Just a place where everybody can feel welcome.”
A lot of work has gone into creating an environment that will foster that type of feel, Bergman said. Boelter said it hasn’t been easy renovating the inside of the restaurant.
“Remodeling is getting really old,” he said. “We’ve been living here the last two months.”
Bergman said a new salad bar at the front of the restaurant is something people will notice right away. It won’t be the only thing patrons will see when they walk through the door, he said.
“It’s pretty different,” Bergman said. “It’ll open your eyes. We completely repainted the dining area and the smaller dining room was completely redone with new lighting.”
He said there are also new tiles and trim throughout the restaurant. Those changes will help brighten the mood of guests, but they weren’t even the biggest renovations that were made, Bergman said.
That equipment will help Bergman and Boelter put out their new Hitching Post menu. Boelter said it will be similar to Let’s Eat in that it will have nightly specials.
“Wednesday will be corn, beef and cabbage night,” he said. “That went over real well at Let’s Eat.”
Boelter said they will have Mexican night on Tuesdays, Italian night on Thursdays, a Friday fish fry, prime rib on Saturdays and a Sunday brunch buffet.