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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Visit to Solon Springs

We were at our lake cabin in Northwest Wisconsin in the spring and took a trip to nearby Solon Springs to visit The Garden House, our nearby nursery. They stock a surprisingly large selection of plants.

Solon Springs is our nearby center for the arts. They host a summer concert series, "Music in the Park" at the Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center. There are a few artists in residence.

And the village contains a number of terribly cute homes.

In short, this is about as close to Carmel-by-the-Sea as you are going to find in the north woods of Wisconsin.

But, as we approached the town along U.S. 53, I could see that something was clearly missing. That blank billboard had long held a sign for Prevost's restaurant and bar.

I had always thought of Prevost's as the heart of Solon Springs. For many years this was the place to stop for a hearty dinner. Roast beef, pork or turkey served with a big heap of mashed potatoes and gravy. Green beans? You bet. All on a heavy white oval platter. 1950’s small town cuisine preserved into the twenty-first century. I can hardly believe it is closed.

What happened? When did it happen? The sign behind the bar gives a clue:

Later, I found this article in the Superior newspaper that tells the sad story. Was it the location? Was it a failure to keep up with the times? Hard to say. But here is the building, visible on the corner in the second photo, taken from a long block away.

When we stopped at the nursery just outside of town on our way back to the lake, Linda asked about restaurants.

“Since this is Wisconsin’s ‘Vacation Land’, where do people eat?”

" Well," the lady began slowly, "for dinner, White Birch, but after that, the pickings are pretty slim." "Blue Moon has great cinnamon rolls and she serves sandwiches and soups."

We need more information. We have never heard of Blue Moon. She describes the location and it is a place we passed on "Old 53" near the ballpark. We check it out as we leave. No sign of what the business is, but sure enough there is a blue moon out front. We’ll have to give it a try. Perhaps it will become the new Prevost's.

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