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Minocqua Restaurant Looks to Expand Outdoor Dining


A downtown Minocqua restaurant is looking to spread its wings and drum up some more business.

Owners of the Wild Turkey Smokehouse went before the Minocqua plan commission Tuesday with a request for a conditional use permit to place 25 portable tables on the grassy area on the north side of the restaurant. Wild Turkey is located at the corner of U.S. Highway 51 and Front Street.

They also want a small stage for one or two guitar players to perform, as well as permission to use an outside grill and a beer trailer. Co-owner Blaze Champeny says, “95 percent of the cooking” would be done indoors. But they want to use the outside grill during major events such as Beef-a-Rama and the Fourth of July

“I’m at the point where I just need tables,” he told commissioners. “A lot of people don’t like to eat inside. They’re still scared of COVID-19.” The restaurant opened last April 1 after some $85,000 in remodeling work, according to the CUP application. They plan to spend about $25,000 on the tables and outside work.

Commissioners forwarded the CUP to the town board with the stipulation that the town board receives photos of the proposed tables and of the low picket fence the owners want to install around the eating area.

Other stipulations are to limit the volume of the music to the premises and to enclose the grill and trailer with screening when not in use.

The CUP application will then go to the county for final approval. The owners hope to have outside dining and music by this Fourth of July.

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