Passionate, fairly priced wine list. Wisconsin Craft Beer on tap. Spacious contemporary dining rooms and Cocktail lounge. Established in 1943 as a Roadside Steakhouse by Jim and Alice Wimmer and today is still family owned and operated by Jeff and Jane Wimmer. The "Prairie style" ambiance, renovations and expansions are by James Dresser, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Against a wide variety of recreational activities and hotels lining this bustling Wisconsin Dells thoroughfare, it’s hard to imagine a time when the Del-Bar stood out as a lone sentry. Nor is it any easier to comprehend just how humble a beginning this popular restaurant – which today serves as many as 500 people nightly – enjoyed when it opened in the late 1930’s.
That’s when two local gentlemen bought and converted a log cabin, with room for only six tables, into a small roadhouse specializing in char-broiled steaks. Because it was located between Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo, the name Del-Bar was chosen.
When WW II began and business fell off, the owners lost interest. “Jimmy” Wimmer, a former University of Wisconsin football quarterback who grew up in the rural part of the Dells called Badger Valley, was eager to take over – even under less than fortuitous conditions.
At first, his wife Alice voiced surprise and some reservations. “We don’t know anything about running a restaurant,” she exclaimed. “You’ve got a domestic science degree (UW 1929), haven’t you?” replied Jimmy. “Besides, you cook pretty good!”
The Del-Bar at Wisconsin Dells (is) a comparatively small place along the highway which I have mentioned several times…Everything is delicious…There is a variety of entrees, each cooked with loving care, and the desserts will melt in your mouth….Every dish is just a little bit better than perfect.”