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Kewaunee's The Cork Restaurant & Pub offers more than fine food and drink

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Since June of 2001, The Cork Restaurant & Pub has garnered a reputation in Kewaunee County for its fine cuisine and its one-of-a-kind Irish-themed pub. Located in Kewaunee, the restaurant offers a diverse menu, serving virtually everything under the sun, from their most-popular dishes such as prime rib and rib eye to seafood platters as well as Irish Favorites that include Irish Guinness Stew, Shepherds Pie, and The Cork's very own locally-acclaimed Gaelic Burger.
The Gaelic Burger, co-owner and restaurateur Michael Callsen said, is a 1/3-pound burger topped with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and creamy Guinness sauce on a Kaiser.
While their menu is mouth-watering, The Cork's Irish-themed pub serves up libations that complement the food well, palate-teasers such as Celtic Honey, a liqueur that patrons will find goes down as smoothly as it sounds.
No Irish Pub would be complete without genuine Irish beer--and The Cork is surely not lacking in this department.
A selection of rich Irish beers such as Guinness, Smithwicks, and Harp as well as traditional American mainstays keep the taps flowing until the wee hours of the night. Microbreweries such as Ahnapee Brewery and Ale Asylum are also represented, Callsen said--not to mention mixed drinks such as martinis, old-fashioneds, bloody marys, and the full menu of a well-stocked bar.
As the name suggests, The Cork offers a variety of fine wines, including fermented favorites from local wineries such as Von Stiehl and Parallel 44.
"We saw the potential to turn the bar that was here into an Irish-themed pub," Callsen said. "We looked at other places in Wisconsin and down the lakeshore and found this to be the best building in the best locale."
The Cork also features live entertainment which has included local acoustic act Big Mouth Trio and other folk instrumental duos. The live music will again become a feature at the pub beginning in late January, Callsen said.
As anyone knows who has given the restaurant biz a try, it poses numerous challenges from both a business and personal commitment perspective, leaving little time for anything else, co-owner Patti Bartmann said. The upside, she added, is the people who come in and are treated to more than just fine cuisine, good drinks, and entertainment. "It is an all-around experience that we hope people will remember...we throw a party every night, we just don't know who's coming."
Many of The Cork's patrons come from all over northeast Wisconsin--including Brown, Door, and Manitowoc Counties, Callsen said.
The Cork is gearing up for the holidays, Callsen and Bartmann added, which includes Christmas, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, and, of course, St. Patrick's Day.
It also has a private party room available that can seat up to 60 people. The room is often used for rehearsals, birthday bashes, anniversaries, and funeral get-togethers.
"We probably have the most variety in terms of a food menu in the County," Callsen concluded. "We have a good-sized menu and serve family-style, off-the-menu, and appetizers as well."
The Cork Restaurant & Pub is located at 306 Ellis Street in Kewaunee and can be reached via phone at 920-388-2525. The Cork Restaurant & Pub's website is www.welcometothecork.com. The Cork is open from 5 p.m. to closing and open on Saturdays and Sundays for lunch at 11:30 and dinner at 5 p.m, and is closed on Mondays.

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