The restaurant has a history as rich in tradition and Americana as apple pie. When John and Anna Pandl bought the Whitefish Bay Inn in 1915 it was farmland rather than beautiful homes which occupied the surrounding area.
Across the street was the old Pabst Whitefish Bay resort, a fairground of beer gardens, picnic tables, a bandstand, dancing pavilion, ferris wheel and other attractions.
People came via the "Bloomer Girl", "Chequamegan", or "Eagle", stearnships which embarked from the bridge at Grand Ave. (now Wisconsin Ave.) in Milwaukee and brought picnickers to dock at a large pier at the foot of what is now Lexington Blvd. Piling remnants of this pier are still visible, but most have long since disappeared.
Others came on the "Dummy Line",
a railroad with special cars for passengers that got off at the old Welcome Park nearby.
The advent of the "horseless carriage" and Prohibition closed the rural era in Whitefish Bay's history and in the following years the village grew to be one of the area's finest suburbs. In 1932 John Pandl died, but the business
remained in the hands of his wife Anna, who worked tirelessly to run the restaurant and at the same time rear her family of three daughters and two sons.
As the family grew up, Jack Pandl, the youngest son, joined his mother in operating the restaurant and subsequently purchased it. Into her 70's, Mrs. Pandl still vigorously put in a day at the restaurant, making fine soups and desserts and supervising many other preparations; her cooking skills were imparted fondly to her family and co-workers. Anna Pandl died in May of 1967, but the family tradition survives. Jack Pandl's family is now involved in the business.
Today the restaurant is a designated Milwaukee County Landmark, one of the few old buildings remaining in the area reminiscent of the unhurried past. The building is basically unchanged from the way it appeared in 1915. Inside, one of the Midwest's larges and finest collections of beer steins is on display. Soft Tiffany type lamps, oak tables and flowers add to the cozy charm of the dining rooms.
We are well known for our house specialties such as fresh Whitefish, our homemade soups and desserts, and of course the famous German Pancake!