About Us

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A Brief History of the Elias Inn

This beautiful Tudor Revival building you have entered was designed in 1933 by Milwaukee architects Lindl & Schutte and built by Maas Brothers Construction, Inc. for $16,190. It was built for Emma and John Powers, who named it the Powers' Inn and operated it as an inn and tavern. They eventually turned it over to their son, Ray, and his wife, Ruth, who ran it as a supper club into the early 1970s. Much of the memorabilia you will see on the walls was granted to us courtesy of Ray and Ruth’s grandson, Ralph Zickert.

 

In 1973, Kramer Rock and Dale Wood, a fearless young duo with energy and an idea, purchased the building from Ray Powers. They renamed it the Old World Pub, kept the inside look and aimed to be a destination for cocktails, live music, and dancing. While they didn’t own the place for long, Mr. Rock fondly remembers bands playing in the dining room and happy people dancing the night away. 

In 1986, John Elias, Tammy Probst, and Greg “Slim” Schroeder purchased the building, renaming it “The Elias Inn” and building its fame as a destination supper club, offering the classic relish tray, all you can eat Friday night fish fry, and hand-cut dry-aged Prime Rib on Saturday nights. Slim was known for his excellent Old Fashions and for keeping customers happy and entertained during the often-long wait for a table on Friday nights.

John, Tammy, and Slim finally hung up their aprons in 2022, selling the building and business to Michael and Lydia Sobol, and their partner, Nathanial Rupnow. Mike and Lydia currently also own Sobie’s Restaurant in Oconomowoc, which they built from scratch in 2018 after a 20-year wait to realize their dream of restaurant ownership. 

We are proud and honored to be able to continue the legacy of this building, and hope that you will enjoy your time with us, as so many people have done here over the years with Emma and John, Ruth and Ray, Kramer and Dale, and John, Tammy, and Slim. We welcome you back to The Elias Inn!

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You can read about the Elias Inn in this book about supper clubs!