Best of the Web 2023

Sadly, nothing drives website traffic in Door County like a fire at a major business. This year was no different, as our most-viewed stories of the year all revolved around the fire at Rowleys Bay Resort and the ensuing decision by the owners to sell the property. 

On a positive note, that was the only major business fire to report in the year that was. The top stories of 2023 at included stories of local families, business developments, a superintendent’s resignation and – as always – the ups and downs of the restaurant world. 

  1. Rowleys Bay Resort Fire – the devastating fire and its aftermath captivated readers in Wisconsin and beyond.
  2. Door County Restaurants on the Market – Wickman House, Wild Tomato lead list of restaurants for sale.
  3. New Businesses in Arts and Entertainment – A look at new restaurants, shops and ownership changes in 2023.
  4. Giant Muskie Caught – In January, Kevin Naze reported on the December reeling of a 55-inch muskie off the Door County shore. 
  5. Shipwrecked Wins Appeal – The Egg Harbor brew pub won its appeal of a condemnation action by the village to build a sidewalk. At year’s end the issue was back on the docket, this time at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
  6. Fleet Farm Sets Sights on Sturgeon Bay – the big box retailer announced plans to build on the west side.
  7. Southern Door Superintendent Resigns – Southern Door School was shrouded in mystery for months after Superintendent Chris Peterson resigned in June. 
  8. Maxwelton Braes Sold to Packers President – Mark Murphy bought the course in February.
  9. Scandia Village Sold – When Good Samaritan put the Sister Bay retirement and long-term care facility up for sale it put a community in limbo.
  10. Self-pour Taproom Opens – The Thirsty Cow replaced a long-time icon at Peninsula Center.
  11. Ephraim Says No to Liquor Sales – After a year of deliberating, Ephraim voted not to expand alcohol sales to allow for wine shops.
  12. Wickman Gets James Beard Nomination – The Ellison Bay restaurant scored a nomination for Best Restaurant in America.
  13. Door to Nature: Fall Migration – Charlotte Lukes on the beginning of the fall bird exodus.
  14. Family of Flavors: Jamaican Door Blends Hatch Family’s Jamaican and Door County Heritage.
  15. Loss of an Island Sportsman – When 23-year-old Washington Island native Bradley Jordan was killed in a motorcycle crash in Baileys Harbor, it sparked an outpouring of remembrances and emotion.