Door County Reads Keynote Discusses Life in the Restaurant Business

The Door County Library closes out its 10th annual Door County Reads community-wide reading event with a celebration of local eateries and their role in building community with a keynote panel, “The Next Best Thing to Eating Food, is Talking About It!”

Featuring several Door County “restaurant celebrities,” the panel will share their favorite food and restaurant-related stories and experiences. The event will reflect the setting of this year’s Door County Reads selection.

“In the Door County Reads book Empire Falls, the Empire Grill obviously plays a big part of a local community and in Door County we have a lot of restaurants that play a big part in our local community,” said Tracy Vreeke, event organizer and Door County Library acquisitions/cataloger. “It’s the hub of the action and where the characters come and go from so we wanted to tap into that.”

Featured restaurateurs from across the county are Sandy Andre, Phil Berndt, Myles Dannhausen Jr., Holly Hebel, Annika Johnson and Bug Ripp.

“We will ask some questions about stories from their restaurant, how their restaurant plays a part of the community, tapping into the book,” Vreeke said. “For example, in the book there are different characters that come and go from the restaurant and the restaurant is a type of meeting place so I’d like the people on the panel to talk about how they feel their restaurant is a meeting place for the community. It will be a fun night of sharing stories, sharing restaurant talk, sharing a community spirit and then afterwards we’re going to do some treats and some drinks from local businesses.”

Vreeke, who owned and operated the Village Café in Egg Harbor for a number of years, drew from her experience in the local restaurant scene to compile the keynote speakers. While she will not be sharing her own stories during the talk, she was willing to share one with our readers.

“Sometimes people will have a complaint or not like their meal. It didn’t happen very often, luckily, but my favorite complaint that our restaurant, which was largely a breakfast restaurant, got was the fact that someone’s omelets tasted too much like scrambled eggs,” Vreeke said. “That’s a tough one to figure out how to fix.”

The free event will take place at 7 pm on Thursday, Feb. 9 at Third Avenue Playhouse, 239 N. Third Ave. in Sturgeon Bay.


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