The Augusta Club space becomes available in June
Change is coming to a Door County site with a rich history spanning from its past as an upscale, Polynesian-styled lounge and steakhouse to its eras as a nightly dance-music venue and lakefront supper club.
One thing that won’t change at the 11,000-square-foot building housing Florian II in Baileys Harbor is the family ownership.
Shane Kwaterski and his wife, Maddy, watched for years as his parents, Jerry and Mindy, and Jerry’s twin brother, Joe, and his wife, Tina, quietly marketed the building at 8048 Hwy 57 for a buyer.
“It would be a shame for it not to stay in the family,” said Shane.
He said if somebody else bought it, they might choose bulldozing the place and putting up condos as an easy path for a return on investment.
He and Maddy plan to transition to a new business model, naming it The Augusta Club in honor of his great-grandmother, Augusta Walther. The matriarch of the family not only provided recipes, know-how and prep work in the restaurant, she helped raise Jerry, Joe and four siblings in the apartment above the FlorAda – Florian and Ada Kwaterski’s building that burned in 1971 at the same location.
The Augusta Club will become available in June for weddings, banquets, meetings, community events, reunions or for lease as a maker’s space – and perhaps a music series in-season, or even in winter.
Shane, a 2005 Gibraltar graduate who grew up working at Florian II, and Maddy, a Milwaukee-area native, reside in Oregon. Shane works in marine/boat sales, and Maddy as a copywriter in the health industry. Both spend much of their summer in Door County, working remotely.
Shane said he wouldn’t stand against an arrangement or lease to make it into a restaurant again someday, but for now, their rental business model should come with more-predictable income and costs.
Shane and Maddy plan to make a few updates, but not the kitchen and certainly not the large, iconic bar and stage.
“We’re changing just enough to make the space work for events,” Shane said. “We’re picturing weddings, community events, family reunions, that sort of thing.”
Most important to the new venture will be community involvement. The couple said they are “committed to leveraging local vendors and businesses to showcase the talented people that make Door County so special.”