Viking to Become Blue Bear

The new owners of the Viking Grill in Ellison Bay will bring a new name and new menu to the location, but breakfast and lunch will still be its staples. Tesa and Joseph Schulte aim to finish renovations and reopen the restaurant as Blue Bear by Memorial Day. 

“Just Blue Bear,” Tesa Schulte said, with no “Cafe” or “Bakery” at the end. “I don’t want to confuse people with the Blue Horse Cafe in Fish Creek, which has done a fabulous job for a long time.”

The couple opened the original Blue Bear in Racine, Wisconsin, six years ago and will continue to operate that location as well. Schulte said their menus in Racine have featured primarily locally sourced ingredients and made-from-scratch items, and she hopes to do the same in Ellison Bay. 

The new restaurant will serve brunch five days a week, 8 am – 2 pm, and if they can staff up, she hopes to serve dinner as well. Diners can expect a much different menu from what the Viking served.

Several years ago, Schulte contracted Lyme disease, which made her sensitive to gluten, preservatives and chemicals. As a result, she incorporates many vegan, keto and gluten-free options into her menu and bakery items. 

“It’s not that we don’t offer traditional options,” she said. “We just also offer healthier options for those with restrictions. I wanted to create a place where people with dietary restrictions can feel normal and not just settle for a salad.”

The Schultes have worked in restaurants since they were teenagers and have been looking for an opportunity in Door County for the past five years. They were attracted to the Viking property because of Ellison Bay’s slower pace and the apartment upstairs, but there was one more perk for their brunch offerings: a liquor license. That means diners can enjoy Bloody Marys and other brunch cocktails, or craft cocktails with dinner service. 

Get a peek at what to expect at

Related Organizations