One of Door County’s premier fine-dining restaurants – as well as a historical landmark – is changing hands.
After 18 years, Bill and Michelle Tressler have sold the Whistling Swan Inn and Restaurant in downtown Fish Creek to Amos Goaz. In a statement posted to Facebook Dec. 31, the Tresslers wrote, “The Whistling Swan will forever be part of Door County and Fish Creek history; we feel confident that the new owner will ensure its bright future.”
Michael Schwantes of Creative Business Solutions confirmed that the sale was completed Dec. 31. Wisconsin real estate records show that the property was sold for $2 million. Goaz purchased Juniper’s Gin Joint in January 2021 and owns several other commercial properties in Fish Creek.
Goaz was traveling and could not be reached for comment, but indications from Schwantes and the Tresslers are that the inn will continue operations this winter and the restaurant will reopen in the spring under the same name.
In their Facebook post, the Tresslers thanked their staff members and customers for nearly two decades of support.
“We would like to thank general manager Scott Zimmerman, the true heart and soul of the Swan for so many great years,” their post reads. “He created the warm, laid-back vibe that kept guests coming back year after year. We’d also like to thank executive chef Adam Schierl for creating the most delicious, soulful food that our guests dreamed about between visits. Thank you to all the amazing staff members who worked for us throughout the past 18 seasons.”
The building has a long and storied history, with eight owners, four names and a life in two states, courtesy of a trip across the ice that has become the stuff of Door County legend. Originally called the Lumberman’s Hotel, it was built in Marinette in 1889. Around 1906, the entire hotel was disassembled and brought across the Green Bay winter ice to Fish Creek.
Dr. Herman Welcker aimed to provide a special place for cultural experiences for his guests in what came to be known as Dr. Welcker’s Casino. In 1997, the buildings that once made up Welcker’s resort were designated the Welcker Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Best to Call Ahead
Want to dine out during the coming weeks? You may want to call ahead. Many restaurants have been hit hard recently by COVID-19 infections among staff members that have forced dining establishments to close abruptly or reduce their offerings.