Increasingly, in our travels we have come to find that places are starting to look and feel the same. Sprawl, big box stores, contemporary shops, most seemingly formula like in their similarities. Sometimes, it is hard to know just where you are because it can all look and feel so similar.

So, we enjoy finding and speaking of places that clearly offer a sense of place.

We recently came upon a shop in Madison, Wisconsin which meets our approval.

It is “The Old Fashioned”, described as ” a Wisconsin-themed, retro-style tavern offering beers, brats & cheese curds”.

“Inspired by the traditions of Wisconsin taverns and supper clubs, The Old Fashioned exists to pay tribute to the foods and spirits that make our state famous”, reads it’s website. It has been described as a place “where the furniture suggests a raid on Grandma’s parlor”.

When they founded the place in 2005, it was with images of a fish fry or sitting around a northwoods campfire roasting marshmallows with friends – Wisconsin images – that were in their head – those unique experiences that make Wisconsin so…Wisconsin. Those things, “When you live here, these things become a part of you”.
It translates into a whole menu section to cheese (Cheese curds are favored).

Or, as they themselves put it:
That’s why we chose highlight meats, cheeses, produce, and local specialties from small Wisconsin producers. It’s why we drive over 100 miles to Seymour to pick up a shipment of their world-famous soda (and of course, take back our empties). It’s why we don’t mind a jaunt to Sheboygan for brats and hard rolls. And it’s why it’s commonplace to find Willi Lehner from Bleu Mont Dairy sitting down with a cheese plate featuring a selection of his craft. These things are all as much a part of the Wisconsin culinary tradition as an ice-cold PBR paired with a spicy pickled egg, or Reuf’s Meat Market landjaeger sausages.We all make our homes here, and we grew up on the traditions of Friday fish fry, Saturday prime rib, and Sunday wood-fired chicken. We invite you to stop into our home-away-from-home and sample our selection of Wisconsin beers, wines, spirits, and specialty drinks. And of course to try our namesake: the classic, hand-muddled Old Fashioned.

There are lots of beers to go along, special events and more. All with a unique Wisconsin feel.

They make a special point to tell us that at the Old Fashioned, the place to them “means so much more than beers, brats, and cheese. Don’t worry, we take all those things very seriously, but we’re equally committed to preserving the unique heritage that defines our way of life. When you walk through our doors, you’ll not only experience what Wisconsin was, you’ll taste what it always will be”.

Our kind of place