Skip to main content

Enjoy a ‘Sip’ at newly reopened Door County establishment

Owned by a brother and sister duo, the Ephraim eatery originally opened in June 2022

share arrow printer bookmark flag

December 13, 2023

EPHRAIM – Bright walls, bright food and bright hopes for the future – the new Sip is officially open on Ephraim’s north side.

“Both of us love being surrounded by happy and bright colors,” Co-owner Jennie Bexell said. “We wanted a colorful interior to match the fun and colorful food that we had planned.”

Jennie said Sip is focused on creating food that matches its atmosphere.

“You’ll find color all around here including colorful dishware and colorful food filling them,” she said.

After originally opening in June 2022, the eatery took a brief hiatus to undergo an expansion and menu reinvention.

Co-owning the establishment with her brother Fred, Jennie said the space and menu revamp was done with strategic intention – with renovations in the works from the beginning.

“When we opened Sip and before we even made it through the first week, we knew our tiny little kitchen (a former office) and the layout of the building needed some tweaks for us to get the relaxed feel we were aiming for,” Jennie said.

The eatery, located at 10326 N. Water St., offers a broad menu – which includes gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options – with breakfast, lunch and dinner items complimented by specialty coffees, beers and wines.

Jennie said the planning process included sketching out additions that would remedy space issues for the kitchen and bathroom, as well as add storage spaces, improve accessibility and create a better flow in the front of the house.

“We wanted to create a place where you always felt welcomed – like the feeling of walking into a friend’s house and not wanting to leave,” she said.

The perfect spot 
Originally, Jennie said the building was purchased to be used as a warehouse for her other venture, a local clothing store business called Spot.

“The day I closed on the building, I had my brother stop by and have a toast, and the cozy feel inside of the building made us both start dreaming,” she said. “It only took a couple of days for the concept of Sip to take form.”

The building also houses Spot Home, an extension of Jennie’s retail business.

“We have created a cute little shop in the upstairs part of the building, and all the decor downstairs is also part of the shop,” she said. “There are lots of fun holiday ideas and gifts on display.”

Door County connections
Fred and Jennie both immigrated to Wisconsin from Sweden in their early 20s.

Jennie said opening a restaurant with her brother was an easy choice, especially with his rich background in the restaurant industry. 

Sip is owned and operated by brother and sister duo Jennie and Fred Bexell. Submitted Photo

“Fred went to culinary school in Sweden and has 30-plus years of experience in the restaurant business,” she said. “He ran his own restaurant back home.”

Before opening her own businesses, Jennie worked at Al Johnson’s, a Swedish restaurant and butik (boutique) in Sister Bay.
Fred continues to serve as its general manager.

“We are from the same small town as Ingert Johnson, Al’s wife, and grew up hearing about Door County from Ingert’s family back home,” Jennie said. “The pull of Door County has always been strong for both of us.”

With a background in business herself, Jennie opened Spot locations in both Sister Bay and Egg Harbor – which are open year-round and showcase her self-described lively style. 

Brand new bites
In addition to its already diverse menu, Sip now offers appetizers, a kids menu, dinner and dessert.

Some new items include lemon piccata pasta, black bean smash burgers and donut dippers.

Additionally, Sip will now offer grab-and-go snack and sandwich options.

“We have kept all of the menu items we had before renovations, but have added a lot of new options,” she said. “Sticking with the fresh and colorful theme, we like to think there is something for everyone on our allergy-conscious menu.” 

The eatery crafts a variety of menu items, including donut dippers pictured here. Submitted Photo

A nod to its name, there are plenty of sips available, too.

“We also offer a full coffee menu, wine and beer – tap beer coming soon,” said Bexell. 

In addition to its food and beverage offerings, Jennie said Sip aims to provide a space to slow down for meals.

“Door County gets a little hectic at times and we were aiming to create a break from that,” she said. “It’s a place to enjoy the company of your family and friends or a fun place to get some work done or read a book.”

Jennie said she enjoys seeing familiar faces each day and especially is excited to meet new guests.

“Seeing everyone’s reaction to our little ‘rainbow space’ makes us so happy,” she said.

An inviting space
Venturing beyond the turquoise front doors, Jennie said patrons are met with the eatery’s slogan – “Let’s Sip Together” – appropriately displayed in bright neon on the wall.

The space includes a variety of seating choices, including areas that Jennie said invite conversation.

“Our community table is a great space to make new friends or have dinner with your friends and family,” she said. “There’s also lots of nooks to find the space and mood that fits your day.”

With the new additions, Jennie said Sip can now accommodate larger groups and special events.

Co-owner Jennie Bexell said Sip is filled with an abundance of natural light and offers patrons a cozy atmosphere to relax, converse and enjoy a refreshing sip. Jennifer Much Photo

“Our new space is perfect to host private parties and gatherings,” she said. “You can rent out the whole restaurant to throw your Christmas party, or book one of the rooms for a smaller event like a baby shower.”

Another aspect of Sip that sets it apart, Jennie said, is its staff.

“We are beyond lucky to have the most amazing staff that take such great care of our guests and each other,” she said. “It is one of the biggest joys as a business owner, seeing staff and guests become friends.”

Jennie said there is more to look forward to at the restaurant.

“We are so happy to be part of the incredible community that is Door County,” she said. “We have felt so welcome from day one and we are so excited to keep growing the Sip concept. We have lots of tricks up our sleeve yet – neither of us is good at sitting still!”

Sip is open daily year round 7 a.m to 8 p.m.

For more information or to view their menu, visit

share arrow printer bookmark flag

Trending View All Trending