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Kropp’s Supper Club: Traveling back in time

The long-standing establishment in Mill Center is under new ownership

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June 14, 2023

MILL CENTER – Situated about five miles northwest of the hustle and bustle of the City of Green Bay, sits a historic building at 4570 Shawano Ave. in Mill Center – which has, for nearly 80 years, been home to Kropp’s Supper Club.

And if new owners Bob and Danielle Kapla have their way, the supper club won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

“We’ve been coming here ourselves for more than a decade,” Bob said. “If there was one supper club we’d ever consider owning, it was Kropp’s.”

Walking into the long-standing establishment, which was opened in 1946 by Clarence and Isabelle Kropp, you’ll see remnants of simpler times.

“Supper clubs were big in the 1940s, and were often in the middle of nowhere,” Danielle said. “The atmosphere is much different from a normal restaurant or bar, which might be open all day and more times during the week and have more food options. The lighting is low, we don’t have TVs to watch sports, it’s more relaxing – a time for socializing – and the food is homemade. You’re not in a hurry when you come to a supper club. You might come in and have a few drinks at the bar before getting to your table.”

Danielle said Kropp’s even used to have live entertainment.

“They’d clear away some of the tables and a band would play to end the night,” she said. “If the walls inside Kropp’s could tell stories, there would be plenty of them told.”

Bob said at Kropp’s, you won’t see people sitting on their phones either.

“When people come to a place like this, it’s like they want to get away from life and travel back in time,” he said. “I know when I walk in here, I think back to my childhood. There aren’t many supper clubs left – they are kind of a dying breed.”

Wanting to preserve the history of the building, which dates back to 1904 when Edward Lawler built the town’s tavern, food and lodging establishment, the Kaplas said they don’t plan on making any sweeping changes.

“If anything, we want to bring parts of the building back in time,” Danielle said. “It’s an old building, so we don’t want to remove the nostalgia it’s had for so many years.”

Because the building is so old, Bob said it would be difficult to change much structurally.

“If you were to do that, you might as well keep Kropp’s like it currently is and make another building off the back,” he said. “To give you some idea, this building doesn’t even have an outdoor faucet – they probably hauled water outside or got it from a well.”

Danielle said they have a few ideas planned.

//’s has three separate dining areas and 17 tables for patrons to pick from. Rich Palzewic Photo

“We want to get a picture of the original owners and hang that up,” she said. “We’d love to get back to the original hardwood floors, but we’re not sure of their condition – we’ll have to take a look. We’ve also thought about exposing more of the brick, but again, we’re not sure of the condition.”

Danielle said they also plan to change the look and feel of the menu.

“The food will all stay the same, with the addition of barbeque ribs,” she said. “We’ll be integrating some new recipes for that – that’s traditional supper club food.”

When asked what Kropp’s is best known for, Bob was quick to answer.

“It’s the fish,” he said. “It’s done the same as it was years ago. Saturday night lobster and steak are also very popular.”
A funny story
After Lisa and Jamie Condon sold Kropp’s to Joey and Jenny Delcorps in 2021, the Kaplas said it’s a “rather funny story how we ended up being owners.”

“We came in last November with friends and Jenny happened to be our waitress,” Bob said. “Me being me – I like to talk – I mentioned how it’s weird for me coming in here because I almost bought the place six years ago. We got to chatting, and I told her the timing wasn’t right then because our kids were younger.”

In the meantime, Bob said Jenny sent Danielle a Facebook message – one she didn’t immediately see.

“I don’t use Facebook much,” Danielle laughed. “Jenny sent the message in November, and we didn’t see it until the end of January. We were getting ready to go see my sister in California, but after seeing the message, we reached out. The message asked if we were interested in buying Kropp’s.”

Bob said he and Danielle met with the Delcorps before leaving for California.

“One thing led to another, and we met again in late February,” he said. “We got all the numbers in later March to see if we could make things work. On April 13, we made an offer. On April 15, they countered us and we accepted – we’ve been here ever since. It was kind of dumb luck.”
The transition
Danielle said the Delcorps allowed her and Bob to learn more about the business before officially becoming owners in mid-June.

“We got acclimated about the inner-workings of Kropp’s,” she said. “We learned how to do the different jobs – I started by greeting and hostessing, and Bob was in the back working. Bob was a bartender in the past, so he got used to that again. The time we had from the end of April until now has been nice – we’ve been able to hit the ground running.”

// 1904, Edward Lawler built the town’s tavern, food and lodging establishment, which later became known as Kropp’s Supper Club. Rich Palzewic Photo

With the previous two sets of owners having relatively short runs at the business, Bob said he and Danielle’s goal is at least a 10-15 year window.

“We’ll be empty-nesters this September, so Danielle and I have every intention to make this a long-term thing,” he said. “You never know – maybe even one of our kids will want to take it over after we’re done.”
Kropp’s is open Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. and Friday/Saturday from 4-9 p.m.

“We are both keeping our full-time jobs,” Bob said. “As of now, we don’t plan to be open another day – that could change eventually but not right now. We need to get settled into the groove. Previous owners have tried to open more, but there maybe wasn’t the appetite for it. It also depends on staff.”

The Kaplas said Kropp’s doesn’t take reservations – it’s first come, first serve.

“When we open at 4 p.m., people are lined up waiting to get in,” Danielle said. “When the bartender puts the open flag out, that keys people to come in. We get a mad rush at 4 p.m. On a busy night, it keeps going from there.”

For more information and to view the menu, visit

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