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Popular Oshkosh waterfront restaurant expands

TJ’s Harbor Restaurant adds more indoor seating to meet customer demand

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April 18, 2024

OSHKOSH – Boasting year-round views of Lake Winnebago, TJ’s Harbor Restaurant in Oshkosh can now welcome more customers thanks to a recent expansion.

General Manager Kristin Treichel said the recently completed expansion at TJ’s (7098 S. U.S. Highway 45) added a wood-fired pizza oven, a new small bar area, seating for 75 customers and a golf simulator.

The recent project, Treichel said, followed work done on the restaurant’s outdoor patio and viewing deck overlooking Lake Winnebago last summer.

Space, she said, was the driving force behind this most recent expansion.

“We can be busy, especially from May through October, and people might sometimes leave because there’s no space,” she said. “Now, we have a lot more space to serve everyone. People love it.”

The wood-fired oven, Treichel said – which allows customers to watch their pizzas being made – was all Owner TJ Rogers’ idea.

Customers can view their pizzas being made in the recently added wood-fired pizza oven. Submitted Photo

“TJ wanted a wood-fired pizza oven as a way to set us apart,” she said.

Because the restaurant was new to wood-fire cooking, Treichel said staff had a little extra practice time before offering the option to customers.

“We were able to give staff some time to work with the oven before we opened that side up for customers,” she said. “It’s a different experience when you are cooking before your customers.”

Before the expansion, Treichel said the indoor restaurant could seat about 65, so the new addition created a lot of new space for customers to spread out.

A bit of background
Treichel said Rogers is an Oshkosh native who now lives in California where he owns Clos de la Tech Wines – many of which are available at the restaurant.

Though he doesn’t live in Northeast Wisconsin year-round, Treichel said Rogers has season tickets for the Green Bay Packers and returns to the area for all home games.

Being located on the lake, having its own docks and having a large outdoor area, Treichel said, provides various options for customers at TJ’s.

“There is a lot of room (on the outside patio),” she said. “People enjoy being out near the water when the weather is nice,” she said. “It’s not only the patio but also the viewing deck‚ there’s a lot of great views.”

A peek at the menu
In addition to the wood-fired pizza oven, Treichel said the restaurant’s focus on rotisserie-style cooking also helps it stand out.

All of the meat for TJ’s sandwiches, salads and kinds of pasta, she said, are roasted in its rotisserie oven to provide a healthy dining alternative.

The restaurant also makes all its own bread and pasta.

Its popular menu item – cheese curds, along with its other cheese products – Treichel said are locally sourced from Weyauwega Star Dairy.

TJ’s Harbor Restaurant added a wood-fired pizza oven as part of its recently completed renovations. Submitted Photo

In addition to Rogers’ Clos de la Tech Wines, the ever-changing beverage menu includes craft beers and seasonal cocktails (including a long list of martinis, such as bourbon ball, pumpkin, cookie and cream and cookie dough).

TJ’s also offers margarita (including Valencia orange, cucumber jalapeno and blueberry basil); old fashioned (such as bird dog apple, coffee-infused bourbon and smoked maple) and bloody Mary (seasonal) flights.

The restaurant, Treichel said – which employs 60, increasing to 85 during the summer months – also has weekly specials, including pasta night, soup-flight half-priced wine nights and Friday night fish fries, often featuring lake perch, haddock and blackened catfish.

TJ’s Harbor Restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sundays.

For more information, visit or check out the restaurant’s social media platforms.

Giving back
It’s also important to TJ’s, Treichel said, to be a supportive member of the Greater Oshkosh community.

The restaurant recently held a Pizza for the Pups event where a portion of proceeds on wood-fired pizza sales were donated to Saving Sully – a local dog rescue organization.

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