Primo places for Packer fans to visit

It is easy to relive the glory days of football in Green Bay, even without involving Lambeau Field.

“Packer City Antiques sells the best collection of past and present Packer memorabilia I’ve seen,” writes Mike Schaller of Janesville. “It is a must-see for true Packer fans.”

“I strongly recommend Fuzzy’s #63 Bar & Grill,” writes Mike Nelson of Madison. It “not only had great Packer and NFL memorabilia, but we got to meet the Packer Hall of Famer himself.” He is referring to bar owner Fuzzy Thurston, the starting guard of Super Bowl I and II fame.

Those two pieces of advice lead our roundup of excellent places for Packers’ fans to visit. One Mike will get a copy of a motivational book, “The Lombardi Rules: 26 Lessons From Vince Lombardi” by Vince Lombardi Jr. The other will get a copy of “Sidetracked in Wisconsin: A Guide for Thoughtful Travelers,” my book about great places and people close to home.

A 16×20-inch, framed photo of Brett Favre and Bart Starr costs $675 at Card & Coin/Packer City Antiques, says owner Mike Worachek, who calls the item “one of my great sellers.” Also in the inventory: dozens of Favre-autographed items, football cards from the 1940s, Ice Bowl pictures, football books/yearbooks, mini-helmet collections.

At 2,000 square feet, the place “is not very big, but they should charge admission just to come in to look at all the neat stuff,” says Jason Ring of the Packer Country Visitor & Convention Bureau.

For more: www.packercityantiques.com, 920-498-0050. Card & Coin/Packer City Antiques is at 1920 Marlee Lane, Green Bay (near Military and Lombardi).

Reader Mike Nelson described Fuzzy Thurston as “a real gentleman to me and my family.  He posed for pictures and I could tell he enjoyed this as much as we did.” Fuzzy’s restaurant has good food at a fair price, Mike says, and the place “is just like a hall of fame, only better because you can meet and talk with a Hall of Famer.”

The best time to catch Fuzzy, a staffer said, is on the Fridays before a home game or during a Packers’ game.

For more: www.fuzzys63.com, 920-494-6633. Fuzzy’s #63 Bar & Grill is at 2511 W. Mason, Green Bay.

It would be criminal to ignore weekly WFRV-TV sports shows that are broadcast from the Lambeau Field Atrium during the Packers’ playing season. Tickets to “Inside Lambeau” and “Larry McCarren’s Locker Room” are free, but on a first-come basis. There is a per-person ticket limit.

For more: www.wfrv.com/sports, 920-437-5411. The Lambeau Field Atrium is home to Curly’s Pub and the Hall of Fame Grill, as well as the Packers Hall of Fame. For more: www.packers.com, 920-569-7500.

Legends of Lombardi Avenue, which comes in “family” and “tailgate” versions, is a guided tour of historic pro football sites in Green Bay. A double-decker bus is used during the football season (the last such tour is Dec. 21), but private tours also can be arranged.

For more: www.packercountry.com, 888-867-3342. Stops include former team playing fields and businesses popular with players/fans.

Packer Country staffer Jason Ring isn’t one of the tour guides, but he’s a tremendous resource for advice about Packers’ history in Green Bay. Curley Lambeau’s home, he notes, was at 1205 Cherry St. A modest grave marker near the southeast corner of Allouez Catholic Cemetery, 2121 Riverside Drive, shows the team founder’s final resting place.

What else? Check out the “signature wall” at Kroll’s West, 1990 S. Ridge Road (www.krollswest.com, 920-497-1111) to see the dozens of players who have eaten there. The place is best known for its burgers, and the family business has been around since 1931, making it one of Green Bay’s oldest restaurant names.

Brett Favre’s Steakhouse, 1004 Brett Favre Pass (www.brettfavressteakhouse.com, 920-499-6874) is full of the quarterback’s personal treasures (college team cleats to MVP trophy) as well as cuts of beef. The signature steak is a 20-ounce London Broil.

We’ll also mention two worthy Packer fan stops that are outside of Green Bay.

Glory Days Sports Pub in La Crosse is a must see for Packer fans when visiting the Coulee Region,” writes John Davis of Sun Prairie. “The place is loaded with Packer
memorabilia.”

He contends that owner Mark Schneider “bleeds green and gold, and he has stocked the place with museum quality Packer stuff.”

For more: 608-782-4005. Glory Days Sports Pub is at 324 S. Fourth St., La Crosse.

Realtor Mike Zurfluh of Wisconsin Rapids clued us in about an extensive collection of Packer memorabilia – at his office – that others have dubbed the “Packer Hall of Fame West.” (This lifelong fan also has co-hosted the “Monday Morning Quarterback” radio show in Rapids for 10 years.)

“Many times we have people come in off the street just to take a tour of what we have, right down to the larger-than-life statue of Bart Starr,” Mike writes. Visitors routinely stop during business hours to look at the displays, which include 6- to 12-foot-long murals and a “Packer train” that cycles through the reception area.

Smaller, vintage items are showcased in lockers that Mike obtained from the Packers Hall of Fame before its 2003 move into the Lambeau Field Atrium.

For more: www.zurfluhrealty.com, 715-424-1500. Zurfluh Realty is at 2521 Eighth St. South, Wisconsin Rapids. Look for the green and gold exterior.