B&Bs, PACs, supper to go, virtual tailgates


Bed and breakfast operators intend to do good as they mark Arbor Day and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, founded by the late U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.

Participants in the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association program, “Pollinating Good Ideas,” agree to protect and grow pollinator-friendly environments.

What does that mean? Six quick examples:

At Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn, Belleville, are a nature pond, native wildflower plantings and gardens with bee balm, purple coneflowers and lavender to attract bees and butterflies. cameorose.com

Honeybee Inn, Horicon, will gain an outdoor bee hotel and flow hive this summer. honeybeeinn.com

Justin Trails Resort, Sparta, began restoring and planting new prairies on 200 acres in 2008. Another new, 25-acre prairie will be added in autumn. justintrails.com

Lake Ripley Lodge, Cambridge, maintains four rain gardens that contain Wisconsin flowers and shrubs. lakeripley.com

Silver Star B&B Inn, Spring Green, dedicates 12 of its 70 acres to native flowers that attract pollinators. silverstarinn.com

Willow Pond Bed, Breakfast and Events, Weyauwega, adds a gazebo surrounded by flowers and pathways this year. Flowers on 12 acres bloom from spring into fall. willowpondevents.com

Innkeepers are following recommendations from the University of Wisconsin Extension and nonprofit Xerces Society, a conservation group. Their commitment to “Pollinating Good Ideas” was made before COVID-19 complicated B&B business.

To see which B&Bs are open and closed: wisconsinbandb.com.

Fingers crossed that 2020-21 performing arts schedules proceed as planned. Count Milwaukee, Madison and Appleton venues among those that book popular and award-winning Broadway shows that tour the nation.

“Mean Girls,” the musical comedy based on a book and screenplay by nine-time Emmy winner Tina Fey, is booked at Overture Center for the Arts, Madison (Oct. 6-12); Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton (Oct. 13-18); and Marcus Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee (Feb. 16-21, 2021).

“Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations” is coming to Milwaukee (July 6-11, 2021) and Madison (July 13-18, 2021).

“Aida,” the Elton John and Tim Rice musical based on an opera of the same name, is scheduled in Milwaukee (April 27-May 2, 2021) and Appleton (May 4-9, 2021).

Other Broadway productions coming to Appleton: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Dec. 8-13; “Disney’s Frozen,” Feb. 24-March 7, 2021; “Cats,” April 6-11, 2021; and “Tootsie,” June 15-20, 2021.

Madison presents “Chicago,” Nov. 17-22; “Oklahoma,” Feb. 16-21, 2021; “The Lion King,” March 18-April 11, 2021; “The Prom,” May 11-16, 2021; and “Dear Evan Hansen,” June 15-20, 2021.

Expected in Milwaukee: “Les Miserables,” Oct. 27-Nov. 1; “Pretty Woman,” Nov. 24-29; “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Jan. 19-24, 2021; and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” May 16-21, 2021.

For more about these shows and other upcoming entertainment: overture.org, marcuscenter.org, foxcities.broadway.com.


Lowlands Group went ahead with its plan to open a new restaurant this month, albeit for just takeout service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Frank and Larry’s Buckatabon (“buck a tabin”) Tavern and Supper Club in Wauwatosa’s historic area is inspired by the multi-generational, family-run supper clubs of the Northwoods.

“This is obviously a crazy time to open a restaurant, but I have been so incredibly humbled and inspired by our team and their desire to find a way to get our restaurant open,” says Eric Wagner, CEO for Lowlands Group, of his employees.

“At the end of the day, we want what all Milwaukeeans who are hunkered down with their families want – some comfort, and a small return to normalcy. What better way to do that than with the supper club experience at home?”

On the to-go menu: prime rib, lasagna, barbecue ribs, fish fry entrees. Add an Old Fashioned, Bloody Mary or Mimosa package that serves eight or more. thebuckatabon.com

The Lowlands Group originally announced they were closing all of their restaurants when the statewide stay-at-home order was announced.

“We’re taking our time with reopening our restaurants as we study and learn how to do so safely for both our teams and the communities we serve,” Wagner said. lowlandsgroup.com

The virtual tailgate has begun, even though pro football season is months away.

Green Bay Isolation Virtual Tailgate is a new Facebook group that whoops it up from noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays. It is the work of the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Fans from around the world can join together virtually for camaraderie and community,” the bureau explains. “Every football season, we are reminded of the sense of pride our fans have. Tailgating brings together friends and neighbors, and that’s what we think this virtual tailgate can do” for Green Bay Packers fans.

Look for drink recipes, grilling ideas and tailgate talk. Upload a photo or video of your quarantine crew “enjoying at-home tailgate activities.”

Pay particular attention on April 25, when Super Bowl XXXI is re-broadcast during tailgate time. That’s when Brett Favre led the Packers against New England in New Orleans. facebook.com/groups/gbisolatetailgate