Lake Country Red Circle Inn restaurant purchased by Hendricks subsidiary

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The Red Circle Inn, located at N44 W33013 Watertown Plank Road, Nashotah. Photo credit: Geronimo Hospitality Group

History Red Circle Inn restaurant and event venue in Nashotah, which is considered the oldest restaurant in Wisconsin, was acquired by a subsidiary of Beloit Hendricks Commercial Propertiesfounded by billionaire Diane Hendricks.

This subsidiary, Geronimo Hotel Grouptook over ownership and operation of the Red Circle Inn from Norman and Martha Eckstaedt, who had run the fine-dining establishment since 1993.

The property, located at N44 W33013 Watertown Plank Road, was recently sold to Hendricks Commercial Properties for $2.23 million, according to state records.

Opened in 1848, the Red Circle Inn has long been known for its upscale menu of hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood and an award-winning wine list. Previous owners include Frederick Pabst and later Aat Groenevelt, the owner and founder of Provimi Veal. Diners can still order drinks from the restaurant’s original Pabst Bar, built in 1889.

“Martha and I have been very fortunate to be caretakers of The Inn for the past 29 years,” Norman Eckstaedt said in a statement. “The events, guests and staff are all most memorable, but the relationships and friendships that have been built over these many years are priceless and will last forever. We both look forward to the exciting next chapter that Geronimo Hospitality will write.

Geronimo will continue to operate the Red Circle Inn as a restaurant and event venue, with plans for interior and exterior upgrades throughout the property. The updated decor and furnishings will pay homage to the Red Circle Inn’s historic past, while incorporating modern amenities, according to a press release. The building includes several private event spaces for groups of up to 240 people.

“We couldn’t be more excited to add Red Circle Inn to our collection of hotel brands. It’s a special place with a great history and amazing staff,” said Jeff Whiteman, COO of Geronimo Hospitality Group. “We are proud to usher in a new era for the Red Circle Inn, honoring its history and paving the way for all that is to come.”

The dining room at the Red Circle Inn is temporarily closed for renovations and will reopen later this fall. The event venue remains open for private events during the refresh.

Geronimo Hospitality Group also owns and operates The Delafield Hotel, Id, Blue Collar Coffee and be FITNESS in Delafield, as well as other hotel brands in Beloit, Indianapolis and Boise, Idaho.

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