By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Club 40 east of Colfax on state Highway 40 has reopened with new owners.
“We’ve owned some businesses before, Lori and I have. And the opportunity came up that Trish was willing to be a partner. So we decided with our knowledge of running businesses, and Trish’s involvement, we felt comfortable,” said Joel Hilson, one of the new owners.
Club 40 reopened at the end of October and had been closed since the end of July.
Joel and his wife, Lori, each are one-third partners in the business in conjunction with the third co-owner, Trish Holmberg.
“The opportunity came along and we took it,” Hilson said.
“As of now, we’re going to try to run it the same. We are looking at adding a kitchen and adding food and expanding the menu. Right now we’ve got pizzas and pizza fries and garlic bread, prepared foods, and regular bar food, like chips. We want to offer burgers and fries at some point,” he said.
The Hilsons are still working other jobs.
“We work here as needed,” Joel Hilson said.
“A lot of community members have come in, and they’re happy we’ve opened it up again. Club 40 has been around a long time,” he said.
When asked how long Club 40 has been in business, Hilson said he did not know.
Trish Holmberg, who operates and manages the tavern, said she was not sure how long the tavern had been around, either, but knew that multiple people had owned the tavern for a number of years for each owner.
The new owners are not planning to change the name of Club 40.
“That was a question everyone asked us: are you changing the name? No. We’re not changing the name. Everyone knows it as Club 40 and that’s what it’s going to stay. We’re not adding anyone’s name to it. Just Club 40. And the phone number is 962-CLUB,” Hilson said.
Club 40 had specials for Halloween and will have specials for Green Bay games.
“The bar always had a Halloween party. And we have food and drink specials on Green Bay game days. Our grand opening went well. We had quite a crowd. The first weekend we were open we had a good crowd. It was through word of mouth. On Wednesday we’ll have our traditional day before Thanksgiving party. During deer hunting we will have soup and crackers available for the hunters,” Hilson said.
And then there’s the Christmas sweaters.
“We are planning to have the Ugly Christmas Sweater party again this year. We’ll have music that night,” he said.
Club 40 also is planning to have a Hawaiian shirt day at some point in the future.
“We’ve had a lot of people come, a lot of regulars who have come back,” Hilson said, noting that he is pleased to be able to continue a tradition that has been part of the community for so many years.