Steaks, along with the Stage Stop specialty of baked potatoes with heaps of butter, are ready for serving (Submitted Photo/The Report).

By Jason Arndt

About seven months after Wilmot Stage reopened its doors, the 169-year-old restaurant shut down again on Aug. 11, when the family stated they have no plans to reconsider.

“It is with bittersweet circumstances that we are closing the doors of the Wilmot Stage Stop forever. The legacy of this establishment has come to an end,” the statement said on its now-shuttered Facebook page.

Wilmot Stage Stop was owned by Ron and Nancy Hackett, the fifth of seven generations involved in the business, which had oversight from the couple’s daughter, Jill.

Unlike the previous closure in July 2016, when the family had a similar announcement, the term forever was not included in the statement.

Although the business closed after about seven months, the Hacketts credited their daughter, Jill, for rejuvenating the establishment.

Jill replaced the traditional hamburger with certified Angus beef, added two cocktail drinks and created a scrapbook of artifacts from the second and third floor for handicapped customers who wanted to see the items.

“We reopened the business one year ago with healthy hearts and minds,” the Hacketts said on Aug. 11. “Our daughter Jill hired an incredible staff and created a successful dining experience we will cherish.”

The dining experience started in 1848, shortly before Wisconsin was added to the State of the Union, and began as a hotel for settlers looking for a night of rest on the third floor of the former Wilmot Hotel, now the Wilmot Stage Stop.


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