Granite House is now ready to fill the gap left when Clubhouse closed | The Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of Dec. 14, 2023
When North Central Health Care closed Community Corner Clubhouse last fall, it left those with mental health and addiction challenges without a place to gather with others going through the same struggles.
But Mike Frankel never gave up on them. He immediately got to work developing a replacement. And that replacement is now live in the Thomas Street neighborhood on Wausau’s west side.
Granite House occupies 4,000 square feet of a 7,000-square-foot building that once housed Zastrow the Beer Man, and has a kitchen, dining, lounge and business development areas. Amy Fromm, who previously worked at the Clubhouse, is now the manager.
The house will start welcoming back members starting today (though some were already helping get Granite House ready) but plans more official grand openings next month.
This week, The Wausonian published a piece we worked on for months looking at failing grade data in central Wisconsin school districts. Basically, the pandemic and distance learning set students back and though things have improved, there is still a long ways to go. Also, here’s my joint piece with my protege Devon Welsh on Wausau’s PFAS suit and its likely outcomes. As well as a story about Rosenberg’s campaign making a pretty significant error, linked in the brief below.
What else in Wausau?
Rosenberg campaign error: Rosenberg’s campaign sponsored a coloring book page which Rosenberg confirmed to The Wausonian should have had a “paid-for” disclaimer. It also linked to a website depicting drug use, which Rosenberg was unaware of, she said. Read the full story on Mayor Katie Rosenberg’s campaign error here.
TIF, for a cause: City leaders gave the first OKs to keeping TIF District No. 6 open for another year. Why? The city plans to use it to fund gaps in city affordable housing projects. (And they rejected a plan to use some of it for lead pipe replacement.) Closing the district early would have brought tax revenue to the city, and possibly lowered residents’ taxes. The city council will still need to make the final call.
Around the metro
County board challenges: The county board will have at least one contested county board race next spring. Randy Fifrick, now working for Wausau but formerly the Community Development Director in Kronenwetter, will face off against Alex Vedvik, who was elected to Kronenwetter Village Board earlier this year. Both are challengers — incumbent Joel Straub has not filed any paperwork saying he will or won’t run. If he does, that could spark a February primary race.
Opioid consultant: The county received $700,000 so far from a settlement with manufacturers of opioid medications, but just one problem: They’re not sure how to spend it. After studying the issue for six months, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee is recommending the county hire a consultant to find the gaps in the county’s treatment of addiction and its impacts. The county is expecting another $2.1 million as the cases progress, and it has to be spent very specifically on combating the impacts of opioid addictions.
Ukrainian baking: A Ukrainian couple who moved to Wausau in 2022 has now opened a bakery and gift shop downtown. Called “Just Right,” the couple plans to hold a grand opening this weekend. It’s located at 119 Scott Street, across from the parking lot where the legendary Scott Street Steak and Pub was once located. 1 (For newer folks to Wausau, the last block on Scott Street before you go past the Dudley Tower and cross the river.)
Polish goodbye: Rodzina, the second restaurant to open up in the former Perkins building, is closing up. The Facebook page is gone and it’s listed on Google as “permanently closed.” At least one employee told WAOW that it was because of a lack of customers.
Venado Cerveceria has expanded its incredible inventory to offer you an even more diverse and delightful array of choices in wine and spirits, bringing you the best! We invite you to experience the epitome of indulgence at our location, 209 Grant Street, Downtown Wausau. Venado is now expanding its service by serving three-course lunch menu and wine. Opens 11 am to 2 pm for lunch Tuesday through Friday; 4-8 pm Tuesday to Thursday; and 4-9 pm Friday and Saturday. Our bar exudes a fantastic vibe that guarantees a memorable time. Step into a haven of relaxation and enjoyment. Whether you're winding down after a long day or looking to kick off a great night out, our welcoming atmosphere and outstanding selection promise an unforgettable.
Friday, Dec. 15: I’m always glad to see the Seth Brown Duo on the schedule — The duo kind of reminds me of Tom Petty with a female sidekick, and their blend of Americana and folk, combined with some good storytelling, make for a great evening of entertainment. Come check the duo out at The Garage, which is starting to become one of Wausau’s music hubs. 7 pm. Check out the event page for more.
Saturday, Dec. 16: Tis the season… for ugly Christmas sweater parties. And this one looks to be a good one: Country singer Jerry Schmitt is bringing the heat as he has been for more than a decade. Join the Stratford-based band while donning your Christmas sweater ugliest best and get ready to party down at the Rock Ridge Orchard, where their pizzas and cider will be on hand. 6 pm. See the event page for more.
Monday, Dec. 18: You know, I just can’t think about Mannheim Steamroller without thinking about Dwight Schrute head-banging along to one of their songs in that one episode of The Office. (And sure, I had to share the clip below!) But that makes me want to go even more! Here Grammy Award winner Chip Davis brings this recreation of Mannheim Steamroller to the Grand Theater, with Mannheim Christmas classics along with dazzling multimedia effects that’ll present a show you won’t soon forget. Just don’t get kicked out of the Grand for head-banging along, Dwight Schrute style. 4:30 pm, 7:30 pm. $65. See the event page for more.
Looking for kids/family events? Check out the family-oriented listing from The Wausonian’s partner Wausau Mama, who puts together a weekly listing of children/family activities.
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Boys basketball: D.C. Everest and Wausau West are both off to a strong start this season, each winning their first games. The Evergreens defeated Wausau East 75-57 Friday, and Wausau West defeated Merrill 61-50.
Girls basketball: Wausau West is the only remaining undefeated Wausau area team, taking down Merrill 71-60 Friday. Wausau East is 1-1 after defeating D.C. Everest 64-30.
Boys hockey: Wausau West remains undefeated at 4-0 this conference season. The Warriors defeated Merrill/East 8-1 Tuesday, and will take on rival SPASH in Stevens Point today (Thursday). One of the teams will log their first loss after tonight’s game (SPASH is 2-0).
Girls hockey: The Central Wisconsin Storm racked up yet another win, sending Eau Claire packing in a tight 1-0 victory Tuesday. The Storm are 7-0 so far this season. They’ll head to Hudson Friday.
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Scott Street Steak and Pub closed July 2007, more than 16 years ago, when the building was torn down. The temporary parking lot erected in its place is still there today.