Jillian’s Supper Club at 1005 S. Center Ave. in Merrill is named after the two-year-old daughter of new owners Paul and Julie Kramer. The supper club had previously been Club Modern since 1967.
Jillian’s employs a staff of 11, including general manager Marcy Tobalski, bar manager Dan Gerstl and head chef Peter McGreck. When Paul took over the former Club Modern, he felt it was important to start fresh, so the staff is all new.
The menu is also all new, with some exclusive items like the Manhattan steak and a unique take on surf & turf. McGreck has 13 years experience as a chef and previously ran the kitchens in two other supper clubs.
“It was important for me to have quality,” Paul said. “Without quality, nobody is going to come out.”
Paul left his career as a mechanic at Central Wisconsin Airport to take on a new challenge of owning a supper club. He had some background in the business, as his father owned a supper club in Indianapolis. He found that Club Modern in Merrill was for sale.
“I did some research and knew that in the past Club Modern was able to draw quite a crowd, even from outside Merrill,” he said. “It’s just a great place to have a business.”
Paul took over the supper club in May. They did some painting and updates to the building before holding a grand opening last weekend.
Paul is hoping to attract a younger crowd to the supper club, including families with children. So far, Paul said the business is building well.
“I can’t say enough about how good Merrill has been to us,” he said.
Paul believes in giving back to the community that supports his business. Jillian’s was one of the first sponsors of Gazebo Nights at Normal Park, they have made donations to local fire departments and been a hole sponsor for golf outing fundraisers.
“If you don’t support the community, it’s hard to ask them to support you,” Paul said.
Jillian’s is open at 4 p.m., with food service from 5-9 p.m., seven days a week. They are also open for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Reservations are appreciated for larger groups, but not necessary. The business can be reached at 715-536-5672.