Friday, March 11, 2005
UPDATE: The article, "The Gobbler was one of a kind," appeared in today's Capital Times, and Duog Moe included a few paragraphs from our conversation:
"I had heard about it before I moved to the Chicago area," Reznicek told me when I reached her Thursday. "A friend of mine who appreciates anything offbeat told me about it. Then when I moved here I realized it was just a couple of hours away."Well, it turns out that the Gobbler Restaurant's latest planned re-incarnation was just too spicy for the town:
Reznicek drove up with friends in October 2001. Neither the restaurant nor the motel was operational by then, but she was able to take dozens of interior and exterior photos that are up on her site (and supplemented by promotional material from the Gobbler's heyday).
The timing of Reznicek's visit was important because when she came back again, in February 2002, she found to her dismay that the motel was gone, replaced by a bit of rubble and a hole in the ground. "The fire department torched it for a practice burn," Reznicek said. "I was glad I had taken those photos."
The most recent owners exhibited quite an imagination as well, when in September 2003 they went to the Johnson Creek Plan Commission with the idea of turning the restaurant into "The Gobbler A-Go-Go." According to a newspaper account at the time, the plan "would have the restaurant and bar feature go-go dancers wearing bikinis and dancing in cages, plus waitresses in Playboy bunny outfits."Thanks for the interview, Doug!
The Plan Commission voted it down 7-0.
For now, the Gobbler lives only on the Internet and in memory, ever pink, plush - and revolving.
[3/10/2005] A few minutes ago, I just got off the phone with Doug Moe, a reporter for the Madison, WI, Capital Times, who's doing a piece on the old Gobbler Motel and Restaurant. He said he'd been talking with a group of people the other day who had never heard of the Gobbler. Well, Mr. Moe happened to my website Requiem for the Gobbler Motel (which I haven't added freshend up in some time, as I haven't been back to Johnson Creek since 2003), and he mentioned that the site will be noted in his article tomorrow or over the weekend so I should "see a few more hits over the next few days." Looks like it's time for a site update and dusting-off. Nothing like having unexpected guests coming to the 'ol supper club - and yes, I admit it - I do the same thing at the house. I'll post the Cap Times article link here when it's published.