Wausau Pilot & Review
Editor’s note: Business of the Week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally-owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and the ways they contribute to the metro area’s unique flavor. Learn how to feature your business by emailing email@example.com.
This week’s featured Wausau business is a new twist on arguably one of the city’s most historic locations, Hiawatha Sports Bar. Co-owners Kris McMahon, Bob Reed and Mike Moore just opened the doors this month at 713 Grant St., where the Jamgochian family owned and operated a well-known establishment for decades. Fans of the former Hiawatha will find plenty to love in the recently renovated space with food and fellowship, pool, pints and more – the perfect place to take in a football game, feast on a Friday fish fry or enjoy a delicious Sunday brunch. Patrons will recognize some familiar places serving up cocktails and drinks, while McMahon, Reed and Moore added additional – and amazing – local talent to round out the staff. In keeping with the sports bar theme, the trio installed nine additional TVs, with a pool table now in the dining room area near the fireplace. The sports bar opens every day at 10 a.m. with food served until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. on weekends.
McMahon said he is overwhelmed by the support he’s found as the team worked to open in time for the holidays, and they’ll be paying it forward to support the community moving forward.
“We have been blessed with the opportunity to continue the Hiawatha name and start our dream of owning a sports bar,” he said.
Read about the plans for Hiawatha Sports Bar below, and read our previous coverage here.
Scroll for photos
Tell us about yourself and your background. What drew you to this business and why did this location seem like the right one?
After moving to Wausau for the outdoors and scenery, we wanted the opportunity to start a successful business and be an integral part of the community. We’ve also had years of bartending experience. We fell in love with Hiawatha the night we saw it listed and peeked through the windows to see what was inside. The history of this place was also a huge draw, while the location for us was awesome with the railroad track running right across the way.
You’ve kept the Hiawatha name but now it’s a sports bar. What do you want people to experience when they walk through the door?
We want people to experience a fantastic venue to watch sports and eat great food with a laid back atmosphere and awesome customer service.
Tell us about the history of the building and what makes it so special.
What makes the building special to us is being a staple of the community and its long history. What better way to bring new life to the Hiawatha and a place to enjoy the sports everyone loves? We’re also big on tradition. When you stop in, you’ll see we’re keeping some of the classic train look and the awesome train horn while still making it new and refreshing and adding a new flavor to Wausau’s scene.
Will you continue using the outdoor space? It’s been very popular.
We have special plans for events using the space during the winter and summer coming soon on the new official Hiawatha Sports Bar Facebook page here.
Tell us about the food!
On Friday’s we have the Coveted Fish Fry with the classic Hiawatha recipe, as well as our sports bar menu with plenty of options so everyone can find great food. You’ll find burgers, cheese curds, sandwiches, ribs, wraps, salads and a whole lot more. Every Monday through Thursday we also have $2.50 domestic drafts available to curb your thirst.
What do you do for big games like Green Bay Packer football, Wisconsin Badgers and other popular sports?
The excitement from hearing the train horn and the free shots for touchdowns during Packer and Badger games is an experience like no other. We also have NFL Sunday ticket and NBA league pass – so when you visit you know there will never be a game we won’t have.
How did you choose the right staff for Hiawatha Sports Bar? What did you look for?
Customer service is important to us! We want people to feel welcomed. Our staff reflects that and is the number one thing we looked for. We pride ourselves on ensuring every customer is satisfied and having a great time.
Connect with Hiawatha Sports Bar
- Address: 713 Grant St., Wausau
- Follow on Facebook here for specials and events
- Hours: Open every day at 10 a.m.
- Kitchen hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
By Shereen Siewert A Wausau bar and grill that closed in September after nearly 50 years in business will reopen this month as Hiawatha Sports Bar, thanks to the efforts of three longtime friends who see enormous potential in the iconic spot. Kris Mcmahon said he and his two best friends, Bobby Reed and Mike…