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History of the Courthouse Pub

F. Willinger's Beer Hall image

During Prohibition, F. Willinger's Beer Hall became known as the Court Café. At about this same time, the owners constructed an addition to the south of the original building, giving it the "L" shaped appearance so popular in Greek Revival frame buildings and creating the footprint that remains today. Note the Rahr Malting Company in the background of this photo — known during Prohibition as the Cereal Products Company.

Pekel's Colonial Inn image

In the late 1930's, the Pekel family purchased the Court Café and renamed it "Pekel's Colonial Inn." W. M. Willinger (assumed to be a relative of the original owners) located his insurance and investment firm above the restaurant. By this time, the white clapboard exterior had been covered with asphalt shingles.

Colonial Inn interior image

This undated picture of the interior of the Colonial Inn provides a glimpse of the restaurant's early appearance. Even though each owner has made changes to the building, much of the interior look and feel of the Pekel's Colonial Inn remains.

Colonial Inn interior image

In place of the large banquet table that recently occupied this space, Pekel's Colonial Inn provided diners with musical entertainment from an electronic organ. Local entertainer Milt Detjen was one of the people who provided this musical background for dining.