Caught In Time Northwoods Wisconsin Memories and Gifts - minocqua

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A letter to ...




I have an old advertising bottle opener from Curley's in Minocqua on Milwaukee Street. On the side of this opener is advertised "Meet at Curley's on Milwaukee Street" and "Prime Ribs (sic), Sea Food and Long Island Duckling".

I was wondering if you could advise what years Curley's was in business, and perhaps a little bit about its history -- who was Curley, when did it open and when did it close, why, etc? I am sure that other readers would be curious at well.

Thanks for any info you would care to share.

Mark R.

Summer Resident - Hazelhurst
Winter Home - Los Angeles, CA

Well Mark, Thanks to Joyce Laabs, The Lakeland Times, The Minocqua Chamber of Commerce,
The Boulder Junction "Friends of the Library," The Minocqua Museum and Dan D. Scrobell,
here's what we've come up with:

Back Thru the Times, 8 Mar. 2007, Joyce Laabs, compiler:

Curley's Tavern ­ A Pleasant Place to Visit
People need rest and entertainment and now that the taverns are here they are being well patronized, particularly such places as Curley's.

To forget our troubles even for a few hours is a God-send as many of us have troubles unnumbered in these days of economic distress. In a high class tavern a person has an opportunity to relax, rest the tired nerves and get something out of life.

One of the most enjoyable places to visit when in Minocqua is Curley's. A fine modern bar equipped with the latest fixtures for the handling of delectable drinks which they serve with promptness and courtesy, it is one of the best arranged and tastefully decorated places in the city. The room is equipped with tables where you are served very palatable drinks at reasonable prices.

Curley's has become the popula place for motorists and out-of-town people.

Catering to the best class of trade, the success of Curley's seems to be based on the old and tried formula of finding out what the people want and then seeing that they get it.

For the benefit of the dancers, a good orchestra has been engaged for the season, their first nightly appearance will be on Saturday night of this week.

Be sure to visit Curley's. You will be pleased with the service and liquid refreshment.



The Early Years 1880's to 1950's, page 121
Friends of the Library, Boulder Junction, 1966
Clarence "Curley" Drewsen was section foreman for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad in Boulder Junction from 1915 to1925. His father was Clarence Drewsen who ran a service station & garage in that town. His younger brother was Norman Drewsen who was active in the town affairs in later years. "Curley's" home in Boulder Junction was a boxcar house.


EARLY TIMES, Dan D. Scrobell, 1988, pg. 206
Clarence "Curley" Drewsen moved to Minocqua from Boulder Junction in the fall of 1925. He purchased a soft drink parlor on Milwaukee Avenue, where Spang's Restaurant is now. {Lots 18 & 19, Block 3} He named it "Curley's Place" or just "Curleys." After Prohibition ended in 1933, Drewsen remodeled his bar to include an orchestra pit and a large dance floor and it became one of the most popular nightspots in Minocqua.


additional information found:
Gambing took place in several taverns in the Minocqua area, including "Curleys."

The "soft drink parlor on Milwaukee" was actually purchased by Curley's father, Clarence Drewsen to be run by Curley. The son eventually acquired the property and continued to run it until it was sold to Spang's Restaurant chain.

Curley Drewsen's home in Minocqua was on Chicago Ave. -- a block away from the bar.

Thanks again to: Joyce Laabs, The Lakeland Times, The Minocqua Chamber of Commerce, The Boulder Junction "Friends of the Library," The Minocqua Museum and Dan D. Scrobell for their wonderful contributions! If any reader has more info., please email us -- we'd love to add/post it!

 Oh yes, and special thanks to Mark R.
who asked this great question!