Oconto Legion Golf Club reimagined as Julie’s

Supper club owner aims for ‘a little higher-class dining experience’
Warren Bluhm

A familiar Oconto gathering spot has been reborn with a new, somewhat familiar name.

Julie’s Supper Club opened March 20 in the former Oconto Legion Golf Club, 532 Jefferson St.

Owner Luis Morales said the opening week crowd was very receptive and somewhat nostalgic about the makeover he gave the restaurant, which was gentle enough to preserve the qualities that made the old golf club a welcome spot.

“This place is near and dear to a lot of people, it has a lot of memories associated with it,” Morales said. “One customer teared up as she talked about her memories of coming here as she was growing up, when there was a tank parked outside.”

“For decades, the ever-popular Legion was famous for its Friday Night Fish Fries with your favorite beverage, overlooking a picturesque nine-hole golf course,” Mayor John Panetti said. The golf course is gone, but the good food is back.

The varied menu offers good quality steak cuts and seafood, chicken and ribs, and Mexican dishes among others. Morales said the goal is “a little higher-class dining experience” but it’s about more than food — he hopes Julie’s can be a community resource and he personally wants to become a part of the Oconto community as well.

The first-week success, which included big crowds especially on Friday and Saturday, was accomplished with a minimal amount of advertising.

“Word of mouth has been the biggest help,” Morales said. “People were talking to each other even before we opened. We had people drive up and ask excitedly, ‘Are you open?’”

Panetti said it’s good to have the restaurant location back again.

“Reopening the former Oconto Legion as Julie’s Supper Club enhances additional dinning opportunities, helps grow the city’s infrastructure benefiting the citizens and community,” Panetti said. “The growing amount of visitors to Oconto like the fact that it’s open 7 days a week, complementing all the other eating establishments we have to offer.”

The name Julie’s comes from Morales’ uncle and silent partner Umberto Morales, who purchased Julie’s Cafe in Howard.

“My uncle made all of this possible. He’s worked hard for years,” Luis Morales said. “We have a good chemistry with business, we think alike, it was a no-brainer for us to become partners.”

Umberto worked his way up in the restaurant business, starting out as a dishwasher and then a server and eventually as a cook, which eventually gave him an opportunity to become a business owner, his nephew said.

“I’m big on family, and that’s why a supper club is a good fit,” Luis said. “A supper club is where families get together and spend time away.”

Morales, 30, has a son, Sebastian, with his girlfriend of four years. He said she and his aunt have been very helpful as the business gets going.

“Without Umberto none of this would be possible. He’s given me one of the greatest opportunities I’ve ever had,” he said. “I want to work to make this successful and something maybe we can hand down to my children.

Julie’s Supper Club currently is open 3-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Morales plans to add a brunch as the business develops.

“I’m happy to be here and meet and get to know all the great people of Oconto. People have been loving the drinks, loving the food, loving the staff,” he said. “I want to give customers the best possible service and listen to customers, take their suggestions into account.”

For information, call Julie’s Supper Club at 920-516-7397.