Butch’s Bar in Sturgeon Bay was one of those typical corner taverns that dot the Wisconsin landscape. It was a popular watering hole known for its live music on weekends and Wednesday night open mic.
The building housing Butch’s was built in 1904 as a tourist rooming house. In the 1930s, it was turned into the local aerie of the Eagles Club. In the 1960s it became a tavern. The upstairs meeting room was converted to 20 transient rooms.
It has been owned and operated as Butch’s Bar by Clarence Cumber since 1972. Clarence still worked behind the bar and was not shy about sharing the history of the building and the tavern.
In the early morning hours of February 22, 2022, a fire started in one of the upstairs rooms. The old, wooden interior was no match for the flames and the entire building was quickly engulfed by the fire. The ceiling and second story collapsed leaving only the dolomite and brick shell standing. The stone walls contained the flames and kept it from spreading to other buildings.
Tragically, two of the residents perished in the fire.