Rookery Pub Fine Dining

We'll Be Closed This Weekend

The Rookery will be closed this coming weekend, Thursday thru Saturday. We'll reopen Thursday, April 28 and will continue our three nights per week schedule (Thu-Sat) at that time and until further notice.

Know a Chef Looking for a Change? 

Many Rookery guests may be unaware that Chef Jenny left us back in October. Paraphrasing the famous line from the Godfather, they made her an offer she couldn't refuse! Private chef gig for some wealthy seasonal residents. Great pay, fewer hours. It was a wonderful opportunity for Jenny, of course. At the same time it's a bit exasperating to work so hard at creating an exceptional Northwoods dining experience, only to experience the equivalent of the Corleone family absconding with your staff.

The fact so many of our guests weren't even aware Jenny was gone is a testament to Sous Chef Mike and Assistant Chef Tim, both of whom have been part of the Rookery team for the past four years. I did fill the head chef position briefly but found it necessary to terminate that person after just three months on the job. Which happened on the eve of Birkie weekend no less! Fortunately, Jenny herself returned to the kitchen two evenings that weekend to help out. Yet it is Mike and Tim who have been primarily responsible these past few months for maintaining the quality of excellence you've come to expect at the Rookery.

Nevertheless, as we head into another busy summer season I find myself once again in the position of searching for a new person to manage the Rookery kitchen. We'll be celebrating our eighth anniversary next month. And the next head chef I hire will be our fifth during that time.

Sounds like I must be hell to work for, doesn't it? Not really, if you ask some of the great staff I've been fortunate to employ. I simply expect certain standards of personal behavior and professional conduct. And the fact is that finding quality staff here in the Northwoods remains one of the biggest ongoing challenges of running a premier establishment.

With that in mind, I'm taking the rather unprecedented step of reaching out to you, our Rookery guests, to widen the net a bit in our search for a new head chef. Maybe you know someone who is looking for a new opportunity or a change in lifestyle? A chance perhaps to leave the big city for a life closer to nature and all the outdoor opportunities available in this part of the world.

The reality is that as hard as it may be for me to find good employees in the Cable area, it's often even more difficult for someone hoping to move here to find worthwhile employment. For an experienced chef in particular, they won't find a much better opportunity than the Rookery to showcase their talent and creativity.

The current situation has caused me to reflect on the critical role a gifted chef means to the success of this restaurant. And more to the point, to conclude that looking for a new head chef every 1 1/2 years on average is not a sustainable business model. Or at least not one I have the passion to continue indefinitely.

So this time around I'm really hoping to find a chef with the skills, desire, and commitment to dig in here at the Rookery and stick around for awhile. Perhaps even a chef with the motivation and means to own the joint at some point.

Now don't go writing my obituary just yet. I have no immediate plans to vacate the premises...not unless they have to come carry me out! At the same time, I'm trying to be realistic about the future of the Rookery. We've come a long way in the past eight years. And built a very loyal following, which continues to grow with each passing year. When the time DOES come for me to move on, my greatest hope is to see both the restaurant and lodge carry on and become ever more successful for many years to come.

As frustrating as it can sometimes be to offer a blue-chip dining experience in a small, rural, and very seasonal community, I believe the Cable area really needs and deserves such a place. And it strikes me that on a long-term basis one of the best ways to sustain such an enterprise...both emotionally and financially...might be with an owner-chef. And all the better if that owner-chef has a spouse or partner with an interest and aptitude for running other facets of the business. The bar and dining room, lodging, marketing, financial management, and everything else that keeps the place humming along.

Seeing as I personally lack both culinary skills AND a business or personal partner, a logical question might be how the heck did the Rookery make it to our eight year anniversary in the first place (plus 11 years for the lodge)? I defer. The point is that I'm open at this point to whatever scenario might best help the Rookery and Cable Nature Lodge get to 25 years and beyond.

SO...with that rambling exposť concluded let me ask once again. If you know anyone who might make a great salaried chef, or possibly even a short to long-range future owner-chef, please have them contact me as soon as possible. Summer will be here before we know it!

Also Looking for Summer Servers

If you happen to know anyone...student, recent graduate or retiree, teacher with the summer off, whomever...that might be interested in a fun and lucrative summer employment gig (full or part-time), please refer them to us. The only prerequisite? You're confident enough in their skills and positive disposition that you wouldn't mind them serving YOU!

Constant Contact just named the Rookery one of their 2015 small business All Stars! Only 10% of all Constant Contact customers receive this recognition. Thanks for contributing to that honor by enjoying the Rookery's email newsletter!
Spring Dining Hours RookeryRealty
(thru April 30)

DINNER 3 nights (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
4:30 PM until last reservation (always recommended)Rookery Pub Fine Dining
Bar opens at 4 PM

Wineaux WEEKDAY (every Thursday) 
1/2 price bottles of wine
Cable Nature Lodge

Open 7 nights beginning June 16
(May 1 thru June 15 dining hours to be announced)

(715) 794-2062 
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