History

DID YOU KNOW ?

• Before Monk’s occupied its current building, Nig’s was the owner.
• The benches on the second level of Monk’s Downtown Dells are originally from Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
• Helen Heineke, Monk’s wife, sold the business to Tom and Jane Heller in 1982, who continue the traditions which Monk and Helen started in 1947.
• Monk’s is not named after the Monkey but after the original owner, Monk Heineke.
• Jim and John Heineke, Monk’s sons, excelled as linemen for the Badgers during the heydey of the 50′s.

 

Monk’s Bar was started in 1947 by Gustave Adolph Heineke and his wife, Helen, on Oak Street, just half a block from its current downtown location.
Monk’s original menu consisted of a 1/4 lb. hamburger, 1/4 lb. cheeseburger, ham & cheese sandwich, liver sausage on rye, chips, chili and bean soup.

 

In approximately 1962, Monk’s moved to its current location and the interior became a shrine of Badger memorabilia, due to the fact that Monk and Helen’s sons, Jim and John, were very successful athletes and excelled playing football at University of Wisconsin-Madison for the Badgers. Included in the memorabilia are autographed photos from Jim and John’s teammates through the years of 1952-1958. The bar has since added contemporary Badger and Packer memorabilia.

 

In 1982, seven years after Monk’s passing, Helen sold the bar to Tom and Jane Heller who continue to hold on to the tradition of the Badger sports bar and have expanded and developed the business to remain competitive in today’s market. They broadened the menu and seating in 1981. Then in 1999, the back half of the building was completely gutted and the second and third levels were added to create the bar as we know it today.

 

In 1996, Tom Heller, Jeff Morris and Eric Meyer partnered together and opened a second Monk’s Bar and Grill, located on the square, downtown Baraboo, WI. Keeping with tradition this location also has the Badger sports bar theme with the same quality assurance of great food and friendly service. In 1998, Eric bought out his two partners and has been the sole proprietor, and first licensed facility, ever since. In 2000, Monk’s in Baraboo remodeled its entire dining area with new flooring, tables, chairs, booths, back bar and brick work. The remodel gave this location a little face lift and gave it even more of that ‘Original Monk’s’ feel. In 2004, the building next door was acquired and an additional room was added on. The new room comes equipped with 5 flat screen TVs and a signature 15′x 20′ panoramic picture of Camp Randall Stadium. So, needless to say; the room is perfect for sporting events or private parties. In April 2007, the addition of 5 more flat screen TVs (bringing the total to 15) has truly made Monk’s the dream location for all local sports fans. Monk’s is the area’s official Badger Bar with its festive Bucky Badger décor and great specials during every televised Badger sporting event.

 

John & Jim HeinekeMonk’s Bar & Grill opened a third restaurant on the Wilderness Resort property in late 2006. Tom Heller, Dan Collar and Eric Meyer partnered together to open the largest Monk’s Bar & Grill restaurant to date and Monk’s at the Wilderness continues the ‘Original Monk’s’ feel, but in a larger, even more sports-oriented atmosphere. The original menu was expanded to feature more burgers and sandwiches, plus pizza and vegetarian options. A lower level was created to house dinner theatre performances, live entertainment and serve as a large banquet facility with a cocktail lounge atmosphere. In the fall of 2010, Heller, Collar and Meyer opted for a redesign of Monk’s at the Wilderness’s lower level, and decided it was time to return it to a theme Monk’s was known for… Sports! Monk’s SportZone premiered in December 2010 and laid claim to being “the sports fan’s ULTIMATE getaway,” and with walls dedicated to the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks, one might designate it a Wisconsin fan’s paradise. Monk’s SportZone is still used as a banquet room for large groups and parties; it really has become a hit for large tournament teams in the area as well!

 

In January 2011, Monk’s Bar & Grill began a new chapter with franchising. With help from the original owner’s son, Jim Heineke, a location in Middleton was purchased for Monk’s first franchise opportunity.Tom Heller and Greg Frankov, who worked for Monk’s Bar & Grill for years and served as General Manager to the Wilderness restaurant, partnered together to open Monk’s Bar & Grill- Middleton in March 2011. With a restaurant opening near March Madness, Monk’s has seen great success from its newest venture.

 

Through the last 25 years, because of the hard work and determination of key management and dedicated employees, Monk’s has developed into a must stop for visiting families and a favorite watering hole for locals.

 

Monk’s Bar & Grill is known throughout the Midwest as THE place to go for a great burger and friendly service.

Monk's Franchise Information