Monday, July 13, 2020
Neil Schaitel (pictured) and his wife, Tracy, own the Cotter Pin in Leon. The wine, specialty beer and gift shop opened May 28.

Cotter Pin is newest local hot spot

For years, Neil and Tracy Schaitel have dreamed of opening a place of their own for people to gather over local wines, specialty beers and great food.

Their ideas came to fruition earlier this summer when they opened the doors of the Cotter Pin in Leon, an unincorporated town just five miles south of Sparta.

The warm, rustic atmosphere of the bar pairs well with the home décor and gift shop, which also offers bottles of all the local wines and microbrews available for tasting.

“That was the premise of all of this,” Neil said. “To keep things local.”

The venue gets its name from Neil’s late father, Carl “Cotter” Schaitel, who was known in Leon for socializing and entertaining family and friends.

“He would have loved this place,” Neil said.

The restaurant launched its full menu Monday, which includes Dave’s Pizza from Viroqua, and lighter fare such as paninis, wraps and soups.

The first public wine tasting is Saturday, July 16 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to adults ages 21 and over.

While Tracy is the wine connoisseur, Neil said he and his cousin, Matt Schaitel, who also bartends at the Cotter Pin along with wife, Angie, hope to start an on-site microbrewery in the future.

Neil is a born-and-raised Leon resident. He and Tracy, who moved to Wisconsin from Ireland in 2001, both work full-time for Mayo Clinic Health System at the Sparta and Tomah locations, respectively.

The Cotter Pin is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. or later. For more information, call 608-487-8118 or find them on Facebook.

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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