Enquiring minds want to know
Ever since Annetra and Pete Muehlenkamp made the decision to purchase what was previously called Terry’s Hideout just outside of Cashton and began remodeling, it has been an endless parade of passersby on State Highway 27 stopping in to check on their progress.
“Since we’ve opened there have been multiple here that said they were watching the construction happening and were waiting for it to open,” Pete said. “They’ve been keeping an eye on us.”
The Driftwood officially opened its doors June 28 after just three months under construction.
Annetra, who is also a real estate agent, saw the building was listed for sale at her company. She had been watching the listing, waiting for the price to go down; after nearly three years on the market it finally did.
Since owning a bar was something Annetra had always been interested in doing, her and Pete decided to take the leap when they were in the position to do so.
“I’ve always worked in the bar, restaurant industry part time,” Annetra said, adding that somebody suggested she buy the building and start her own bar. “At first I thought they were joking.”
Pete teased her that he wished she had left it as a joke. They purchased the bar March 28 and on March 29, they began demoing; they felt if they were going to do it, they were going to do it right.
“We did an entire overhaul of the building. It was mostly cosmetic stuff,” Annetra said. “We were here a lot.”
The Muehlenkamps expanded the kitchen and brought in almost all new equipment. They redid the floors and walls and rebuilt the bar.
They also remodeled both bathrooms, put in new plumbing fixtures and built a new office space.
According to Annetra, they hired out a large portion of the work and were met with a lot of obstacles throughout the process.
“With as much as everything costs, you’ve got to get it open as soon as you can because otherwise you’re forking money out and nothing is coming in,” she said. “We ended up doing a lot of the work ourselves.”
The Muehlenkamps didn’t want to get too big before they were ready so they quietly opened The Driftwood’s doors one Friday night and have slowly been getting busier and busier.
“We just turned those signs on and we were busy the whole weekend,” Annetra said. “It’s been steady, which is really nice.”
The Driftwood is open every day with daily lunch and dinner specials. There is a full taco bar on Tuesdays and a fish fry on Fridays, which both start at 4 p.m.
The Muehlenkamps would still like to grow the menu a little bit more. They also want to finish the landscaping and expand the outdoor seating area with a pavilion and outdoor entertainment.
They also want to turn a small house on the property into a vacation rental after some remodeling.
“We have five acres to work with here so who knows what we’ll do further down the road,” Annetra said. “A little at a time even though it seems like we’ve taken some pretty big leaps.”
The landscape leading to The Driftwood in either direction is overwhelmed with damage left behind from the floods. When picking a name for their new bar, the Muehlenkamps questioned, ‘What survives a flood?’
The answer, driftwood does.