OAK CREEK - The long-vacant Rafter's Supper Club, 7228 S. 27th St., has been renovated and is now Three Cellars.
The night before its March 21 opening, a special preview event was held with a tour of the new beer and wine facility, which features multiple fireplaces, copper tables, wood accents and stained-glass lighting.
In 2006, Three Cellars was the first hybrid wine and beer store in Wisconsin. The first location was in Franklin followed by a second location in Menomonee Falls last year. The Franklin store has closed, with founder Shawn Vollmer calling the new Oak Creek location their "flagship store."
"We're restoring the inside to its former glory and installing many modern amenities," Vollmer said. "The new Three Cellars will please our regular customers with the same service and ambiance, it will offer many wonderful improvements, and it will bring back many memories for those who remember visiting Rafter's in the past."
When asked what led Vollmer to Oak Creek, he said the building "drew him in."
"We're just happy to bring new life into this (building)," Vollmer said. "We're happy the new stuff is here (in Oak Creek), but let's save the old stuff too."
The renovations took about 2½ months, Vollmer said, with the whole process of finding a new location lasting about a year and a half.
"There was a lot of stuff that was a surprise when we decided to start renovating," he said.
One example was corner booth area which was made out of plywood. When the contractor took a sledgehammer to it, they realized it was actually concrete, Vollmer said.
Many things set Three Cellars apart from other stores and alcohol-serving establishments. Vollmer said the service level is the first thing that will be noticed.
"People are sick of no service," he said.
You also won't find one television displaying a sports game or television show, just slides for events coming to Three Cellars such as live music. During the preview event, local singer/songwriter Brett Gaertner performed.
"We believe in conversation," Vollmer said.
There are many options when it comes to seating for everyone from an individual at the bar to groups up to 150 people.
A back room area with a large round table, which Vollmer estimates weighs around 400 pounds, is available for groups of 10. Additionally, groups of 50 to about 150 can rent out the "rafters room," which features a full bar.
Three Cellars plans to add an outdoor wine and beer garden around the current car port at the front of the building down the line.
No matter where customers sit, they can bring in their own food – anything they want, according to Vollmer, who said someone once brought in an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Additionally, the nearby Toppers restaurant will deliver for 50 percent off, he added.
Three Cellars is open from noon to 9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and noon to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and for private parties only on Sundays.