A new view
Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake makes memories for customers, revives memories for owners

By AMANDA VOSS - Daily News

Oct. 29, 2014

  The entrance sign to the parking lot of Padway's on Big Cedar Lake next to Big Cedar Lake at Padway's on Big Cedar Lake on Friday evening in Hartford.
Photos by John Ehlke

Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake opened this summer and the owner, general manager and executive chef are hoping to make memories for Washington County families who visit the restaurant.

The owner of Padway’s, Joe Weinshel, said Padway was his mother’s maiden name and he is fulfilling a dream to own a restaurant he has fond memories of.

“It’s in honor of my mom because my mom and dad used to take me here to eat as a child,” Weinshel said. “Every time we came here it really was a big deal, so it left kind of a lasting memory on me where in the back of my mind I thought it would be cool to own this place someday.”

General Manager Amy Bellehumeur came on board and her nephew, Brian Bellehumeur, is the executive chef.

Weinshel described the food at Padway’s as American casual dining.

“I think of this as the rebirth of the supper club,” Brian said.

  The patio of Padway's on Big Cedar Lake on Friday evening in Hartford.
Photos by John Ehlke

While Padway’s is embracing the tradition of the supper club, Brian said they are also embracing trends like farm-to-table and getting as much local food as they can.

Padway’s, 4919 Highway 144 in Hartford, features steaks, pork chops, ribs, pasta, burgers, sandwiches and pizza. Brian said he inherited a pizza oven. The pizza features a homemade sauce and homemade garlic bread that can be ordered on the side.

Brian said he comes from a big family of cooks and many of the menu items have been handed down.

“It’s family recipes we do so much of,” Brian said. “We are a family here. We’re all in this together and so when you’re bringing your family here we feel a kinship. We feel a responsibility to make sure that that’s the experience you’re taking away with you.”

Brian said walleye has been popular. It is lightly breaded and sautéed pan-fried walleye. It’s served with shrimp and cornbread stuffing and drizzled with hollandaise sauce.

  Chris and Patti Gorecki of Menomonee Falls sit down for dinner at Padway's on
Big Cedar Lake on Friday evening in Hartford.

Photos by John Ehlke

Brian also creates menu items like the Death by Burger, which is two burger patties, a mushroom portabella cap, three pieces of bacon, lettuce, onion, tomato, onion strings and ketchup.

“I made it and Joe went ‘oh yeah, let’s do something like that,”’ Brian said. “We’re not stuffy or pretentious. We really want to be apart of the community.”

Padway’s features a banquet room that Amy said can seat up to 220 people for weddings, anniversaries, bridal showers and more — it recently hosted a sweet 16 party.

She said when they purchased it they made extensive renovations to the kitchen, wallpaper was added, seats were recovered and soft valances were installed to highlight the sweeping views of Big Cedar Lake.

In the dining room there is a stone fireplace. Amy said they picked out warm colors from the fireplace to paint on the walls.

  A painting of a fish near the greeting station at Padway's on Big Cedar Lake on
Friday evening in Hartford.

Photos by John Ehlke

There is a smaller party room that seats about 40 people and a patio that overlooks Big Cedar Lake, which seats about 60 people.

The building that houses Padway’s is not new to Washington County. Weinshel said it used to be the Linden Inn that was owned by Dick Peel for about 30 years. It once was Barth’s at the Bridge and most recently it was Wegner’s Cedar Lake Inn.

Amy said the response from customers has been successful and customers want them to succeed.

“They’re rooting for us,” Weinshel said.

When Padway’s was closed for renovations Weinshel said they had an outdoor tiki bar to help promote the restaurant before it opened in August. He said it spread word-of-mouth and they hope to do it again.

“They could come in swimming suits or flip-flops and have a burger. Look at the lake and take a break,” Amy said.

Padway’s on Big Cedar Lake is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 4-10 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays. Visit padways.net for the menu and more.