Chief Grilling Officer
Andrew Jepsen serves a group of patrons that have been
working at Erin Hills on Thursday afternoon at the
Barbecue Co. Grill and Catering in the town of Erin.
Behind Jepsen is a wall of autographs from professional
golfers who ate at his restaurant during the week of the
117th U.S. Open.
John Ehlke/Daily News
One thousand five hundred
pounds of pork, 1,000 pounds of brisket and
600 pounds of his signature, now-famous
chipotle bacon mac-n-cheese — those are just
a few of The Barbecue Co.’s best sellers
last week while the U.S. Open golf
championship was at Erin Hills, less than a
mile away from the restaurant.
“We were the winners,” said
Andy Jepsen, the Hartford restaurant’s chief
grilling officer. Every day just got busier
and busier for Jepsen and his staff, and
they said they’d welcome back the golf
tournament any day.
Dee and Alvin Oldenburg and
neighbor June Ketelhut, who live just a
10-minute walk from the course, shared
similar delight for the U.S. Open being in
their backyard. Along with one other
neighbor, they teamed up and created a
parking lot on their lawns. On the days
leading up to the championship, Ketelhut
said they had about 70 cars parked on her
grass and by the last day they had closer to
“I wish they’d come every
year,” said Ketelhut.
She was very pleased with the
championship being so close to home but not
just for the opportunity to make a little
extra cash. Ketelhut said she also liked
parking the cars and meeting all of the
“We had fun parking cars,”
said Dee Oldenburg. “The kids had fun — I’d
welcome it back.”
The signature of Andrew “Beef” Johnston of England is
seen on the wall among other signatures from
professional golfers Thursday afternoon at the Barbecue
Co. Grill and Catering in the town of Erin.
John Ehlke/Daily News
Lynn Barthel and her husband
live in Hartford. They tried to rent out
their house for the week but didn’t have any
Many in Hartford said they
didn’t see the economic boost they were
expecting, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t
enjoy all of the company.
“We wish we could’ve went,”
Barthel said. “We heard everyone was very
Steve Jost, owner of B’s
Liquor in Hartford, said the town of
Hartford could’ve done more to drive in
business, like create more spaces for
parking. Instead he said, West Bend,
Oconomowoc and Menomonee Falls profited by
shuttling people in.
“I was busy, don’t get me
wrong, but not from them,” said Jost.
Mark Passig lives less than a
half-mile from the course on Highway O,
close enough to hear the trucks from the
golf course on his property, and on Father’s
Day he had to get a parking pass for his
family to visit him.
“If I had a dollar from
everyone that turned around in my driveway,
I could put the kids through college,” said
Still, he wouldn’t be opposed
to the idea of a large event like the U.S.
Open coming to Erin Hills again.