Club 400 bought by bartender
Only third owner in historic bar’s history

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Oct. 11, 2017

The interior of Club 400. Owner Dan Pokwinski has sold the historic bar to Jimmy Lindenberg,
who plans to retain its character.
Freeman file photo

WAUKESHA — Jimmy Lindenberg is only one step removed from Les Paul and his family since he bought legendary Club 400 on Friday.

Lindenberg started as a customer at the bar at 322 Williams St., then became a bartender almost two years ago and took ownership last week when longtime owner Dan Pokwinski decided to sell.

Prior to Pokwinski, Club 400 was owned and operated by Les Paul’s father and brother, George and Ralph Polsfuss, respectively. About 36 years ago, Pokwinski, who was then 23, aspired to do something different after working at an accounting firm following graduation from Carroll University (then Carroll College). He remembered Club 400 as the “Cheers”-like tavern where he went to play cards with his friends from college and noted that it was for sale. So, after obtaining a loan from a nearby bank, he purchased the bar from the estate.

When he announced earlier this year he was looking to sell Club 400, Pokwinski said he preferred a buyer who would be interested in preserving the history of the 69year-old establishment.

Lindenberg is that guy.

He said he felt running the bar was a perfect for fit for him because he lives nearby and he wants to continue its history.

As the new Club 400 owner, Lindenberg said he intends to keep it much the same so even longtime customers might not notice the change in ownership. He may make a few improvements, but will keep the character.

“It is neat too that there have really been only three owners of the bar,” he said. “(I am) only one step removed.”

Lindenberg said he intends to keep the wings, live music, softball teams and other offerings Club 400 is known for, and will have a Halloween party on Oct. 28.