GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — A new restaurant will soon be opening inside what was formerly a historic Green Bay supper club. Mother-son duo Dianne and James Crowley are opening a new restaurant called Jimmy Simm's on Wednesday May 18th. The building, which is located at 2850 Humboldt Road, was once the location of the Stratosphere Supper Club.
In its day, the supper club was frequented by some of Green Bay's biggest names, including Vince Lombardi.
"I’m sure a lot of people that live here know, this was a favorite place of Vince Lombardi," Dianne said. "He would actually come into the lower level and it was sort of his hangout. A lot of the Packers of that era would hangout here."
She says the pair is planning to remodel the lower level of the restaurant and open it this summer with decor that pays tribute to Lombardi and the Packers that once dined there.
For Dianne and James, the restaurant is not only rooted in Green Bay history, but in family history as well. The two opened the restaurant in honor of Dianne's late father, who had a passion for cooking and always dreamed of one day opening his own restaurant.
"He had told me when I was very little, someday I want to own a restaurant and I want to call it Jimmy Simm’s," Dianne said.
The name Jimmy Simm's came from his name, Jim Simonet. Dianne says she's since learned that her father often visited the Stratosphere during his career working in news.
"At that time in the 60s, my dad worked for the Green Bay Press Gazette and was good friends with Vince Lombardi, so he would come here with his friend Vince," Dianne said.
The restaurant honors his life as a journalist, a WWII veteran, and a cooking enthusiast with a gallery of articles and photos featuring Simonet. James says the menu is also a tribute to Simonet, with items inspired by his grandfather who first taught him how to cook and loved to experiment with recipes. The menu will include locally-sourced Wisconsin classics, from fish fry to farm fresh cheese curds.
“We’re going to be doing a good amount of everything so seafood, walleye bluegill, ribeyes from a local butcher that I’m getting everything from,” said James, who is also the executive chef.
Dianne says the restaurant honors what her father believed cooking was all about - bringing people together.
“That’s kind of the spirit of Jimmy Simm’s, is what my dad would want," Dianne said. "Good food, good beverages, gathering, making new memories.”
“We’re looking to be that third place," James said. "You got home, you got work, and then you got that third place you like to go in between those two and that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Jimmy Simm's will be open Wednesday through Sunday. The restaurant is currently hiring cooks, servers, and bartenders. To learn more, you can visit jimmysimms.com.