EGG HARBOR (NBC 26) — Nearly every Door County establishment is rich in history, and that's certainly the case at Casey's BBQ & Smokehouse, even though the property has taken many forms over the years.
NBC 26 Today anchor MacLeod Hageman visited Egg Harbor and let his nose decide where to stop in town. The smell of barbecue brought him through the front door at Casey's, and he also got a taste of the community's rich history. The best part about Casey's is that the business is open throughout the year.
"The week leading up to Christmas is usually really good. The week after Christmas, we kind of dip a little bit. New Year's is kind of hit or miss and then come January it's like 'Hello? Hello? Is anybody out there,'" Casey's co-owner Marianne Peterson said.
Door County might be a different experience during the colder months with fewer people passing through, but that doesn't stop Peterson and her crew at Casey's from cooking homemade barbecue throughout the year.
"I mean the barbecue is really good, really good. But, the history of this building is really important, especially to a community like Egg Harbor. In fact, Casey's actually existed before Egg Harbor became Egg Harbor. That's how old it is," Peterson said.
Family friend Andrea Felts has been bartending for 23 years, but she's new to Casey's after working in Florida.
"The people are so different. They're not here to just eat and go. They want a nice experience. They want a nice drink. They want to chat with the people at their bar, and it's a nice mix sometimes of locals and tourists," Felts said.
Casey's has taken many forms through the years. It was first built in 1876, and it's always been a place for travelers to come together, even after Marriane's husband took over the property in 2008.
"This is my first time to Door County. So, I'm just experiencing everything for the first time," NBC 26 Today anchor MacLeod Hageman said.
"Wow. So, Casey's is a historical place. It was built in 1876. We have lots of pictures to showcase its history. It was a tavern, and then it became an Inn, and then it became fine dining, and then my husband turned it into a barbecue place when he bought it," Peterson added.
The smokehouse aroma of barbecue and homemade favorites will bring you inside, but when you walk through the front door your gaze will immediately be drawn to the more than 26,000 coins on top of the bar.
"What was the reasoning to do the penny bar? Just thought it looked cool, and you wanted to give it a try," Mac asked.
"It looks cool, and it's a really good conversation piece. Everybody asks about it," Peterson stated.
Felts said she initially learned about the area by simply taking a few trolly tours. After living in the area for the last six months, she says she can't imagine living anywhere else.
"I was not an outdoorsy person, and now I'm like 'I need the outside all the time.' It's great, it's beautiful, and there's something for everyone here," Felts said.
NBC 26 Today anchor MacLeod Hageman will be visiting other communities throughout the area. If you have any suggestions on where he should stop, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to him on social media. You can watch more of Mac's adventures by visiting this page.