Architecture, Fine Dining Draw Couple to Region

When Randy and Sara Bangs were shopping for a new bed and breakfast location in Wisconsin, Wausau wasn't their first choice. The couple wasn't familiar with the region, but understood that whatever location they decided upon would need to be fueled as much by the quality of the community as the quality of the property itself.

The couple had previously run bed and breakfasts near Lake Geneva and in Oconomowoc and had some pretty big misconceptions about the Wausau region, including what the two self-proclaimed 'foodies' would find for dining options.

"We had jokingly thought that Wausau was a place of fish fries and supper clubs." said Randy. "In reality, what we found was that Wausau offered diverse and high-quality restaurants."

"On our first night here, we arrived downtown on a summer Friday night and went to Back When Cafe, the next day we had lunch at the Red Eye Brewing Company and decided to stay another night and had supper at Basil in Weston." said Sara. "We had gone three-for-three in just over 24 hours."

The visit in the summer of 2016 resulted in the purchase of the Stewart Inn, the first Wausau property to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and perhaps the world's most intact example of architect George Maher's work.

The pair fell in love with the Stewart Inn, but what sold them on a business in Wausau was the vitality of the downtown, the depth and quality of area restaurants, the historic neighborhoods, the year-round outdoor recreational opportunities and the warmth of the region’s residents.

"After that first visit, we discovered the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, the Yawkey House Museum, the Grand Theater and downtown Wausau, which totally blew us away." added Randy.

"I don't know that I've ever lived in an area where you could spend Saturday kayaking and Sunday at the art museum, only separated by 10 minutes of travel time." added Sara.

"We've had quite a number of our business guests who've had such a great experience here in Wausau, that on subsequent trips they bring their spouse along with them." said Randy. "Wausau offers an amazing everday quality of life with extremely affordable, high-quality housing, virtually no traffic and a reverence for tradition and history found here."

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