The Washington House dates back to 1852 as a Grand Hotel built by Balthasar Goetter when travel was by foot, saddle, oxcart, or stage. It was known for its hospitality and the overnight place between Milwaukee and Fond du Lac. This was also the place that held the traditional Old Settler’s meetings and later served with dinners starting in 1873-1943.
On a very frigid night in January 1864 the wood hotel blazed away with fire until it burned itself out. The fire was believed to be caused by a stove overheating and was the only item saved in the blaze. The same year Mr. Goetter replaced it with the only brick building in West Bend complete with a natural well in the basement, a fine stable, a vegetable garden, and a “wine hass”.
For most of the 20th century the building housed a theater and over 50 hotel rooms starting at $ 2.00 per day known as the Mermac Hotel. Over the years there have been several owners and many renovations always trying to improve the building and accommodate the needs of the growing community.
This historical building held numerous speeches, meetings, and banquets all through its years including visits from President John F. Kennedy in 1964 and President Ronald Regan in 1987.
Today, The Washington House stands as a landmark in honor of the early settlers and there Old Settlers Club.
The latest and present owner of the original Washington House Inn from the 1800’s is Edward Daniel, a native of West Bend. He purchased the building in February 2012. Besides already being a landlord for other properties this building was a much larger task than just being a bar owner. He now acquired the 13 rental units that date back to the Mermac Hotel. After learning the history of the building he felt it was important to bring an original name of this historical landmark as The Washington House Pub. Like many of the previous owners he started renovations right away starting with the ballroom/banquet hall as it had been used for many years. The ballroom can accommodate 250 people for uses such has entertainment, social groups, and dining. We have DJ’s and/or bands Thursdays through Saturdays.
Also, the kitchen has been renovated with all new equipment and is open for lunch, dinner, and take-out orders. You can find very reasonable items on our menu from a burger to pasta to steaks. Don’t forget the appetizers!
We invite you to come to The Washington House Pub for weekly drink, food specials, and a comfortable atmosphere. If you are looking for some fun check out our calendar for the upcoming entertainment. Hope to see you soon!!!