I am well on my way to restoring the Kaap’s Candy Counter and Seating Booth At the Neville Museum in Green Bay. The project began in July but, oops, no blog then so I’ll try and catch you up. To begin with, Kaaps is a very historic Green Bay restaurant that everyone born in Green Bay and older then 40 visited. Below are a couple of pictures below of Kaaps in the early 1940’s
At little history…… Kaap’s Restaurant began as an accident, rather than owner -Otto Kaap’s desire to run a candy shop. In 1909 Kaap worked as a teller in the Bank of Green Bay while playing drums in the Bijou and Orpheum Theater Orchestras in the evenings. In an effort to attract a trumpet player from Oshkosh to the Orpheum Orchestra, Kaap invested his savings into relocating the man to Green Bay and assisting him in opening a candy shop. Within a short time, the man’s business failed and Kaap took over the shop in an effort to save his investment, despite having no candy-making experience of his own. The shop was first located at 125 Main Street where Kaap spent nights after performances making candy for the following day. After about a year, Kaap moved the business to 211 Pine Street to save $5.00 a month on rent. At this location he expanded the business with a small ice cream parlor. In 1914 he moved the business to Washington Street, where he was able to add sandwiches to the menu and begin a Tea Room. These expansions required more space, for which Kaap provided by purchasing the Slip Allen Saloon next door, and later, Grunert Jewelry. By 1964 the candy shop, bakery and restaurant occupied two stories and had a staff of more than 100 people. The store finally closed when the Greater Green Bay Urban Renewal Project decided to raze Kaap’s Restaurant, along with other downtown businesses, to make room for the Boston Store in the late 1970s.
Ok, so the project is to convert these original parts – into an actual booth.
And then there is the Candy Counter – which looks like it is in better shape, but it’s not.
Most of the restoration is being done on-site with the public welcome to watch and ask questions. A first for the museum and a first for me.
Next Post I’ll bring us back to July ( and a little before then) on how the project began