What is the story behind the Silver Spur building?
Issue: For decades, the Elm Grove Inn stood on Watertown Plank Road in Elm Grove. Now it's the Silver Spur Texas Smokehouse. A reader wants to know the history behind the building.
Status: The building was built in 1855 by Frank Reusch as a stagecoach stop along the Watertown Plank Road, and also housed a blacksmith and stable, according to "Following the Trail" by Stephen Hauser and Jean Stackpole.
The Elm Grove Hotel rented rooms upstairs, and horses were stabled on the basement level.
Two years later, a mercantile was added and it became the first post office in Elm Grove, the book states.
The family operated Reusch's Tavern there during the 1950s and until it was sold in 1963, when it became the Elm Grove Inn.
Since then, the Elm Grove Inn has switched hands several times and was bought four years ago by Frank Hornick, Joseph Zupan and Sondra Bartolotta. It now stands as the Silver Spur and serves up Texas-style barbecue and other American cuisine.
The Silver Spur was previously located on Barker and Greenfield roads until a fire there forced a relocation.
Hornick said it's a great old building and its look remains faithful to its past.
"If you walk through the basement, you can see horse shoes in the concrete and the old stable windows," he said. "We even found menus down there that had 10-cent fish fries."
According to Hornick, it's the second oldest continuous running bar and restaurant in Wisconsin.
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