Nelsen's Hall and the Bitters Club

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1201 Main Road, Washington Island, USA
(920) 847-2496

Nelsen's Hall and the Bitters Club Washington Island Reviews

rotorhead85 rotorhea…
87 reviews
Nelsen's Hall and the Bitters Club Sep 24, 2008
Nelsen's Hall was built in 1899 by Danish immigrant Tom Nelsen. Since then, the Hall has served as a tavern, movie theater, pharmacy, dental office, and ice cream parlor. The adjacent Bitters Pub was added in 1902. Its graceful back bar was built in Michigan in 1850 and delivered to the island by sailing ship. Today, the Hall remains an active social center to islanders and visitors alike for weddings, birthdays, banquets, a bustling nightlife, and home to the world famous Bitters Club. Each year, more than 10,000 people join the club by drinking a shot of Angostura Bitters to receive a membership card making them honorary Islanders.

Tom Nelsen drank nearly a pint of bitters each day and attributed his 90 year healthy life to the habit. During prohibition he was granted a pharmacist license enabling him to keep the saloon open to sell the 90 proof 'stomach tonic' to local residents. As a result, Nelsen's Hall is the oldest legally operating saloon in the state of Wisconsin and, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the biggest seller of Angostura Bitters in the world.
Nelsen's Hall
The Bitters Pub bar
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Nelsen's Hall and the Bitters Club Map
Washington Island
photo by: rotorhead85