Village of Egg Harbor may Soon Lose a Historical Landmark

The Village of Egg Harbor and the Robert Cowles Family announce the purchase of a 1.23 acre property at 7740 State Highway 42 in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, the site known as the former home of Lena’s Sip & Chat.

" take paradise, put up a parking lot."

When a new building is constructed at that location, it will be known as the Robert L. Cowles, Jr. & Margaret A. Cowles Center. The existing terracotta-colored historical building housed a succession of restaurants including Lena’s Sip & Chat and most recently Jersey Shore Pub. The present building will be demolished this spring adding more than 50 additional parking spaces downtown.

Myles Dannhausen, Jr. reports in the Peninsula Pulse, “The building was built by Tom Carmody in 1935 and was run by Murphy Moore for eight years. Schultz and her first husband Donald Giesseman bought the bar in 1943, when they named it Don’s Bar. Giesseman died in 1949, but Schultz and her children continued to run the tavern for the next 52 years, changing the name to Lena’s Sip and Chat in the late 1960s. Schultz died in 1997. In the years since, the pub has been named Salmon Eddy’s, The 19th Hole, O’Leary’s, Bub’s Pub, John Henry’s, and finally The Jersey Shore.”

Local Egg Harbor resident, Andria Nikoupolis-Weliky says, “More importantly, it was known as Carmody Hotel in it’s original days. Built by Tom Carmody who also built the neighboring Carmody House Gallery. In previous years Egg Harbor was known as Carmody Settlement. It sure would be great if it could be preserved and recreated as our new library without destruction.”

“This is the optimum location we sought for an exciting ‘third space’ that offers an interactive social hub for all Village residents and visitors,” says Egg Harbor Village President Nancy Fisher. “This project will be a public and private partnership. There will be robust community involvement including a capital campaign and enlarging the library fundraising effort that began last year. We are not rushing to break ground. This is a place that will offer hospitality to everyone seven days a week and be unique in the county.”

Once built, the Cowles Center will encompass an expanded library, Wi-Fi cafe, public restrooms and a Niagara Escarpment interpretative base. The Egg Harbor Visitor Center will move into the center from its current location on Orchard Drive, and space will be offered to the Egg Harbor Historical Society for archival material. New walking trails around the Village will begin and end at the Cowles Center.

Dannhausen, further reports, “Fisher said the board did not tour the building before deciding to demolish it, and there was no consideration given to keeping it. ‘Old does not equate to historical,’ she said. ‘There are historically significant buildings in Egg Harbor, but I do not believe this mansard-roofed 1930s-era structure is one of them.'”

“It wouldn’t serve the purposes of creating a modern community center,” she said. “Trying to rehab a building whose systems are 80 years old with the wiring and water we need would be extremely difficult.”

For additional information contact Egg Harbor Village Administrator Joshua Van Lieshout at 920.868.3334 or

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