Rebecca Durant, Menasha’s newest tavern owner, has worked hard to earn a great reputation as a friendly neighborhood bar that serves great food. Five O’clock Somewhere, formerly Hank’s Tavern, is located on Broad Street in Menasha’s established 5th ward. This German-Polish neighborhood of primarily hardworking blue-collar families is accustomed to understanding value, and these expectations have already been met and exceeded by this young new business owner.
Rebecca has worked in the industry for 17 years, the last eight at Waverly Beach Tavern, where she says she learned a lot about how to run a successful bar and restaurant. “It was hard to leave, but I knew that I wanted to try owning my own business,” said Durant. “I have a 2 ½ year old daughter, Keira, and a very understanding husband, and right now I’m working a lot of hours, which I know will pay off.”
“My husband, Mike, and I have worked really hard to create a place for everyone and all occasions. We have certainly had our challenges when we first jumped into this venture. We had to update the kitchen, paint the interior, fix the air conditioning, and get this little friendly bar back to where it should be. Customers have been both patient and encouraging.”
Starting in mid-July, the tavern was relicensed to serve food. And according to locals, Rebecca hasn’t disappointed. For having a small kitchen the offerings are numerous. In addition to traditional bar food, homemade soup is made daily. Monday’s is feature meat loaf; Tuesday’s,Tacos; Wednesday’s, wings; and of course, on Friday’s they feature one of the best fish frys in the area. Rebecca attributes this to the fact that they purchase their fish fresh, not frozen, and they have a secret light breading that helps keep customers coming back each week.
Growing up in Menasha, walking back into a tavern that I used to spend time in with my family, ordering the Friday Fish Fry brought back great memories of growing up in Menasha. We used to have to share one fish lunch and one orange pop split by my mom between two boys. I remember asking each week if I could share with Tommy, my youngest brother by 10 years, and he would normally eat a little less than my other two brothers. It was great to see that it hadn’t changed as far as feeling like a warm and friendly neighborhood hang out. My dad worked 40 years for American Can and my mom and 3 brothers would look forward to going out for a Friday Fish lunch. It was payday for my dad on Fridays, and after driving around paying bills, we would stop off at the tavern for a Friday Fish.
Wisconsin is, of course, known for having a Church and tavern on almost every corner. I feel that these two kinds of establishments have created a sense of belonging and community. Let’s hope that corner tavern always survives. I know with Five O’clock Somewhere the tradition has a great chance.
The hours are Monday-Thursday 11am to midnight, Friday 6am-2am, Saturday 11am-2am, and Sunday 8am to midnight. Breakfast is served on Friday and Sunday mornings.