MARSHFIELD, Wis. (June 20, 2013) – When Hotel Marshfield in Marshfield, Wis. opens later this summer it will offer more than a highly appealing full-service, independent hotel experience for out-of-town guests visiting central Wisconsin. It will also serve up a restaurant experience that’s expected to top the list of places the locals like best. No small feat for a hotel restaurant, but this one is going all out to establish a true-to-Marshfield, no-pretenses atmosphere starting with the name. The restaurant will be known as Libby McNeill’s, a tongue-in-cheek nod to a long-ago Libby, McNeill & Libby pickling plant in Marshfield. The menu is being developed by Executive Chef Jason Wachowiak, who joined the hotel earlier this month. Wachowiak describes the menu as “American pub fare with a local twist and comfort foods stepped up a notch, with nearly everything made from scratch.” The tentative open date for the restaurant is early September. For more on the hotel, log on to www.HotelMarshfield.com.
Now for more of the back story on the name: The Libby, McNeill & Libby canning company was formed in Chicago in 1868 by two Libby brothers, Charles and Arthur, and a business partner by the name of Archibald McNeill. Their early claim to fame was their canned corn beef, packaged in a distinctive trapezoid-shaped can. The company expanded with plants around the Midwest, including one built in Marshfield in 1905. The company was eventually purchased by Nestlé, with the Libby’s brand name enduring, as anyone who’s been assigned pumpkin pie baking duties at Thanksgiving time can attest to.
An early “help wanted” ad for the pickling station in Marshfield read: Women wanted at the Pickle factory, 17 to 35 years of age, steady work, good wages for bright intelligent girls. Apply at Libby, McNeill & Libby’s pickle factory.
While the pickle factory is long gone, the name had a fun ring to it with enough authenticity to nicely coexist in a hotel named for the city. As one would expect, the menu will feature several signature dishes themed around pickling – think pickled items on burgers and antipasto trays. There will be a signature corned beef as well. “I’ll also be sourcing Wisconsin cheeses and craft beers along with artisan sausages and locally harvested cranberries,” said Wachowiak. “A signature Bloody Mary is in the works that you won’t be able to get anywhere else, with a pickling touch of course.”
The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with seating for up to 100. As for the adjoining bar area, the owners are hopeful it will quickly become the hot spot for groups of friends getting together for an impromptu night out or to watch the big game.
Wachowiak is a native of central Wisconsin and earned his food and tourism degree from Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids. He served as a restaurant manager, banquet manager, bar manager and kitchen manager in previous positions, experience that will serve him well in his work at Hotel Marshfield. “As the executive chef, the food experience is all on me, the restaurant, room service and banquets. My motto is ‘no limitations’ when it comes to creating banquet menus that go above and beyond to make sure guests have that memorable, special event they crave.”
Hotel Marshfield, located at 2700 S. Central Ave., is locally owned by Marshfield Hospitalities, LLC, with redevelopment and management duties assigned to IDM Group, LLC (www.inndevmgmt.com), Madison, Wis. Formerly known as the Clearwaters Hotel, the property is undergoing a massive renovation. The new design calls for 99 rooms, nine of which will be extended stay suites; a fitness center; landscaped outdoor courtyard with pool; and some of the finest meeting and banquet space in central Wisconsin, including two ballrooms accommodating up to 500 for a reception which can be further divided into six meeting rooms and pre-event space for receptions and other gatherings. The interior design is best described as modern yet warm with strong graphic statements that draw from Marshfield’s heritage.
Along with being the lead choice in the market for corporate and association meetings and wedding celebrations, Hotel Marshfield is already accepting a steady stream of advance reservations for youth sports groups and family reunions. It will also serve Marshfield Clinic patients and their families.
Amenities include shuttle service to local businesses, attractions and the Marshfield airport; breakfast included in the overnight rate; and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. Its south side location near the new Hwy. 10 bypass makes it especially convenient to access.