by Ariana Hones
The sky is sunny and cloudless and the water warm and full of fish,.
After many a loop around the lake in a well-loved boat, people are starting to get hungry for more than just watermelon slices.
They want something substantial and some place fun, but also don’t want to abandon the possibility of returning once more to the lake.
Enter Markesan’s Reilly’s Pub on Green Lake, now with dock-side appeal.
With their establishment open less than a year, new owners Randy and Connie Sondalle are working hard to realize their vision of creating a place “where guests become friends.”
This means making Reilly’s a place of fun. That challenge wasn’t new for the Sondalles.
Before re-opening Reilly’s Pub under new ownership Sept. 5, 2017, the duo ran Pineland Camping Park in Adams County, Wisconsin.
Part of the park was comprised of the “Fun Land,” which was equipped with mini golf, a giant inflatable slide and play spaces for children.
“I sold that [campground] to get back home,” said Randy, a Princeton native.
However, that didn’t mean he wanted the fun to stop.
“We want to be known simply as a great place to have a great time and get some great food,” Randy said.
In order to make this vision a reality, the couple turned towards renovating the menu to create more “upscale” sandwiches and wraps, as well as pizzas.
Randy’s favorite? The turkey club and the chicken Alfredo, although the fan favorite is the classic Rueben.
Although the Sondalles are committed to bringing fresh energy to the Green Lake gastronomic palate, visitors still may find their beloved Reilly’s classics such as Irish nachos and Reilly’s rolls.
Beyond the food menu, Reilly’s boasts 16 draft beers, a newly renovated and furnished outdoor patio with games such as Jenga to keep the atmosphere filled with laughs and a new drink menu to cool down customers after a long day on the lake.
“We have an extensive list of specialty drinks and an island oasis machine for iced drinks so we can cater to everybody,” Randy said.
The Sondalles’ priority is the customer.
“Our first challenge was just getting the right employees,” Randy said. “We want to have really good customer service. We have a really good crew right now.”
A visit to Reilly’s is a joyful experience.
On most Saturdays, visitors may find live music on the patio and perhaps even a visit from a former Green Bay Packers player.
Gilbert Brown stopped by just weeks ago for a bean bag tournament and to sign autographs with teammates. He’ll return again for a dart tournament on Sept. 8 to celebrate the anniversary of Reilly’s new ownership.
As visitors flock to the docks of Reilly’s or drive up after a day of lounging on the lake, both the food they eat and workers that they meet surely will show them that the historical Irish motif of Reilly’s really does make a person feel lucky.