Hartland Inn

In 1967 Margrit and Max Meier purchased the Hartland Inn property to utilize as a restaurant, tying the couple’s Swiss heritage to Wisconsin supper club staples. “When we came, we totally changed it from what it used to be. It had chicken fry and fish fry and stuff like that, but my husband was trained in Switzerland, and so we changed the whole menu to schnitzels and a lot of Swiss dishes,” said Margrit in a 2019 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The menu highlights included schnitzel, a Friday fish fry, and prime rib on Saturdays and remained largely unchanged for decades.

On June 29, 2019 at 10:30 pm, a call was made to the Hartland Fire Department to head to the Inn as fire and heavy smoke engulfed the beloved restaurant. Fire crews arrived on the scene in forty-five seconds and fortunately no lives were lost, but a historic neighborhood cornerstone sadly was.

Balestrieri Environmental & Development was contracted to assist with abatement and selective interior removal of the charred structure by the new owners. Balestrieri Project Manager Nate Kawlewski worked with the owner’s construction representative to abate asbestos-containing pipes, linoleum, ceiling and floor tile. Additionally, Balestrieri crews removed cabinetry, built-in furniture, the bar, and plumbing fixtures throughout the interior of the building. “The biggest challenge was dealing with the part of the building that was fire damaged. Overall, it was a great job to work on, and part of the history of downtown Hartland,” said Kawlewski.

In its more than 110-year-old history, the building first served as a hotel in its initial sixty years prior to the Meier’s restaurant. During its period as a hotel, it was owned by the Pabst Brewing Co. While the finished plan for the Hartland Inn remains unknown, movement has certainly begun for the building’s next stage of life.