The holidays are always very important to small businesses and to show our support we decided to find out what is going on this holiday season at Union Park Tavern (4520 8th Avenue) as we sit down with co-owner Ben DeSmidt for this exclusive holiday Q&A.
How is Union Park Tavern preparing for the holiday season?
We have two holiday decorating parties with our staff to ring in the season. One focuses on the tree, the other on the rest of the bar and dining room. We also talk about the holiday schedule and menus for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Is UPT doing anything special for the holidays this year?
We start off the season proper with a Celtic Christmas celebration hosted by the Metra Irish Folk Jam musicians who travel up from Chicago throughout the year. They are playing this Saturday, Dec. 10.
On Friday, Dec. 23 during our award-winning fish fry, we will have an ugly sweater party with lots of prizes. Indigo Canyon plays at 9pm and the grand-prize winner of the sweater contest will be announced at 10pm.
On Christmas Eve in addition to our full menu, we offer a traditional German Rouladen dinner (reservations only), followed by Christmas karaoke with TNT Entertainment. This has been a really popular night in the past.
On Christmas night, David “Elvis” Kirby will help us celebrate with his terrific show including lots of classic holiday favorites. Rumor has it, there will be some great homemade eggnog! Come rock around the Christmas tree at UPT.
Bar and kitchen will be open our full regular hours on New Year’s Eve for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At 5pm (reservations only) we will serve a Surf and Turf dinner, followed by Beaker and another special musical guest taking the stage at 10pm. Ball drop and champagne toast at midnight. (Don’t forget, we also serve breakfast on New Year’s Day!)
What is your overall favorite holiday memory?
Lately it’s transitioned a bit. We used to start the holiday season by making sauerkraut: we’d buy a few 50lb. bags of cabbage from Gitzlaff farm and shred away. Now we make gallons of eggnog. They produce very different results.
Where are your favorite places to shop for the holidays?
We enjoy all the local, small shops downtown, and especially all the local artists that are featured in the Union Park Arts District galleries. We are very lucky in Kenosha to have a vibrant arts district and downtown.
What is the best holiday gift you ever received?
Angie and I have received very lovely and thoughtful gifts from our great staff.
Do you think you’re on Santa’s nice list or naughty list this year?
After the last few years of COVID, I think everyone gets to be on the nice list. Well, almost everyone…
Union Park Tavern is located at 4520 8th Avenue
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 11AM – bar closing • Sat. & Sun. 9AM – bar closing
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Learn more about Angie & Ben by listing to their interview on the Ktown Connects Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcast
Q&A and photos by Donny Stancato
Edited by Jason Hedman
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