By Jordan Moser
Nov. 18, 2015
The city of Whitewater has been blessed with a number of quality drinking establishments that are suitable for students and locals alike, but none quite compare to Denny K’s Bar and Grill. Just recently celebrating the bar’s 29th birthday, owner Dennis Knopp opened the doors of Denny K’s on Sept. 8, 1986. Over the past three decades, Denny K’s has developed a reputation around Whitewater as an establishment that values its customers and serves food and drinks at reasonable prices.
“We try to make [Denny K’s] a destination,” Knopp said, commenting on the style and values of the bar and its employees. “We take care of our customers whether it’s your first time here or your 100th time here.”
Knopp’s exquisite customer service mentality has always been prevalent this attitude has obviously been relayed to his employees and managerial staff.
“If we don’t know your name already, there is a good chance that we will remember your drink order,” manager Colleen Baird said, who has worked at Denny K’s for seven years.
When asked about the clientele Denny K’s has attracted over the years, Knopp admitted that the bar’s most recurrent patrons are typically an older variety of college student.
“We try to make everybody welcome,” Knopp said. “But we do seem to have our own niche.”
Denny K’s is open from 10 a.m. to bar close every day of the week, and feature many unique specials. Sundays and Mondays, which are not typically good for business in the reputation of college bars, are actually quite popular at Denny K’s, according to Baird. The bar features Green Bay Packer-themed drinks on fall game days along with free billiards after 8 p.m. on Mondays. Whether patrons are looking to wind down after a wild weekend or go all out to cheer for the green and gold, Denny K’s provides the ideal atmosphere for your Sunday Funday.
Aside from Denny K’s drinks, the bar also serves delectable food which, Baird said, is severely underrated.
“Not many people even know we serve food,” Baird said.
Knopp prepares fresh homemade pulled pork daily, which is just one of the food creations the bar takes pride in. Baird encourages patrons to interact with the bar employees and to listen to their food recommendations because many favorites among regulars are not on the printed menu.
As evidence from the promotional signage on the walls, there is no doubt that the employees at Denny K’s Bar and Grill are always enthusiastic to host fun and lively events, typically accompanied by appropriately themed specialty drinks. Baird, who manages the bar’s Facebook page, spearheads the process of organizing and promoting these events that add a spin on Whitewater night life.
“Every time we have an event, I try to create themed drinks,” Baird said.
Baird recently developed Halloween themed drink menu featuring “The Bruce Wayne” and “The Joker” among others.
Denny K’s next event is their Prohibition Party, which will take place on Dec. 5. Baird and the other employees are excited for this event, which will celebrate the anniversary of the repeal of prohibition in the United States. The drink menu will feature classic, made-to-order cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, Mint Julep, the Manhattan and the Bee’s Knees, all of which were very popular in the midst of the Roaring Twenties.
Coming the following week, express your holiday spirit the proper way at Denny K’s annual Nightmare Before Christmas Party held on Dec. 11. The event will feature holiday-themed drinks and is sure to help in the fight against the winter blues. Holiday-themed dress is encouraged, but all are welcome to this event that celebrates the festivity of the holiday season.
“I have been bartending for more than 40 years,” Knopp said. “We have a pretty good thing going, I think.”
It has been the Whitewater community, combined with the hardworking and customer-focused demeanor of Knopp and his employees that has transformed Denny K’s Bar and Grill into the successful business it has become.
If you would like to see your bar, restaurant or bartender featured in “21 and Over Club,” please email [email protected]
Please drink responsibly.