Since late September, Fitchburg has a new place to watch Badgers’ and Packers’ games.
The Thirsty Goat, a new restaurant and brewpub that opened Sept. 26 on Cahill Main, is developing as a sports bar that features 30 TVs and 40 beers on tap, along with a full menu of meats prepared in the establishment’s smokehouse and broaster fryer.
It has been well received by the neighborhood, said general manager Caroline Clanton.
The Goat was conceived as a brewpub but is waiting for equipment and permits, and probably won’t begin brewing on site until the spring or early summer, she added.
Meanwhile, it offers a bevy of craft beers ranging from local brewers like Ale Asylum, New Glarus Brewing and Karbon4Brewing to ones from as far away as Maine and California. The Goat also has beers from the big commercial breweries, like Miller and Budweiser.
The restaurant opened in the large, spacious building that was formerly home to Casa Del Sol, which went out of business last year. The new restaurant/bar has a seating capacity of 350 inside and another 150 outside, Clanton said, and has about 30 flat-screen TVs tuned to games and athletic events.
“We’re showing all the events,” Clanton told the Star. “We have anything Packers and Badgers, and we have the NFL ticket, too, so we can watch all the games.”
The new venue is owned by Dave Schutz, the developer behind the Hatchery Hill mixed-use development that includes the Thirsty Goat. He also owns Wyndham Garden Inn, Candlewood Suites and Tuscany Mediterranean Grill, all of which Clanton oversees in her role as operations manager.
She and Schutz were partners in running The Dry Bean in Fitchburg for 14 years before it closed, Clanton said.
She said The Thirsty Goat has over 60 employees, and has been busy hosting special events like wedding receptions, birthdays and reunions. It also does lots of catering.
The food menu includes appetizers, soups and salads, broasted chicken, sandwiches and burgers, and seven items from the smokehouse (ribs, pulled pork and brisket, among others). There are also four entrees and a Friday fish fry.
“Everything’s homemade,” Clanton said. “The smokehouse is the big thing.”
The restaurant’s décor features custom wood, with handmade tables and chairs, the manager said.
“All the wood is two-tone, so it’s really rich and pretty,” Clanton said. “The tables are all made by the same woodworker, Majestic Oaks out of Poynette.”
Large windows dominate three sides of the building, and an outside deck also wraps around three sides overlooking a pond and greenspace.
Clanton said the decks and patios were popular in September and October. She noted the Goat has had some live musical entertainment and expects more of it on a patio during the warm weather months.