County-By-County: Buffalo – Monarch Public House


Tonight, we begin our week-long County-By-County series with an in-depth look at Buffalo County. And we start at the oldest running tavern in Wisconsin.

The Monarch Public House has been running for the last 122 years in Fountain City, along one of the most traveled highways in the nation. Fox 25/48’s Abigail Hantke stopped by the tavern today and has more about how the owner has continued to keep its doors open for so long.

“What’s your specialty here then?


For 122 years…

“It’s the oldest continually serving tavern or pub in the state of Wisconsin, which with 14,000 licensed establishments, that’s saying something.”

The Monarch Public House in Fountain City has been serving up cold ones since the early 1890’s.

“Cheers with beer!”

Owner, John Harrington took over the tavern in 1995 in hopes of keeping the tavern running, and avoiding turning the place into an apartment building.

“Where tradition and history and the concepts of that aren’t’ just words, they’re an intrical part of what we portray what we try to save and what we try to bring forward.”

Now while the Monarch Public House is only closed one day a week, that hasn’t stopped Harrington from sharing his love of history and this place from folks, passing through the area.

“This is absolutely outstanding.”

“For me, it’s when people walk in and they go … wow, because I’ve put 22 years of sweat and blood and poor language into renovating it restoring it and bringing it back.”

Today, the Monarch Public House sees roughly 30 to 40-thousand people during its peak season in October, with many travelers touring the area as the leaves change colors.

“You come to Irish fest in Milwaukee?”

Harrington says it’s been passion that’s kept the place open and it’s that passion that will keep it open for the next century and beyond.

“To see people just be knocked back by it, and then say what a beautiful place or we’ll be back; I think those are my three favorite words.”

In Fountain City, Abigail Hanke, Fox 25/48 News at Nine.

And you can watch Fox 25/48’s half-hour special on Buffalo County coming up this Saturday night,Aaugust 26th at 9:30 pm immediately following Fox 25/48 First News at Nine.

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