Big Easel 1 Big Easel 2

Name Essenhaus

Business Type Gallery, Dining and Entertainment

Location Wabeno, Wisconsin

Population  1,100

Owner/Manager Tim & Connie Friesen

Year Opened 2014


Phone 715-889-1179


Products Sold & Niche Developed

Founders and Owners, Tim & Connie Friesen, bring excellent food and wine to rural northeast Wisconsin. The business offers live music, art to explore, and dinner theater shows including musicals.

How it got started

The Arts Emporium/Essenhaus occupies the former Eagle Saloon and was established in 2014. The building was in a serious state of disrepair, but the landlord had just begun renovations for another tenant (who was not able to make things happen) when the current owners took over.

Who it serves

The business draws customers from communities throughout northeastern Wisconsin and it has become a destination for both locals and visitors.

Building Improvements

The ruined drop ceiling and all associated lighting and wiring had to be removed. Additionally, the original tin ceiling was patched and new lighting added.  A second restroom needed, as well as the front and back bar (salvaging some of the original back bar).  A stage and installed theatrical lighting was added.  The kitchen had to be completely remodeled and all appliances replaced.  The outside was repainted, and adding a mural that graces the front of the building.


Building renovations were done with considerable help from community members putting in expertise and sweat equity, and without outside financing.



Reviewed by Emily Lutz, UW-Extension CCED