Longtime fine dining restaurant The Union House in Genesee Depot has been purchased by local entrepreneur Jim Lindenberg.
After operating the restaurant for 30 years, owners Curt and Patty Robinson sold the business and the building at S42 W31320 Highway 83 and retired. The deal closed Feb. 18, Lindenberg said.
Lindenberg is owner and president of Lindy Enterprises and JML Holdings. He previously owned Waukesha patio and rec room retailer Master Z's, but sold the business in 2018. He has been involved with a number of other local ventures in recent years, including the Milwaukee Wave, which he owned from 2008 to 2013.
A longtime customer at The Union House, Lindenberg was approached by the Robinsons late last year about purchasing the restaurant. Now, as owner, he plans to grow the business and introduce new diners to a "hidden gem," he said
All current staff members at The Union House will be retained, and Lindenberg plans to make some new hires in the coming months.
Lissie Vorberg will serve as the restaurant's executive chef and general manager. She previously worked at the now-closed Coquette Cafe and Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro. Her husband Nick Vorberg, who played goalie for the Milwaukee Wave while Lindenberg was owner, has been hired to head up the bar and assist with operations.
Heidi Lindenberg will lead marketing for the restaurant. She currently serves as marketing manager at Lindy Enterprises.
“We could not be more excited about the future owners and management," said Patty Robinson. "We know they will do a great job keeping the fine tradition going moving forward, and we are excited about them taking this restaurant to even another level.”
The two-story historic Union House building was built in 1861 as a hotel, and has since functioned as a social gathering spot for locals.
Lindenberg said the structure "needs a little TLC." He plans to finish the second floor for additional seating and private events. That would increase total seating from 75 to 120, and allow the business to business to book events on weekends.
"Currently they turn away people on Friday and Saturday because they're so booked," he said.
He also plans to update the outdoor patio to add outdoor seating.
"I'm excited that the restaurant has great history, great reputation and that we're going to be able to take it to another level, increase sales, increase revenue, add some staff, fix it up," said Lindenberg.