Backwaters Bar and Grill offers good food and a great view
A striking view of the Wisconsin River is only one of many fine attributes of Backwaters Bar and Grill located on Hwy. 47, just a few miles north of Rhinelander. Pat and Jeanne Wilson opened their bar and restaurant Jan. 16 and after some beautiful and stunning remodeling, it offers visitors a great place to get a bite to eat or relax with a cool and refreshing beverage.
This establishment has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike for many years and the Wilson’s breathed new life into the place after deciding to settle back down in Rhinelander. Both Pat and Jeanne are born and bred Hodags but after high school they lived in different parts of the country. It was their dream to eventually open a business in the Rhinelander area. The restaurant had been closed for a couple of years before Pat and Jeanne bought it and made it their own.
While the view is as gorgeous as ever, the couple have remodeled the interior into a welcoming Northwoods retreat. Comfortable chairs and tables are nestled right up to the windows so diners can see the river while they eat and the U-shaped bar also offers a panoramic view from just about every seat. Wildlife is abundant and visitors are likely to see many different breeds of ducks, swans, songbirds, deer and otters. For those more interested in watching the Brewers, Packers, NASCAR and other sports, televisions have been placed strategically so everyone has a great seat no matter what’s on.
And all these things to see go great with the enticing menu offered at Backwaters. There is a full line up of sandwiches including several burgers, a gourmet chicken sandwich, a BLT and a Philly beef sandwich. One of the more popular sandwiches offered here is the Cream Cheese Olive Burger which has been getting rave reviews.
There is also an interesting appetizer line up that includes chicken wings, lightly breaded and fried cheese curds, homemade potato chips, sweet potato waffle fries, black and tan onion rings, a cheesy artichoke dip and even breaded shrimp.
There are daily specials too. Monday is Hog Wing day which is actually a pork shank cooked to perfection. Tuesday is chef choice day and on Wednesday Tacos are the special. Pat is really excited about Thursdays because that’s when he serves his own BBQ smoked ribs.
“I love ribs and I’ve traveled all over the country trying them at different places so I know good ribs when I taste them,” Pat said. “Mine are getting quite a following.”
On Friday, a delicious fish fry is served which includes cod cooked several different ways in addition to Canadian walleye and hand breaded shrimp. All these meals come with the usual fixings. Diners can enjoy a juicy steak sandwich on Saturday and on Sunday Pat’s smoked brisket or pulled pork is on the menu. A homemade soup is served every day and includes choices like clam chowder (both kinds), beef vegetable, beef barley, Taco soup and cheesy broccoli to name a few.
The wine and beer list is impressive too offering 40 different specialty beers which include locally crafted beer, imports and domestics. A full drink bar is also available.
In addition to all the striking remodeling done on the inside, carpenters are now building a Tiki bar out back. This overlooks the docks where boaters on the river can stop by for a bite to eat or a drink. And it will be done just in time for the new Backwaters grand opening which is slated for Saturday, May 31. Plans are still being finalized but there will be prize give-aways and live music for sure.
Backwaters Bar and Grill is located at 4920 Hwy. 47, about six miles north of Rhinelander. It is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to close. Food is served starting at 11 a.m. and the kitchen stays open until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The website address is www.backwatersbarandgrill.com and they have a Facebook page. The phone number is 715-369-5645.