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Myrt and Lucy's Chat & Chew Cooks Comfort Food Just Like Grandma Used To Make

By Pamela Sosnowski

Probably the first question to come to mind when one hears of Myrt and Lucy's Chat & Chew in Wisconsin Dells is "Who are Myrt and Lucy?" They are the owners' grandmothers, which should provide some clues about the restaurant's menu and atmosphere: meals just like mom's, served with a smile in a warm surrounding that feels like home.

"We both are very close to our grandmothers and they are the ones that taught us good old hard work, good cooking, and manners," co-owner Marijo Zietlow, whose grandmother Myrtis is one half of the restaurant's namesake, said. "So we named it after them. Our atmosphere from the moment you walk in till the time you leave is like entering my mother-in-law's house and Matt's grandma Lucy's. You are always fat and happy with lots of leftovers."

Zietlow and her husband Matt first became managers of a restaurant in 2012 at what was Alabama's Dixieland BBQ and Suds on Broadway in downtown Wisconsin Dells. In 2015 when the opportunity arose to own it they snatched it and renamed it as Myrt and Lucy's Chat & Chew. The hours were expanded to include breakfast (featuring "amazing skillets, omelets, (and) head-sized pancakes, said Zietlow).

At Myrt and Lucy's Chat & Chew, customers will find a variety of comfort food favorites, from a smothered French dip sandwich to New York surf and turf. The restaurant also makes pub fare such as loaded nachos, jalapeño poppers, and fried dill pickles. Patrons can also build their own sandwiches, burger, pizza, or entree and a children's menu is available for breakfast and dinner. Many of the items are cooked using Myrt and Lucy's original family recipes. As for which selections are Zietlow's favorites, she didn't hesitate.

"I love the steak sandwich smothered in mushrooms onions and Swiss cheese," she said. "The Hodag burger is outstanding with a roar! People rave over our seafood."

A unique feature in the spacious yet cozy restaurant is the display of antique tools on its walls, a gift by landlord Bud Gussel, that Zietlow says serves as a reminder of the area's history and what most people's grandparents used back in the day. The establishment also has a second-story space used for hosting private parties of up to 80 people. The couple is looking into working with local schools to allow students to use the second floor as a study area during after-school hours. A stage on the first floor may soon be used to provide live entertainment to diners.

The restaurant is family-oriented, both in its offerings and behind the scenes. "My husband does all the cooking and I run the front of the house," said Zietlow. "We were just all family members for the first six months. It was an interesting transition going from family to real employees."

Myrt and Lucy's Chat and Chew takes reservations and take-out is also available. The restaurant is open from 8 A.M. to 9 P.M. Sundays through Thursdays and 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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