True paranormal enthusiasts will enjoy dining with ghosts in an environment where spooky food is the special of the day and the hospitality doesn’t need to be ordered. Owners Lisa Bishop and Chris Sharrer opened the haunted Cottage Cafe in Plover, Wisconsin without thinking twice about the possibility that their restaurant is more than likely home to a few friendly spirits. The new owners just happen to be seasoned paranormal investigators who had previous knowledge of the building and had even investigated the haunted property that they now use to fortify their customers by serving them fresh homemade baked goods and off of the chart breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees.
Strange phenomena has always been a part of the building’s past, which just happens to be one of the town’s oldest structures that is still standing today. The history of the building offers a few clues as to the possible reasons for the establishments strange occurrences. Before opening as the Old Sherman House Restaurant in 1982, the cafe was once the home to the Sowiak family who never publicly opened up about the ghostly events and paranormal activity that took place in their humble abode the entire twenty-five years that they lived in the haunted residence located on Post Road. Mark Sowiak remembers as a child being so frightened by the upstairs bedroom that he and his brother hid under the blankets. Only after the Sowiak’s moved out of the residence did the family discuss the strange activity that took place in their home, and soon the house’s haunted history became public knowledge even though the details were not explicitly told to outside sources for fear of being ostracized by skeptics.
Prior to the Slowiak family living in the house, the family of James Pierce resided in the clapboard sided home from 1903 up until 1945. The Pierce family lived their life as influential members of the local church with James Pierce serving as the deacon. James was known for being open mouthed and public with his concerns and belief’s involving the evils of alcohol and all that it represented. It is believed that Mr. Pierce’s strong convictions have lead to the paranormal activity that still exists today and has involved glasses flying off of the bar of the Sherman Restaurant and still today at the Cottage Cafe. It is more than likely a phenomenal means to him showing his discontent for the alcohol that was once served during the heyday of the Sherman House Restaurant.
Tim and Louise Mulderink, owners of the Sherman House opened the restaurant’s doors in 1982 and have probably suffered the most of anyone from the paranormal activity that the building on Post Road is well known for. Renovations to the historic building blew it wide open for ghosts and spirits to wreak havoc and do their ghostly duties that spirits are so well known for. The fact that they served alcohol was probably hitting a real nerve with the ghost of James Pierce who would have never allowed libation to be served in his presence. Slamming doors, shattered windows, flying plates and other annoyances became the normal daily activity at the restaurant, so much so in fact that the Mulderink’s employees began complaining about the vexations until they could no longer take it and left the premises for good. The strange and frightening phenomena eventually drove Tim and Louise out of the building as well, forcing them to close the restaurant just a few short years after it had opened.
The building sat vacant for several years until Chris Sharrer and Lisa Bishop snapped it up despite the establishment’s known haunted past. Unafraid of the paranormal, the duo set out to renovating the building into the Cottage Cafe, a popular eatery in Plover that draws in crowds of hungry diners daily. The locals are aware of the cafe’s haunted past, yet remain unafraid even though strange circumstances are a constant reminder that the place is still haunted today. Chris and Lisa have everything under control as the restaurant owners, and the duo just happen to be experienced ghost hunters who do not fear the unknown, but instead enjoy the paranormal. A year and a half of renovations may have stirred up the restless spirits, but it also brought life to the beautiful cafe that it is today.
For those interested, Chris and Lisa offer details on the tools used for researching the paranormal. Everything from measuring EMF’s where the ghosts respond to questions by lighting up the KII Meter. Recording devices, flashlights and ghost boxes are all used to communicate with the spirits, and talk to them they do. The friendly ghosts at the cafe have actually called the sisters by their names, so the overwhelming feeling is that they are welcome and will remain so for years to come by the spirits and the locals. Of course serving good food get’s the pair several points and their passion for food is more than obvious just by the heavenly aroma’s that hit you the minute that you walk through the door. Fresh baked goods from molasses cookies, pecan croissants, Focaccia knots, and white chip & craisin scones are all a part of the sweet deal as is dining with the spooks. Not to worry though, they don’t eat much.
Menu Favorites: Caramel Mocha Latte and a Freshly Baked Treat, Loaded Omelet, Ham & Cheese or the Buffalo Chicken Panini, Roasted Corn Chowder, and a variety of baked goods fresh from the oven.
Location: 2900 Post Road, Plover, Wisconsin. Phone: 715-544-0370 Hours of Operation: 7:00 am to 4:00 pm Wednesday thru Monday. Closed: Tuesdays.