Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Grouchy's Coffee Shop • Dining Room

If you have any information about Grouchy's, please leave a comment. I haven't been able to find any information other than what is on the back of this postcard:

At Rice Lake and Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Your 24 hour host all 7 days for those who want the best.

This postcard was published by G. R. Brown Co. of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and was mailed in 1964 from Frederic, Wisconsin. It is not clear whether Grouchy's was in both Rice Lake and Ladysmith or at some unnamed location between the two towns. Rice Lake is northwest of Eau Claire and Ladysmith is northeast of Eau Claire.


  1. How strangely wonderful the internet is! I was just surfing and checking out to see anyone was using the name Grouchy’s.

    Grouchy’s first location was a small diner located on Main Street near the Carnegie public library. Grouchy, as the owner was known, started his first restaurant with 12 dollars, two tables and chairs, an electric fry pan, a head of lettuce, condiments and 5 pounds of hamburger. We he ran out of food, he locked the door and ran to the grocery store for more. He sold hamburgers to the creamery workers and folks working at Birchwood Manufacturing. The hamburgers went for five cents each. After a year, he opened a small diner on South Main Street, Rice Lake (near John Street). Main Street was part of old Highway 53. After a couple of years on the south end of Main Street he closed that location and moved back, near the corner of Main and Messenger Streets. That location remained a restaurant for years (into the seventies). During the 60’s another Grouchy’s was opened in Ladysmith on Highway 8 (South side) near Highway 27. The Ladysmith restaurant was sold to open another Grouchy’s on Interstate Highway 94. This restaurant was located in Eau Claire. Later in the 60’s, another Grouchy’s was opened on Interstate 94 in Black River Falls Wisconsin. And yet another was opened on Interstate 80 at Ottawa IL. The Black River location was the most successful; the Eau Claire restaurant was also successful and may still be a truck stop today. The Ottawa location was sold within two years of opening. In the early seventies after the Rice Lake location was sold and the name changed, Grouchy opened a beer bar, on Main Street, in the old BuckHorn saloon building. The bar was also named Grouchy’s. Grouchy died in 1973. Grouchy Don Johnson was my dad.

    I’m sure this is more than you ever wanted to know about an old postcard. If you ever want to part with the postcard please let me know, I’d love to buy it from you. You can contact me at ted122@roadrunner.com Again, Thanks you for making my day.

  2. Grouchy's was next to the Surplus Outlet on Main St. Rice Lake, WI. It was then torn down and made a part of the parking lot of the Holiday Grocery store. Grouchy sold the resturant the Norbert and Leona Coleman from Rice Lake. Both of whom have passed away.

  3. Grouchy was my Grandpa. :)

    We found something on facebook earlier, so I thought I would look up and see if anyone was talking about Grouchy's.

  4. Grouchy was my great Grandpa :)

  5. Edmund Ludwig and I lived on hamburgers, lemonade and cinnamon rolls from Grouchy's cafe in 66-67 when we were in tech school in Rice Lake. Scott (LacQuay) Derksen


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