A Northwoods Tradition Since the 1920's

The Bar - The Beginnings

Originally opened in the 1920’s, during prohibition, the establishment served as a bar only for many years. Pictured to the right is the owner Paully Short and friends in the 1940’s. Johnny Joo then owned the place for the next 40 years as the Hillside Inn. The house and the dining room were added later on. The middle room was even once used to host polkas on the weekends!

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Hillside Inn

In the 80’s, Earl owned this establishment for eight years serving food and tending bar. He started feeding the bears, which became a huge attraction. Gimpy was one of the first large black bears to frequent during dinner service. The bears brought in visitors far and wide, all hoping for an up close glimpse of these special creatures.


In the early 1990’s Jim and Nancy left their first pizza business in Milwaukee to move to the Northwoods. For nearly 25 years, the establishment was known as Vinchi’s, serving traditional supper club meals and the best homemade pizza’s in all of Wisconsin. Their reputation for outstanding food and service is one we are proud to carry on.

The Hillside Tavern & Grill

Since 2019, the restaurant has been renamed The Hillside Tavern & Grill. A new deck was added in front to enhance our outdoor seating. Further improvements have been made indoors, such as new paint and lighting to freshen up the atmosphere. We pride ourselves on providing an excellent dining experience and will continue to serve our famous homemade pizzas as long as the bar is open!

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A Note from the Owner

As a child, my siblings and I grew up visiting the northwoods with my parents and my Grandpa Coel. We had a small deer hunting shack with no electricity and a pop-up camper on 80 acres off County K that our family has owned since the 30’s — and still do. These times are my fondest memories as a child – camping, bonfires, swimming, and fishing on the many lakes in the area. My sisters’ kids and mine have all grown up in the same way, carrying on the traditions, of catching frogs and toasting s’mores year after year on grandpa’s land. Dinners were often spent traveling to various local restaurants and pubs, watching wildlife out the picture windows and sharing in each other’s company. One of those places, and among my grandpa’s favorites, was this very Hillside Inn.

As I get older I realize all the more how important those moments spent with loved ones are. It is my hope that you and your loved ones will also think back to your time spent in the beautiful Northwoods, including dinners with family and friends enjoying good food and drinks at The Hillside Tavern & Grill. Your experience is important to us, so please don’t hesitate to mention if there is something we could do to make your visit a better one.

Most sincerely, Gina and Family