Brett and Lacy Wichers own and operate Plum Creek Restaurant and Down Under Bar. The two establishments share a building; the restaurant is on the top level, while the bar is housed on the bottom level.
Eventually, the business outgrew the building. In December of 2009, Brett purchased the entire building at 121 W. Court Street, the current location of Plum Creek Restaurant. The downstairs which is now “The Down Under” and “The Ballroom”, were formerly known as Captain’s Quarters, a local bar and wedding venue for over a decade.
Another individual who has played a huge role in past success as well as current success of the operation is Amy Stocker. General manager for 19 years, Stocker has been with Brett since nearly the beginning. “Poor Amy has had to manage him, mom him, scold him, and make sure he got things done,” joked Lacy. Stocker has held many jobs in the establishment, including cooking, prepping, and baking, and maybe the most important part; keeping Brett in line and organized.
Lacy, who frequented the restaurant when she was in nursing school, caught Brett’s eye as she was dining at Plum Creek. That’s a story all in itself, but the Wichers have now been married for seven years and Lacy’s role in leadership of the business has continued to steadily increase. In fact, she recently took a hiatus from her job as an ER nurse to help out more at the restaurant as it continues to grow and expand.
Visitors to Plum Creek will find modern decor, huge, vaulted ceilings, and a laid back atmosphere. “Really good food, and a super friendly staff. Our steaks are cut in-house, our burgers are pattied in-house- almost everything is made in-house… it’s downhome, but not cafe style. It’s more of an upscale downhome meal,” explained Brett.
The Wichers are proud to serve a wide variety of customers and be a versatile spot with a vibe all its own, whether you’re finishing up a long work day or going out for date night. “Everyone’s welcome, and you can come as you are. You’re going to get phenomenal food and great service…not fancy but phenomenal,” stated Lacy.
As previously stated, the top level of the building is called Plum Creek Restaurant, but the couple also owns the bar on the lower level of the building,called the Down Under Bar. Additionally, they own an adjoining 5,000 square foot ballroom which is used to host parties, events, receptions, and other various get-togethers. There are two separate entrances, but the two spaces can be accessed from within one another, as well. The kitchen serves the same menu to both the restaurant and the bar. Plum Creek even does catering.
The ballroom was fully renovated right before Covid, giving them a modern feel and clean look. Lacy explains the renovation as a “five week, 5,000 square foot project”, where she and Brett completely gutted and redid the entire inside of the building, including the paint, walls, carpet, installation of a wheelchair accessible ramp, and re-doing all the floors.
This was an exciting change to the space, and the Wichers were overjoyed to begin hosting events in the ballroom. Unfortunately, after hosting just one wedding reception, COVID hit and closed the space for a year.
COVID was a tough time, but Brett cannot say enough good things about the community support that pulled through to keep the establishment open, thanks in part to the “Mitchell County Strong” movement. “The community really helped us to keep the wheels turning when COVID hit,” said Lacy. “We tried really hard to keep people employed. It was challenging but the community was really supportive…they helped us keep the wheels on the track to get through.”
Now that the business is fully reopened, it is an exciting time for all aspects of the business.
The ballroom space is so popular that it is already booking into 2024. The Down Under Bar is the place to be, hosting live music and offering a fun and relaxing atmosphere. During the warmer seasons, there is a patio with life-size Jenga and corn hole.
Though Plum Creek has been constantly evolving since 19-year old Brett took the helm, the consistent piece has been the drive to serve the community with quality and consistency, and to maintain a welcome place for many types of people, events, and celebrations.
Plum Creek celebrated its 20th anniversary last June with a street dance. The Wichers are incredibly happy with how it went, and are incredibly proud of how their businesses are flourishing. With their determination, the spot is sure to be around for another 20+ years.
Lacy states, “We appreciate the ability to be able to serve a community that has kept us in business and helped us grow for 20 years. We feel what we do is very versatile and over the years has allowed us the opportunity to not only feed people, but celebrate birthdays, weddings, family and business gatherings, and even in times of loss in the community…twenty years of business has not come without a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, but also a community that loves and takes care of one another. We strive to maintain our humble roots while continuing to challenge ourselves, keep things fresh, at a fair price, and interesting.”
Head on down to Beloit to visit Plum Creek Restaurant and Down Under Bar to see for yourself what all they have to offer. Be sure to follow our pages to stay up to date on the latest and greatest!