HOWARD, Wis. - Vandervest Harley-Davidson opened its new location Aug. 2 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. A grand opening celebration is planned for Sept. 22.
The new dealership will feature bikes, clothing and motorcycle repairs in a new three-building complex built on the site of a former landmark restaurant.
Rick Vandervest created the look of an old western town inside the dealership using reclaimed barn board and tin. But the focal points are a drag racing strip and an actual drag bike racing up one of the walls and Evel Knievel making a jump over the rear balcony of the showroom.
The new part of the Vandervest building consists of a service center with underground storage and a two-story showroom. The original structure has retail space on the lower level and a banquet facility on the second floor. The Olde 41 Banquet Hall, as it will be called, boasts wooden cathedral ceilings with rustic wood and slate floors and a deck with stairs leading down to a patio on the ground level that overlooks Duck Creek.
“We are proud to offer this distinctive venue to the people of northeast Wisconsin as a place for weddings and parties,” Vandervest said. “The log décor and loft feel provide a warm atmosphere I think people will appreciate. From the banquet room, there is a walkway that leads to a balcony overlooking the showroom floor. It has an inviting museum-like quality to it.”
The project wasn’t without its hangups: last November, construction workers unearthed bones under the site that were later determined to be Native American remains that had been moved and reburied there many years earlier. That halted construction briefly for archeological recovery. But the new store and site are well worth it.
"Anytime you can be in an NFL city, I would say that's pretty huge. You know, the Green Bay Packers, pretty iconic, and you know, the Harley-Davidson brand carries that same history, so there's a great opportunity here in Green Bay, Vandervest recently told WLUK.
Vandervest's Peshtigo dealership, open since 1998, is a multi-time winning Dealernews Top 100 dealership. Vandervest and wife Lynn opened Vandervest Custom Cycles in Green Bay in 2003, but have closed that store with the opening of the latest dealership.
Posted by Holly Wagner