It all began forty one years ago when Dick and Carol Skare honeymooned in Door County. It was May of 1977 and they found Fish Creek to be a sleepy lake side town. One shopkeeper, Hazel Elliott, took the time to find out that Dick and Carol were aspiring restaurateurs who met while working side by side at a supper club near Minneapolis. She arranged for them to look at a small, twenty seat restaurant in downtown Fish Creek. “Door County is growing,” she told them, “get in now before the rush.” They took her advice and put in an offer. Two short months later, on the weekend of July 4, 1977, Dick and Carol opened the doors of The Cookery.
Dick and Carol’s goal for their restaurant was to create a welcoming, casual environment where customers could enjoy great food that is prepared from start to finish in the restaurant’s kitchen. The restaurant's recipes were rooted in Carol's experience of learning to cook on her mother's apron strings on a small family farm in rural Minnesota. Over the years, the Skares expanded to become an 85 seat restaurant that also included lodging and a full line of jams and sauces.
In May 2008, The Cookery began another chapter when a devastating fire caused the restaurant to close its doors for the season. The restaurant re-opened in June 2009 with expanded outdoor seating and a new addition, a second floor water view wine bar.
Today, Dick and Carol are extremely proud to have their daughters, Courtney and Karin, involved in the daily operation of the business. Courtney and Karin share Dick and Carol's passion for food, which was engrained at a young age. Throughout the years and today, the Skares have continued to maintain their original values, to incorporate fresh ingredients focusing on local products from Door County and to bring delicious, homemade food to their customers.