We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Genuine Wisconsin Roadhouse”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Bayfield
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Greunke's First Street Inn
Ranked #14 of 15 Bayfield B&B and Inns
San Clemente, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Genuine Wisconsin Roadhouse”
Reviewed 21 October 2012

"There are two kinds of people: the squirtable and the non-squirtable." This quote sums up the philosophy of Judith, the gregarious and wonderful owner of Gruenke's. At the flip of a coin I ended up at Gruenke's one hot summer day following a major thunderstorm that had just come through town. After being seated in the cheery yet hot dining room (the storm had knocked out the air conditioning) I was greeted by a woman walking through the restaurant who was periodically squirting people with her massive water gun. Patrons were laughing, the woman was laughing and I started laughing as we all soon found out who was 'squirtable' and who wasn't.

Gruenke's is the epitome of a classic roadhouse diner with vintage everything, everywhere, good home-style food and great beer. There is a story behind each piece of kitsch, from personal photos to record albums to celebrity portraits. Judith can talk a mile about each piece and her stories are as genuine, hilarious and generous as the lady herself.

Staying at Gruenke's Inn, with its quaint rooms and creaky hallways, adds to the experience of being in a truly one of a kind place that feels more like the home of a relative or friend in the country than the Inn on the corner, right near the water, in the the picturesque town of Bayfield.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Shawn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

56 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    16
    14
    8
    3
    15
See reviews for
15
16
6
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wausau, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 September 2012

Every summer, our family heads to Bayfield, WI to enjoy Lake Superior and catch a show at Big Top Chautauqua. Before heading out for the show, we stopped at Gruenke’s for dinner. We’d eaten there twice before, and once again, the food was terrific, the wait staff attentive and friendly, and the memorabilia decorating the walls, fun. After our meal, we went to leave and our car wouldn’t start. A guest tried jumping it, but it didn’t work. Having driven 3 hours for the show, and knowing no one in the area, it was disheartening, to say the least. I went inside to ask where we might find a reliable garage to call in the morning and a room for the night (we hadn’t noticed they have lodging upstairs). Much to my surprise, the owner, Judith Lokken Strom--who didn’t know us from beans!—tossed her car keys on the counter and told us to catch what we could of the show. She hadn’t even asked my name, or where we were from. And when I asked if she’d like to at least take down my driver’s license number, she said no. Then she offered us the York room upstairs for half price. The room was charming and spotless, the beds very comfortable.

Needless to say, Gruenke’s will always be a part of our summer trip to Bayfield. Not only because it personifies the quaint charm of Bayfield itself—which we love—but because rather than taking advantage of some desperate tourists, Judith chose to treat us as if we were locals that she’d known for years. I’ll take that any day over an impersonal cookie-cutter room on the third-floor of some posh hotel.

Sandra K
Wausau, WI

Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Sandra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2012

This is an old inn and I was prepared that aspect of it. What I wasn't prepared for was a bed that was made only one of the four days we stayed, dirty towels that continued to pile up and no one came to pick them up, and awful scratchy, synthetic sheets. It's really too bad - I would have overlooked a lot because of the age/history of the place, but the owners just don't seem to care about their guests.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KristenRaeWI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ester, Alaska
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2012

Gruenke's offered us a simple, clean, comfortable and inexpensive base from which to explore the wonders of the Apostle Islands. Centrally located, we were a block from the waterfront, the park headquarters and a great coffee shop (Big Water). Who needs more than that? We loved our visit to Bayfield!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicole E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bayfield, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2012

Elderly friends called personally and thought they had the ground 2 bdr. room reserved..they did call back on same day for a confirmation no. and were told Greunkes does give them. They arrived and did not have a room..they were told that the people occupying the room wanted to stay another night so my friends were without a room. The other people did not have the room reserved. The owner is notorious for being rude and did not seem to care about the dilemna she had created. I would strongly discourage anyone from staying here...I am not surprised on the other comments noted on the webpage. Find a friendlier, cleaner, place to stay.

Room Tip: Anywhere else in Bayfield.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Donna F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surprise, Arizona
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2012

This just wasn't for us - if you like a non-cluttered environment (like we do), please look further for lodging in Bayfield. The Inn reminds me of an old farm house that needs lots of attention. The carpet definitely needs to go. The towels and sheets were adequate, nothing more. The place needs to be cleaned up. The bathrooms were clean. The lighting in the rooms is very low. It was also hot as the room we had did not have a/c. Take a fan or book when it is cold outside.
We won't return to Gruenke's.

Room Tip: If you stay, please select one of the larger rooms with air.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kathaleen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cold Spring, MN
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2012

A fascinating old building with memorabilia lining the restaurant walls and clean and comfortable "old time" rooms upstairs--what's not to like? This is not a controlled climate hotel where the windows won't open and you have to walk down a long boring hallway to get anywhere. Gruenke's has character and if you approach it on its own terms, it is more than just a place to sleep but a special experience that combines the feeling of small comfortable European family-run hotels and a taste of the 60s and 70s. The location is ideal--the center of town and close to the Madeline Island ferry. The restaurant--a short walk down a flight of stairs or you could use the outdoor stairs if you preferred--had great breakfasts and good coffee. We loved it and so did our 22 year old son who was amused by our recognition of memorabilia from the decades when we were his age. The owner is a delight--and the background music of classic rock topped off the experience beautifully, a time travel trip back to our youth!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ruralminn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Bayfield
15.5 mi away
Best Western The Hotel Chequamegon
10.4 mi away
The Inn at Washburn
The Inn at Washburn
#2 of 2 in Washburn
3.5 of 5 bubbles 55 reviews
0.2 mi away
Old Rittenhouse Inn
Old Rittenhouse Inn
#1 of 15 in Bayfield
4.5 of 5 bubbles 430 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.4 mi away
Lucy's Place Bed and Breakfast
Show Prices

Been to Greunke's First Street Inn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Greunke's First Street Inn

Property: Greunke's First Street Inn
Address: 17 Rittenhouse Ave, Bayfield, WI 54814-5018
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Bayfield
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Bayfield
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The building that houses Greunke's First Street Inn has been accommodating guests for more than 150 years. The quaint guest rooms are comfortable and neatly decorated with antiques and original art. The inn is conveniently located in the center of downtown Bayfield and is within walking distance to the Madeline Island Ferry, Apostle Islands Cruises, museums, gift shops, and other attractions. The onsite restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, & dinner 7 days a week! New in 2016: FREE WIFI is available in all guest rooms! ... more   less 

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing