The idea for Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse took root in 1999. Former hotel managing partner, Dennis Langley, desired to bring a Chicago-style steakhouse into his hotel and wanted to make it a signature restaurant. Familiar with various NFL-related steakhouses that were becoming popular in the United States, he started his research and began an online conversation with Vince Lombardi Jr. about his idea. After close to a year of convincing Vince that the restaurant would be of the highest quality, an agreement was struck. Trips to Seattle, WA (Vince Jr.’s residence) and Jacksonville, FL (his sister Susan’s residence) resulted in the treasure trove of memorabilia seen within the restaurant. Much of the memorabilia was found in attics and garages in cardboard boxes!
The restaurant opened to much fanfare in July, 2000. Many of Vince Lombardi’s former players, including Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, and Fuzzy Thurston as well as many other dignitaries in attendance ushered in a new era of dining into the Fox Cities. One reporter from The Packer News was on hand and asked Vince Jr., “Why in Appleton and not in Green Bay?” A fair question to which Vince responded, “because no one ever asked.”
Years later, the restaurant is still a must see dining experience for not only Green Bay Packer fans but NFL history aficionados. With the majority of NFL teams utilizing the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel for their stay when they play the Green Bay Packers, it is very common to see NFL players, coaches, and owners enjoying dinner in the steakhouse the night before the big game.
One pre-opening quote from Vince Jr. still drives the staff and the restaurant. He said; ”Nothing I do can enhance the image of my father, but something done poorly can detract from it.”
Our goal continues to be to protect and maintain the integrity of the Lombardi name.