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The Diner
The Speakeasy
Ozaukee Press Article

Our Location, Yesterday & Today

The Schowalter Real Estate location has a long and interesting history. The building was originally a diner, owned by Al and Betty Lubahn. Betty’s Lunch was in operation from the 1930s through 1991, when Betty Lubahn died. Betty Albinger

When the diner first opened, hamburgers cost a nickle; egg, cheese, ham, or steak were a dime each; a plate lunch cost 30 cents; pies were a nickle or a dime; and sundays were 10 cents. Betty quickly became known as the hamburger lady. She was also capable of filling gas for her customers at the adjacent gas station while still holding her own at the stove-top.

During the Prohibition, a Speakeasy located in the lower level of Betty’s Lunch was maintained as a gathering place for men in the area. Not even Betty Lubahn was allowed in the Speakeasy. The primary game played at the Speakeasy was “skat”, a German game. Al Lubahn was the proprieter of these games which took place often on evenings and weekends during the 1930s and 1940s.

Throughout its operation, the restaurant was a popular destination for locals as well as families on their way north for the weekend. Other more notorious characters frequented Betty’s diner. Stories of whiskey bootleggers and mobdrivers also surround the diner.

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Photographs provided by the Estate of Helen Albinger,
James and Laverne Pokey, and Michael Schowalter.

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