Celebrate Women-Founded Local Restaurants in Appleton, Wisconsin Best Western Experience | Travel Zone by Best Western

Celebrate Women-Founded Local Restaurants in Appleton, Wisconsin

By Mer Norwood

Appleton, Wisconsin is a place where community is always championed and small, local businesses thrive. In Appleton, Wisconsin the stories behind local restaurants are compelling. Want to learn about the stories of unique women-founded local restaurants? Read on.  

Drink a pour over latte at Moon Water Café 

Four years ago, Shannon Boegh was sitting with her best friend under a full moon, mulling over the state of their lives.  

“We were both unhappy with our current lives,” says Boegh. “It was a full moon and we made moon water, basically put out glasses of water so that they’d soak the energy from the full moon. We put our intentions out into the world, and the next day we drank the moon water to manifest our intentions.” What happened after that? “Two weeks later, I get a call asking if I wanted to take over this café. I decided to name it ‘Moon Water Café’ after the experience.” 

Boegh has lived in Appleton, Wisconsin for over twenty years, and always thought that a cozy café would complete the neighborhood. Now, she manifested Moon Water Café and makes that dream a reality. A unique offering on the menu are the pour over lattes – no espresso machine necessary. The café also supports other local businesses in the area including ACOCA Coffee and Frio’s ice cream.    

Play with cats and sip coffee at Pawffee Shop 

Located within walking distance of your stay at Best Western Plus Appleton Airport, is the unique cat café, Pawfee Shop. Leah Enking and Elizabeth Feldhausen were a match made in cat and coffee heaven. Leah had seen cat cafes in a couple of places, but while she could handle the coffee portion of the concept, she needed to partner with someone who could handle the ‘cat’ logistics. She partnered with Elizabeth, who owns Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary, which is a rescue organization for animals with special needs. Thus, the dynamic duo founded Pawfee Shop. 


In the café, you’ll meet cats like Dr. Bones, who is missing a tiny right foot, or Morton, who has a pigeon-toe walk. “These aren’t cookie-cutter cats,” says General Manger, Richard Discher, “but they still enjoy a quality of life. We get a lot of people who are looking for a cat, but can’t make it to Green Bay, and they adopt here.” Come in for a coffee and hang out with the cats.  

Celebrate the holidays all year-round at Cleo’s Brown Bean Cocktail Lounge  

Cleo’s Brown Bean Cocktail Lounge is the kind of kitschy bar that locals love, and that people from out of town want to brag about when they go home. The cocktail lounge is decorated in full-blown holiday décor, with sparkly lights, assorted ornaments, and green garlands hanging from the ceiling. The bar is known for their Snowball cocktail, which is a blended White Russian with Crème de Coco.  

The bar was founded by a woman named Cleo in the 1970s (she sadly passed away in 2003). One year, Cleo left her holiday décor up for ‘way too long’ and customers were nagging her about them. She went she went to Sears to buy more holiday decorations, and Sears showed up with a truck full of them. Therefore, she decorated the whole place, and they’ve been up ever since. Today, Cleo’s is owned by the Sosnoski brothers, who agreed to not change a thing about the holiday décor.  

Book your stay at Best Western Plus Appleton Airport  

Local Wisconsin influencer, Colleen Kubiak, enjoys staying at Best Western® Hotels & Resorts, including her most recent stay at the Best Western Plus Appleton Airport. “The staff is always so nice, breakfast (when available) is always delicious,” says Kubiak. “And the properties are always located in the most convenient places – being centrally located makes what I want to do, easy.”  

The Best Western Plus Appleton Airport is no exception. The property is only a few minutes away from the bustling downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. The modern, sophisticated suites provide a relaxing space for when you need to decompress. Enjoy complimentary breakfast by a the fireplace and an indoor pool and whirlpool, too.  

From cheese curds to cheeseheads, there’s plenty to explore in “America’s Dairyland”. Uncover the charm of small towns and brews of the big cities when you stay at one of the 40+ properties with Best Western® Resorts & Hotels Wisconsin now.

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