W8639 Kuehn Road – on the shores of beautiful Lake Koshkonong – Ft. Atkinson, WI
Hours of Business:
Sunday – Saturday: 11am to Close
Cash Only – No Credit Cards
From the outside, Norm’s Hideaway looks like any other bar on a lake in Wisconsin. Once inside, on that cold March Friday evening, you suddenly realize that Norm’s IS a bar on a lake in Wisconsin with great fish and a unique way of serving it up.
The bar is a huge, northwoodsy and filled with friendly regulars willing to instruct first-timers in the “Hideaway Way.” First rule: there is no hostess. If you want to eat at a table, order the drinks while someone in your group grabs them. Yup. The bartenders run the show dispensing libations , directing traffic, taking your dinner order, and eventually taking your cash.
Luckily, there is a table for 8 available (we got there at 5:00pm) and we staked our ground. After our table had been secured, it was back to attack the bar for a round of cocktails and to grab menus. Plenty of beers, including Guinness on tap to choose from along with tasty old-fashionds kept us busy as we perused the menu:
– Beer Battered 3-piece Cod
– Parmesan Crusted Cod
– Fiesta Cod (3-piece poached with mashed garlic salsa)
– Parmesan Crusted Walleye
– Blue Gills
– 1/2 lb. Shrimp
– Catfish Fillets w/ Hush Puppies
– 10-12 oz Walleye (char-broiled or battered)
Next rule: order from the bar (and get another cocktail while you’re at it.)
The best Hideaway Way rule: get your food served by Norm himself and get ready for the floor show. Rapid fire jokes and quick-witted off-the-cuff comments kept us laughing, Suddenly, the food was before us and Norm was off to other duties. We dug in. The beer battered cod was flaky and moist with just the right crunch, the Parmesan Crusted Cod and Walleye by themselves were worth the trip to Lake Koshkonong. We were told that the recipe had been perfected over the years it is a must order when you come to Norm’s. Really different.
The Fiesta Cod was perfectly poached and the white, flaky catfish was pronounced the favorite of one of our group. The Bluegill and shrimp were a big hit as well.
We pushed away from the table mighty happy, and paid our bill in cash – no credit cards accepted – looking forward to our next visit to Norm’s.
Hey, maybe some first timers will show up and we’ll be able to school them in the “Hideaway Way.”
Katie was the Executive Director of the Lake Mills Main Street Program from 2011 to 2019 and was the Secretary for the Jefferson County Tourism Council. In 2019, she retired to explore a new fashion degree and travel throughout the world. Katie was also a writer and contributed a great deal of copy for our website and printed guide. She was a great asset to our organization and we'll miss her!