From 1911 to 1984, the Mission Grille was the home of St. Rosalia’s, Door County’s first Catholic mission and church. In 1984, after the Catholic Diocese constructed a new and larger facility only a ¼ mile south on Highway 42, we purchased the old church building.
In 1989, we moved to Door County from the Chicago area and transformed the building into the Mission Grille restaurant. The building got a new façade with the addition of a large glassed-in veranda, and a beautiful triarchial stained glass window above. The steeple was preserved and remains at the back of the building, which was originally the front of the church building.
The interior was completely redecorated by enhancing the beauty of the original architecture, becoming a warm, casual and unique dining atmosphere. Dining areas were created, including the Loft (originally the choir loft), the Sanctuary, a small room with booths constructed of the original church pews enclosed with antique stained glass windows taken from a church building in Park Forest, Illinois. The room which was once used for overflow seating and Sunday School classes was partitioned off and more stained glass windows were added. This room is now called The Chancery and provides a beautiful area for large private parties and dining.
The Garden Room was added on the south side of the building and is a private dining room with a capacity of sixteen. It is often used for family reunions and business meetings. The large veranda across the front of the building is enclosed with windows which open up and provide a view of the beautiful gardens outside. In order to provide our guests with outdoor dining so that they could enjoy our beautiful Door County fresh air, a three-level patio was added. The tree-lined patio is surrounded by fossilized Door County stone, which was moved from a local farm.
The altar area of the church building became the bar area of the restaurant. An antique front and back bar was brought in and the arched ceiling faux-painted. The original lighting fixtures are still in place. The pews became dining booths; the pulpit, a host stand; the altar table, an entry buffet.
We hope you will join us here in Sister Bay at the Mission Grille to enjoy not only the unique atmosphere, but the delicious cuisine and friendly, professional service.
Gary and Mary Ann Guterman, Owners
Tonda Gagliardo and Karl Bradley, General Managers
Bryan Bradley, Chef