© 2011 Ed & Sharon’s

 



Back in May 1984, Ed and Sharon Dinges moved from Kenosha Wisconsin to raise their three boys (Eddie, then 13; Garrett, 12; and Billy, 10) in the rural setting of Merrill. The couple purchased the former Country Inn at Hwy. 64/107 and Joe Snow Road and went about raising their family while they built a solid reputation for their new business. Ed and Sharon had never owned a restaurant or a tavern before. Ed had run his own snowplow business and worked in the construction trade before a back injury prompted him to look for a different line of work.

Ed & Sharon's became known for good food and friendly service, with Sharon behind the bar and Ed in the kitchen. Around 1988, Ed bought his first Broaster machine, an addition that launched the restaurant's now-famous Broasted chicken dinners. The Broaster salesman guaranteed Ed that the machine would double his chicken dinner sales, or he could give it back for a full refund. The machine backed up the salesman's boast, and Ed kept it.

Prime rib, another Ed & Sharon's specialty, was introduced in 1997. The fact that some people will drive three hours just for a meal at Ed & Sharon's is testament to the quality of both food and service. Following Ed’s passing in 2003, youngest son Bill stepped into the role his father had held with the business since the beginning. He officially took over operation of Ed & Sharon's at the beginning of 2006. Bill had been interested in taking over the family business since he was a kid, and remains committed to the ideals on which his father and mother based the business. In 2005, Bill opened the "Chicken Coop," a 2,400-square-foot banquet hall adjacent to the restaurant. With that addition, Ed & Sharon's gained the capacity to host large gatherings such as wedding receptions and parties. The banquet hall building was actually constructed back in 1993 by Bill's father, who saw the building as an investment for the future. With the opening of the banquet hall, Bill realized his father's plans while expanding the family business. Bill may have some new ideas for Ed & Sharon’s, but as long as he’s around the name will still reflect all the hard work his parents put into the place.