area of downtown with ample foot traffic, the location has
proven ideal for attracting locals looking to wet their whistles while connecting with community.
Boasting a full bar, as well as eight Wisconsin beers
on tap, plus house and premium wines, The Mezz features patio and indoor seating, where guests can enjoy
an adult beverage alongside free popcorn or snacks and
ready-to-eat items purchased from the deli. The space is
even equipped with microwaves for guests to heat Festival
Foods’ freshly prepared heat-and-eat deli items.
To keep the regulars coming back for more refreshments and community engagement, The Mezz hosts
trivia night on Friday evenings, weekly happy hours and
Sunday bloody mary and mimosa specials.
“We’ve tweaked our happy hour promotions over the
years, and we’ve found the sweet spot in terms of time
and days of the week,” Richards says. During happy hour,
guests can enjoy $3 tap beers, rail drinks and house wine.
“Our happy hour drinks are a lot cheaper than the
ones at the restaurants across the street,” says Richards,
who estimates that 80% to 90% of The Mezz customers are there to enjoy the bar scene without shopping for
“Sales have grown considerably in the last three years,
and there’s no sign of slowing down,” he says. “Now that
people have discovered us, they’re also reserving The
Mezz for private functions.” Festival Foods allows guests
to reserve a portion of The Mezz for parties and celebrations free of charge.
Hy-Vee Happy Hours
With rotating daily happy hour specials that include deals
such as half-price appetizers and bar drinks, $2 domestic beers and half-price select bottles of wine and sushi
plates, it’s not surprising that customers flock to happy
hour at Hy-Vee Market Grille.
“Hy-Vee is constantly looking for ways to meet the
ever-changing needs of our customers, and foodservice is
growing number of grocers across the coun-
try are vying to be the place “where every-
body knows your name.” Supermarkets are
increasingly a destination for on-premise
adult beverage consumption, including everything from
pub food and pints to wine bars, cocktail lounges and
pop-up craft beer experiences.
According to Technomic Inc., WGB’s sister market
research company, supermarket foodservice has shown
dynamic growth for nearly a decade, experiencing an
annual sales lift of more than 10% in some years. And it
remains among the three fastest-growing segments in all
Supermarket bars, pubs and cafes not only offer the
convenience of a drinks-and-dining experience where
consumers are already shopping but also are competitive
on price, which can draw value-minded nonshoppers in
even greater numbers.
Wisconsin Watering Hole
“We’re a neighborhood store that’s become a neighborhood bar,” says Rob Richards, wine and spirits manager
for Festival Foods in Madison, Wis. The store is home
to The Mezz, De Pere, Wis.-based Festival Foods’ only
full-service in-store bar. Situated in a densely populated
foodservice sales gain
in the past decade
We’re a neighborhood store that’s become
a neighborhood bar.”
—Rob Richards, Festival Foods
Domestic beer for $2 and half-price
sushi are some of the happy hour
specials at Hy-Vee Market Grille.
During happy hour at Festival
Foods’ The Mezz, tap beers, rail
drinks and house wine are $3.