Chris and Sue Reichelt met in 1989, and were married in 1990. For their first date, Sue suggested going to Pine Lodge were she had worked when she was young. While at dinner, Chris remembers Sue dreaming, “this place should be ours someday”.
Chris grew up in Grafton and got started his training at Boder’s and Mader’s and the Ozaukee Country Club. In 1988, he took the chef position for Dick and Darel Kosup at "Richard’s Restaurant” in downtown Sheboygan Falls. During his time there he attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Sue (Riemer), from Sheboygan Falls, started her restaurant career at 15, when her friend Marilyn asked her if she wanted to work for her parents, Norb and Beulah Hues at Pine Lodge. Little did she know that working with them would lead to her destiny.
When it came time to make the dream of having their own restaurant a reality, Sue brought up the idea of Pine Lodge in Sheboygan Falls where they had their first date. In 1996, Chris and Sue sat down at the bar with Neil and Tanya Eigenberger to negotiate. A few Old Fashioneds later, and O'Neill’s was theirs. In an attempt to respect the history of the building and put their own spin on things, they renamed the restaurant O'Neill's Pine River Inn. In 2001, the restaurant was critiqued by the late Dennis Getto, a restaurant critic from the Milwaukee Journal. He gave them 3 out of 4 stars, and included a complete article that can be found hanging in the bar at AfterBurners. In addition to having great staff and star dishes, guests enjoyed viewing the salt water fish in the 150 gallon fish tank. O’Neill’s Pine River Inn also had a yearly tradition of RiverFest each summer. After seven great years, and thousands of guests served and friends made, Chris and Sue sold the restaurant and moved on to other interests.
Located at the former Final Approach, Chris and Sue are back in action. The original plan to add a restaurant to the Sheboygan County Airport stemmed from a conversation with Ron Burrows (of Burrow’s Aviation) and Duffy Riemer (Sue’s father) at a County Transportation Board meeting. During its first few years of operation, Chris was hired and worked as a chef by two different managers of Final Approach. Sue also worked in the front of house during that time. With the plan of opening another restaurant together, they finally had their chance.
Opened September 2014 with the name AfterBurner’s on O, Chris and Sue are celebrating their return to the industry. They want to thank all their regulars from O’Neill’s for waiting for them, and look forward to meeting new friends.