Jack Meier and his sons John and Jim Meier opened the Kollege Klub 68 years ago in the same block where the UW-Madison Memorial Library is now located.
With the construction of the State Street Mall in 1972, the bar moved to its current headquarters. In 1980, John passed it on to his son, Bruce Meier, who ran the place for 31 years.
In 2011, Jordan, Bruce’s son, took over. He oversaw a renovation and in 2019 opened a KK in Minneapolis.
Joswiak said the longest line he had seen to enter Madison Bar reached the Walgreens on State and Lake Streets. “And honestly for me, that makes the whole atmosphere so much more exciting. Everyone is trying to come in and enjoy this experience.
In the three years he worked there, Joswiak said, there has been a line pretty much every game day.
The $ 1 grilled cheese and 2-for-1 drinks on Fridays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. have also become a big draw, he said.
“It’s like the normal grilled cheese your mom and grandmother would make for you growing up,” Joswiak said, noting that one recent Friday they sold 284 of the sandwiches.
Before the pandemic, the KK served breakfast from 8 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and football Saturdays. Now it is only served on Fridays and Football Saturdays. Jordan has said it won’t go away for good, but during the winter break he will decide his fate.