Captain Bills and Manna Cafe become pandemic casualties

by | Jul 1, 2020 | 0 comments

The COVID crisis led to the closure of two more Madison restaurant institutions. 

Manna Cafe & Bakery’s last day of operation was June 28. The cafe had its roots in the Collins House bed and breakfast that was famous for its oatmeal pancakes. In 2005 Mike and Barb Pratzel expanded the restaurant by moving to a new location on Madison’s north side. Since then, Manna has been a go-to place for breakfast, elected official’s coffee hours, poetry writing, and a place to pick up copies of Our Lives magazine. 

Captain Bill’s seafood restaurant also closed this summer. The restaurant was owned by Robert von Rutenberg and his brothers, Jack and Bill, who also manage other von Rutenberg ventures including the Mariner’s Inn and Nau-Ti-Gal waterfront restaurants and the Betty Lou Cruises. The family plans to stay in the restaurant business despite the challenges with a slow reopening to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and two Betty Lou boats will be on the lakes this summer.

Robert von Rutenberg talked about his experience in moving back to Madison and stepping into the helm of his family’s restaurant business in the May 2010 edition of Our Lives magazine

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