Remember Bonanza Restaurant? The steakhouse and buffet opened on the 400 block of Grand Ave across from St. Mary’s church around 1984. I totally forgot about the place until driving on Thomas St and I saw the following sign painted on the side of Cheers Bar at Thomas and Cleveland. The owners removed the billboard that was on the side of the building, unearthing a blast from the past.

Bonanza restaurant wausau steakhouseIf I remember correctly, Bonanza was a knock-off of Ponderosa Restaurant. The Ponderosa down in Rothschild was small and dimly lit and the Bonanza was bright, airy, had a humongous salad bar, and all you can eat ice cream. What could be better than that. Otherwise the two places seemed to serve the same mediocre steak dishes.

Bonanza steakhouse wausau todayBonanza closed up shop in the mid 90’s. The building still stands on the 400 block, but has been turned into commercial office space. Anyone have any pictures of the inside or outside of the original Bonanza? I’d love to post them on the blog.