Western U.P. Lodging and Travel

Bell Chalet

Italian Restaurant · Pizza Place · American Restaurant

Great pizzas and Italian food. Specializing in homemade Italian dishes served fresh with generous portions. The pizza and Caesar salad are favorites of many diners.

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Fresh from Capestrano, Italy, in the early 1900s, Bernadino and Carmella Fontecchio considered their new home in the United States a wonderful place, despite the fact that times were hard.

Settling in Hurley, the young couple lived above a tavern on Fifth Avenue, owned by Serafino Castagna. Like most other places of business in those days, it catered to the area’s miners and lumberjacks. Things were not always well, especially for the lumberjacks whose riotous behavior sometimes led to their going without food or lodging at the end of their foray into town.

The Fontecchios had a soft spot for these unruly woodsmen, and though Bernadino was fully employed as a miner, he and his wife often prepared and distributed free Italian food to them, cooking in the old bocce ball court next to the tavern.

The jacks and miners remembered them with rings and watches, in lieu of cash, which the couple kept in a cigar box. Most often, these objects were returned. Cooking for others had already become a way of life when they took over the tavern and converted it to a restaurant-bar in 1923, keeping the name “The Liberty Bell.”

Bell Chalet
109 5th Ave S
Hurley, WI 54534
(715) 561-3753

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