About Capri Steak House
The Capri Steak House has been in existence as a supper club for over 60 years and the building has been a food service establishment since 1919, nearly a century! Originally built as Krueger’s Hardware Store, the historic building has been a prominent landmark business in the Columbus community since 1889. Heidke’s Sweet Shop entertained young and old for a couple of decades including the use of a bowling alley upstairs for a brief period of time.
The building had the first ‘legal’ beer keg after prohibition was repealed in 1933. In 1954, Carlo Caputo from the Greenbush area of Madison bought the building and remodeled it installing the current bar, bar back, beer coolers, fireplace and stonework and opened the business as Caputo’s Tropical Lounge.
The vintage two story tall neon sign was installed in the late 1950s by the new owners as Lathrop’s Steak House and Bar. The stone fireplace, no longer operable, was used to cook your steak to order right in front of you. In August 1967, Don & Joyce Guertin re-named it the Capri Steak House with Joyce providing entertainment on an organ in the corner of the dining room while a jukebox blared in the bar during other times. Dellos ‘Butch’ and Donna Caulkins then owned the restaurant before it was purchased by one of the waitresses and her husband, Stu & Virginia Smith in1985.
Craig “Doc” Campbell bought the business and building in 1992. He was Chief of Staff at Columbus Community Hospital and continued to practice there for several years until retiring from general surgery.
His oldest son, Jeff, had been in the food service industry as a chef/manager since he was 15 and Doc & his wife loved food and entertaining so they teamed up and decided to continue the tradition of the Capri. Doc still works nearly every day and night the business is open while Chef Jeff is responsible for the day-to-day operation as Executive Chef/ General Manager.