Some look at a piece of swampy farmland and see exactly that. Not Al Mc Govern.
In 1935, Al Mc Govern bought an acre of swampy farmland, at the intersection of Main St. and Bird St., from the Chase Lumber Company. The land was home to a bar known as the Smitty's High Life Gardens. In 1942 the bar was called "Woody's."
In 1947, Mc Govern's sons, Wayne, Jerry, and John returned home from World War II. Jerry and Wayne, along with their wives, Jean and Marge, moved to Sun Prairie and Mc Govern's Club was established. In 1949, three more acres of land were purchased. By 1951 they had constructed Sun Prairie's first 10-unit motel.
1960 saw the Mc Govern's open AG&W (Allen, Gerald, & Wayne)
Beverage Mart in the Main Shopping Center. In 1962, 14 new units were
added to the motel. Mc Govern's Club installed a charcoal grill in the
60's and became Mc Govern's Club and Restaurant. Additional remodeling
enlarged the bar, and 21 units were added to the motel.
Prairie grew, so did Mc Govern's. Mc Govern's incorporated in 1971.
Jerry and Wayne's sons, Greg, Tom, and Grant came into the family
business in the 70's and 80's. In 1989, Mc Govern's Ent. relocated
AG&W Beverage Mart across Main St. and opened Dane County's first
drive through liquor store. Also added were Mc Govern's Suites to its
motel operations. In 1992, Tom's wife, Mary Lou, joined the business.
years, Mc Govern's has been recognized for providing both quality food
and service to its customers and community. Mc Govern's is known for
having the best burgers and live entertainment in town. Sally
Carpenter, manager at Mc Govern's Motel, has twice been recognized as
Manager of the Year by the Wisconsin Innkeepers Association in 1985
and 1987. Sally has also been recognized as Sun Prairie's Business
Woman of the Year in 1986,1988 and 2004.
Today, three generations of the Mc Govern family have grown and served the Sun Prairie community, pursuing Al's vision of converting that swampy farmland into a Sun Prairie entertainment and lodging hub.