An Old Church Gets A New Look…Here Comes The Cellar District

Two co-workers are teaming up to bring a new restaurant and a totally unique vibe to downtown Fond du Lac.

Sarah Palas and Brandee Alexander made the announcement Tuesday night that they have partnered up to open The Cellar District in what was formerly Essential Rock Church. Prior to that, the iconic building housed the former Trinity Restaurant.

Palas and Alexander say the goal is to highlight the local flavor of the are in the menu, to include as many local suppliers as they can. They plan to feature a menu that is different, healthier, and features variety for everyone. Some of the key features will be the use of the wood-fired oven located in the kitchen and how to best use the outdoor patio area.

Both ladies say they look forward to forging partnerships with their business neighbors, including 18 Hands Ale House and Thelma among others, and look to complement what the businesses around them are doing, rather than compete.

The plan to open The Cellar District has been months in the making, and the co-owners say the support so far from the local community “has been insane.” Palas told everyone that Alexander “actually hired me at the Coliseum” and that the knowledge they’ve gleaned from the years they’ve worked in the restaurant business will come in handy in the new venture.

Among the many ideas that were floated in the almost hour-long live session included Family Movie Night, Sidewalk Chalk Nights, and Wine and Bourbon Pairing Nights.

In an effort to hit the ground running with the focus on being unique, both Alexander and Palas encouraged consumers to check out the Cellar District merchandise storefront located at, as sales from the online merchandise will be given to a local charity or non-profit each quarter.

The opening date has been tentatively set for August 1, 2021, but the dynamic duo were quick to point out that, given all the work that needs to be done between now and then, the Grand Opening date could be pushed back.