The Waunakee Rotary Club has been fortunate to have Austin Endres, Rex’s son, join the club in his father’s place and continue serving lunch during club meetings at Rex’s Innkeeper each Thursday.
Austin gave his classification talk at the Dec. 9 meeting, so the club got to learn a bit more about him. A Waunakee resident his entire life except for two years at college, Austin’s family has always been a part of the community.
Austin enjoys spending time with his dog and his family. He also has many friends in the community and some from college he sees less often. He also enjoys Fantasy sports and has a trophy. He stays active, working out almost every day and walking his dog.
“I feel better when I’m moving around,” he said.
He also enjoy s food preparation and smoking meats. And, he likes working, saying when he has a few days off, he becomes bored.
A 2009 graduate of Waunakee High School, Austin attended UW-Milwaukee for a year, which he called a “failed experiment.” He said after he got the partying out of his system, he returned home and attended MATC for two years before finishing his business management degree at Edgewood College in 2014.
Austin worked at Piggly Wiggly when he was younger, then tended bar at Rex’s when needed. He joined Glacier Group as a project manager for HVAC projects and was a sales person. He learned then that office work is not for him, he said.
So, Austin returned to bartending at Rex’s fulltime, working many banquets. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut the restaurant down in 2020, he returned to Piggly Wiggly but as a supervisor.
“This time I wasn’t just a piglet, I was a hog,” he said, adding it was a good experience and he made friends.
His father passed away six months ago, changing Austin’s life.
“He pretty much did everything here,” Austin said, including work on the exterior. “I don’t know how he did it. He was always on the clock.”
Some wondered what was going to happen to the restaurant. Austin said keeping the restaurant open has been a team effort and he couldn’t keep up the operation without the staff. Brenda Endres, his mother, has also helped. The supper club has been running smoothly, and Austin said he can’t wait to keep the ball rolling.
“It really helps you keep going knowing you have the support from your hometown,” he said.