General Info

  • The atmosphere is family-friendly.
  • We have wireless internet aka WIFI.
  • When the weather is amenable, seating is available on our riverside screened porch.  Delightful.
  • We are handicapped accessible via the side door with a ramp.  If coming to a popular show, please inform if  a wheelchair will be your seat so that we can arrange seating accordingly.  (Our space is very small, and seating is rearranged depending on show size.)


Phone: 920-563-9391

Street address: 18 South Water Street West, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538

We do not have a box office or even an office, really. Someone answering the phone may be serving customers when you call.  Please forgive the inability to answer a lot of questions at busy times, and consider calling back later.


Wednesday- Friday, lunch 11:30- 1:30

Wednesday- Thursday 4:30- 8:30  Kitchen open 5:00-8:00

Friday-Saturday 4:30- 10:30  Kitchen open 5:00-9:00

CLOSED Sundays and Mondays (If there is a show on a Sunday, we will serve food. Look to the event page for any details on opening times.)

Please call to reserve if you are bringing a party of more than 6 people.

Surely You Ingest

Click here for the basic food menu.  There are often other offerings.

The bar offers a great selection of local microbrews, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Tender, Legal

We accept Cash, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.  A 4% charge is added automatically by the processing machine to each credit card transaction.

Our prices are cash prices, with 5.5% sales tax included.


The Carpe is in downtown Fort Atkinson, on the south side of the Rock River on the one-way street of South Water St. West, accessed off South Main St.  Click for MAP and directions.

Reservations for Shows

See our “Listening” page for more details.

Check the event listing: advance tickets are recommended for the events offering them.  Those tickets can be purchased online or at the Carpe.

If advance tickets are not being sold, please call to make reservations at 920-563-9391, and indicate whether you are likely to eat here.

Shows can be cancelled (rarely) for various reasons, so look to Facebook or the website before traveling a distance.

Wheelchair Access

The east front entrance is wheelchair accessible, as are the bathrooms.  Advance notice that an audience member will be in a wheelchair will allow us to arrange seating accordingly.


Parking is available on the street, and in the large lot west of us.  Two city lots are within a half block east and west of us.

Social Media

We have a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  You could like us and follow us.

Rental Information

The Carpe is available for parties and special events. Please call 920-563-9391 to discuss.

Weekly E-mail Updates

Please sign up at the bottom of this page for our e-mail list if you wish to receive weekly updates which may or may not contain more information than is listed in the calendar. 


Bill has written a treatise on this.  – (probably a bit outdated).  Bottom line is that sometimes audiences are hard to find. Though we are a bar, it is not a bar gig.  People have to be motivated to pay cover and pay attention in a listening room.  After wading through it, if you still want to play here, contact Bill by phone (late mornings are best), or e-mail him at


The club is owned by Bill Camplin and Kitty Welch, who began it in 1985. That’s a long time ago. You’d think they’d have fixed the place up by now. Bill is a singer-songwriter of modest regional fame (we are a modest region), and as a performer has created a listening space in which he and others of his ilk love to play.  Kitty does not enjoy modest regional fame.  They live above the business.  The Carpe has a lovely staff more competent than themselves who help keep the place running, including Dennis Geszvain,  Mary Preston, Satchel Welch, and the occasional star appearance by Karen Reinhardt or Karolyn Broehm, not to mention past staff who made huge contributions as well but- I hear the orchestra saying time is up.