Lucerne’s Fondue & Spirits restaurant in Rockford, Illinois is a wonderful eatery located in a converted Victorian house formally known as the Brouse House after its original occupants Olin and Lillian Brouse. The house was built in 1895 by Charles Utter and presented to his daughter Lillian as a wedding present. Since the Brouse’s daughter Florence sold the house it has contained law offices, a gallery, business offices, a hospice and finally Lucerne’s. Proprietor Mark Tietz calls the house “A place for successful beginning for anyone who pursues their dreams in the house”.
Lucerne’s specialty is fondue of all types, including a delicious dessert fondue of chocolate and caramel with marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, pound cake and other treats for dipping. A special Halloween event this year at Lucerne’s was the “Paranormal Night at Lucerne’s Fondues & ‘Spirits’ “on October 21st. Hosted by the Rockford Public Library and Kathi Kresol, guests were treated to Lucerne’s “specialty dessert fondue” and a talk by spirit communicator Mark Dorsett.
Mr. Dorsett told as about his impressions from the house after arriving with no prior knowledge of the dwelling or its history. He told us about two “inhabitants” that still reside in the house, Charlie and Olin. Each man claimed that they were the “true” owners of the house. They seemed to have a friendly rivalry about the owner-ship. Dorsett also claimed there was a woman in residence, a woman named “Elizabeth” although Ms. Kresol could not confirm who she was. Kresol did confirm that Olin Brouse did indeed die in the house and was laid out in the front parlor of the home.
After the presentation from Mr. Dorsett, which I admit was a bit too short for my tastes, Mark Tietz, the current and “real life” owner of the house, told us a bit about the paranormal activity in the restaurant. Along with reports of ice cold spots in the building, even during our hot Illinois summers when the building was closed and not air conditioned, he told us of one event in particular. It happened one Valentine’s night when the restaurant was filled with romantic couples enjoying the darkened atmosphere over delicious food. The buildings sound system began to screech as if the CD that was playing was breaking and then a low “Get out, Get Out!” could be heard from the speakers. Tietz lost two new waitresses that night as they fled the building swearing never to return.
I actually subscribe to my son’s point of view when it comes to ghost hunting. He thinks the only way to hunt is with tools and instruments to create scientific proof. But, I do keep my mind open and believe that there are people out there that can and do communicate with spirits. Even though we have no solid proof of a haunting at Lucerne’s I have no problem believing it is a possibility. If you’re interested in a more scientific approach, Kathi Kresol is a member of the Forest City Paranormal Society and has events with them as well.
Want to learn more about this paranormal hot spot in Rockford? Visit Lucerne’s, 845 N. Church St. in Rockford, call (815) 968-2665 for more information. Enjoy a great dinner and if he has the time, the very friendly owner, Mr. Tietz, will gladly share his stories with you. Want to learn more about more paranormal hot spots in and around Rockford? Visit Kathi Kresol’s website to find more events coming up. Ms. Kresol has created a fascinating site and I look forward to more of these events.