In the 1870s, a German immigrant named Otto Toepfer built the old farmhouse, which is now home to Otto's Restaurant & Bar, for his family. The architecture is in keeping with style of homes built during that time. It has a 2-foot-thick foundation and was built using bricks brought up from Louisiana by barges on the Mississippi River. The Toepfer property on which the house stands once extended from Whitney Way to Gammon Road and from the Beltline to Mineral Point Rd. There are still many relatives of Otto Toepfer living in the Madison area.
Otto's Restaurant & Bar opened in June of 1987, after almost a full year of renovation. Its original owner named the restaurant Otto's as an homage to Otto Toepfer and subsequent owners have maintained the Otto's tradition. Over the years, the restaurant has evolved into a casually elegant dining destination specializing in fresh, creative Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and warm Midwestern hospitality.