Park 6 offers sports, drinks and burgers on Mitchell Street
After 13 years working as the weekend manager at Romine's High Pockets, Tara Cavazos opened a sports bar and eatery called Park 6 at 551 W. Mitchell St., in the former Paesano's Pizza space.
During her time at Romine's, a South Side pool hall, bar and restaurant, Cavazos learned a lot about running a business and working with people. Eighteen months ago, she had the chance to try it on her own and, with the help of her husband, opened Park 6.
"The opportunity was presented to me and I liked the idea to shape a business to fit me," says Cavazos. "I have always enjoyed cooking and bartending. So I brought my experience – and changed it a little – to this new venture.
Although primarily a sports bar, Park 6 has established itself as a neighborhood go-to for celebrations from birthdays to anniversaries.
Park 6 is spacious with lots of seating, a bar and two game areas featuring darts, pool and video games, including a vintage Ms. Pac-Man. There are a few large flat screens airing games.
"Basketball, football, baseball – that's what's on TV here," says Cavazos, who is a Packers and Brewers fan.
Cavazos says she named the establishment Park 6 as a nod to ballparks, but also because the main dining area is loosely shaped like the number six.
Cavazos and her husband created the menu, which has a ballpark theme and is primarily burgers, pizzas, sandwiches and appetizers. Park 6 also offers a Wednesday and Friday fish fry.
"We serve food you would eat at a game," she says.
All of the burgers are half-pound patties and priced at a reasonable $6.75, except the big shrimp burger which is $7.25. During a recent visit, we sampled the Park 6 burger, which was topped with cheese, grilled onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato and lots of jalapeños. It was messy, spicy and perfectly grilled – just how we like it.
Next visit we might try the fried egg burger, Hawaii burger or western burger that's covered in barbecue sauce, bacon and a large onion ring.
We also ordered a basket of wings (10 for $7.50), very lightly fried – which we appreciated – in parmesan and garlic sauce. There are other wing sauces from which to choose. We also ordered a basket of onion rings which were very large, hot and crispy.
Personal and large pizzas are also available, along with five different hot dogs ($3.75), Polish and Italian sausages ($4.25) and tempting starters (all under $5) such as bacon-wrapped jalapeno tots, mozzarella wraps and mac and cheese bites.
Born in New York, Cavazos moved to Milwaukee's South Side as a child and knows many people in the community. This has been helpful, especially during her very early days when she was trying to establish a consistent customer base.
"'I'm a South Sider and so I know a lot of people. And since opening I have met a lot of new people over here, too," she says.
Cavazos has three children, ages 20, 17 and 14, who all help out with the business. "They have been really great, helping out here and there, on the weekends," she says.
In the future, Cavazos says she would like to offer a shuttle service to Brewers games and be open for breakfast.
"There isn't anywhere right in the area that makes breakfast," she says. "But I'm cautious about taking on too much. We're being very careful about when and how we grow."
However, she says that, so far, Park 6 is off to a solid start.
"Business progressively gets better," she says. "I've always liked working in the service industry and I like people in general. It's a lot of fun."
Park 6 is open every day at 11 a.m. for lunch. During the week, it closes at 10 p.m. – later if there's a game in progress – and is open until 11 p.m. or later on the weekends.
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