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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, July 28, 2014

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John Sidoff, center in the photo at left, when he bought the place. At right, the Sidoffs flank new owner Mark Buesing.
John Sidoff, center in the photo at left, when he bought the place. At right, the Sidoffs flank new owner Mark Buesing.

After 35 years, Sidoff selling Hooligan's

After nearly four decades at the helm of an East Side institution, John Sidoff is selling Hooligan's Super Bar, 2017 E. North Ave. Sidoff bought Hooligan's, which opened in 1936, in 1978.

Sidoff, along with his co-owner and wife, Cindy, are selling the bar – effective Nov. 1 – to general manager Mark Buesing. The Sidoffs will continue to own Von Trier, 2235 N. Farwell Ave., which they purchased in 2009.

"We love Hooligan’s and put a lot of hard work into it over the years. But it’s time to let a fresh set of eyes take over before I turn into the grumpy old man at the end of the bar," said John Sidoff. "And besides, I can’t stay up much past 9 p.m. these days."

The Sidoffs say they're moving into "semi-retirement."

Buesing has worked at Hooligan's for 15 years, starting out as a dishwasher. He says he plans to add a weekend brunch and make some changes to the decor.

"It’s been an incredible experience to learn from such a master of the bar arts and be part of the Hooligan’s family for over a decade. John leaves some pretty big boots to fill," said Buesing. "I’m excited to take the reins, expand on what I learned and continue to grow the business."

Ever since the days when folks could belly up to the band playing atop the bar, I've loved Hooligan's. I'm proud to have been in some of those bands and I saw some great gigs there, too.

In the years since, Hooligan's has been a go-to place for OnMilwaukee.com meetings and outings. I'm happy to see the place will endure and is in good hands for the future.

Good luck to John and Cindy. I have a suspicion we'll still see them around the East Side pretty often.

The change of ownership will be marked by simultaneous parties at Von Trier and Hooligan's on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 4 p.m. until bar time. There will be live music, drink specials and special guests, including local celebrities (so far unnamed) and "blast-from-the-past bartenders."

Talkbacks

jakkalope | Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:54 a.m. (report)

35403 Hooligan's used to be the place to go on the east side as far as I was concerned. Seems like ever since Replay moved in, Hooligan's hasn't been the same. Different staff (not as friendly to say the least) and the food seems to get more and more unhealthy. And how about turning the sound on the TV for the big game?

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