Location.Â Location.Â Location.Â Itâ€™s all about location.Â Right? Â
OnMilwaukee.com co-hosted a lively panel yesterday morning at the InterContinental Milwaukee.Â It was the first event of the new season of the East Town Associationâ€™s Coffee Connections series and included Brian Frakes, executive chef at The Pfister, Arthur Ircink, creator of "Wisconsin Foodie," Daniel Jacobs, executive chef at Wolf Peach, David Swanson from Braise and moderator Kyle Cherek, host of "Wisconsin Foodie." Â
It was foodie heaven, and another testament to Milwaukeeâ€™s ever growing and truly innovative restaurant and food scenes.
Near the end of the panel, I asked this question, "Where would you open a restaurant if you were opening one today?"
Wolf Peach chef Daniel Jacobs immediately said Shorewood.Â Collectively, the group said Walkerâ€™s Point and then Kyle Cherek noted that while location matters itâ€™s more about the heart of the food and staking a claim in great dining.Â A bit of a "if you build it right, they will come" answer. Â
Location matters.Â As does density, design and, of course, planning.Â But, why do all the new, "hot" restaurants seem to open in Walkerâ€™s Point and the Fifth and ThirdÂ Wards?Â The simple answer is theyâ€™re fishing where the fish are, finding good rent deals and that good dining begets more good dining.Â Same reason why coffee shops like to be around one another.
Opening and running a restaurant isnâ€™t easy.Â And, hopefully passion and purpose trump, or at least tag team well with location. Â
Would Crazy Water work in Downtown or Mequon?Â How about The Nobel in Whitefish Bay?Â Remember the original Social?Â Remember its move?Â It didnâ€™t work.Â But, bigger picture, it set its owner on a path to bigger and better things. Â There's a way to the world, for sure. Â
I do wonder why the East Side of Milwaukee, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay donâ€™t have more dining options.Â Maybe itâ€™s a numbers game.Â There simply arenâ€™t enough people.Â Yet, I think a La Merenda type restaurant would do well on Downer Avenue or on Oakland in Shorewood.
Yet, many times the space and design of a restaurant define it, and this may be why the Third Ward, Fifth Ward, Walkerâ€™s Point and Bay View make such great places to open restaurants.Â The unique buildings and decent lease deals are there, and both work well with great food.
I agree with your comment about fishing where the fish are, but remember 2nd Ave was not dotted with all the great options two or three years ago.
I suggest you look at the cost of renting space as a factor in not locating in the upper Eastside or North Shore.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published July 24, 2016
Agents and their families flock to Milwaukee every year this week, and each year I love the buzz that's created by adding 11,000 visitors to Downtown Milwaukee. As a community, we need to champion the corporations that choose Milwaukee as their home, so thanks NM!
Published July 15, 2016
Curious minds want to know who is behind a regular bakery bonanza in Downtown Milwaukee. Several residents in the neighborhood tell me that streets and bridges are consistently laced with multiple bakery items several times per week.
Published July 12, 2016
There's something missing this week: the energy, buzz and excitement that only Summerfest brings. As the state's economic and entertainment center, Milwaukee gets most of the love, but with healthy arteries and suburbs, everyone wins when Summerfest shines.
Published July 2, 2016
Sure, he played the exact same encore as he did the last time he was in Milwaukee. But on this near perfect Summerfest night, Blake Shelton was different - different in that he's now a much bigger star, which he used to his advantage Friday night.
Published June 28, 2016
The fest that made Milwaukee famous, Summerfest is here. Jeff Sherman loves it. It means energy, 50-90,000 new people Downtown every day, good music, food and more. It's great, and it gets better every year. Here are his music picks.
Published June 23, 2016
Check out the latest podcast from Bill Simmons featuring Jimmy Butler - and, germane to us here, including several Marquette and Milwaukee mentions. In fact, Butler says several times "I love Milwaukee," citing his days and degree at Marquette.
Published June 21, 2016
Former Milwaukee Bucks guard Ray Allen and his wife have opened one of the country's first all-organic "fast food" restaurants in Miami. Called Grown, it's getting rave reviews on Facebook, and, from the photos I've seen, I want to eat there right now.
Published June 11, 2016
We're a few months in, so here are six things I'd change about the Milwaukee area's newest Metro Market store, on Oakland Avenue in Shorewood. The better you are, Metro Market, the more of our money you'll get!
Published June 7, 2016
There's growth everywhere in Downtown Milwaukee, but still opportunities and eyesores. For me, these four spaces have been vacant for too long. I see them all nearly everyday. Let's all chime in and help the owners or leasing agents find the right new tenant.
Published May 25, 2016
The "Best Bars in America" feature has been around since 2006. And - of course - a lot has changed on the drinking scene here and in every city in America. One change, no Milwaukee bars appear on this year's list.