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 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.
Published May 23, 2016
To help celebrate 30 years of "Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams," the T-Bone Burnett-produced debut by Milwaukee's own BoDeans, Milwaukee-based Sprecher Brewing is releasing BoDeans Original Ginger Brew.
Published May 20, 2016
This warms my Milwaukee heart. Not only am I a Bucks and NBA fan, easily one of my favorite restaurants in the area in the Calderone Club. Both got some national love this week.
Published May 14, 2016
If you are tackling your lawn on your own this spring and summer, it's always good to consult an expert first. I've done just that here.
Published May 12, 2016
A few weeks ago, Donald Driver and Bo Ryan were inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. I recently found the 1995 induction ceremony featuring emcee Bob Costas and an amazing list of inductees including Al McGuire, Robin Yount and The Big O.
Published May 4, 2016
As we look at the growth in greater Downtown, I think a place like City Winery could do well. It's unique, large and creates an experience that's missing in our market. But, what do I know? What do you think?
Published May 2, 2016
I knew I had lost it. I went for a walk last Saturday and took only my phone and debit card. The phone was for some podcast catch up and the debit card for a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home.
Published April 22, 2016
Eating and drinking inside the Milwaukee Public Museum isn't usually allowed. But for events like Moveable Feast and, of course, the annual Food & Froth Festival, it's embraced, encouraged and wonderful.
Published April 20, 2016
As plans for a new Grand Avenue continue to develop, which grocer would be the best for the heart of Downtown Milwaukee? Which store do you want on Wisconsin Avenue?
Published April 18, 2016
Brian D. Till is the James H. Keyes Dean of Business Administration at Marquette University, a position he has held since July 2015. Jeff Sherman sat down with him recently to talk about MU, Milwaukee, business education and more.