By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Aug 17, 2023 at 11:02 AM

In March, we brought you the news that something new was headed for the former Randy’s Neighbor’s Inn at 6922 W. Becher St. in West Allis.  And now, just five months later, the dual concept featuring nostalgic burgers from Archie’s Flat Top and cool creamy ice cream from Scratch Ice Cream is officially ready for you.

If you’ve been scoping out the Becher Street storefront in anticipation, you already know that Scratch Ice Cream has been scooping cones and cups for about a week now. But its sister business, Archie’s Flat Top, isn’t so far behind. The new burger shop will officially open its doors to the public at noon on Friday, Aug. 18.

Archie's exteriorX

Behind the project is Mark Lutz, owner of the nearby West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe, Becher Meats, The Bake Sale and Station No. 6.  He purchased the former Randy’s Neighbor’s Inn property in November of 2022 and partnered with Miles Patzer, the operator for Station No. 6, who will oversee the day to day operations at Archie’s.

In fact, the idea for the Archie’s concept stemmed from a wildly popular one-day burger pop-up that Patzer hosted a couple of years ago at Station No. 6. “We sold 200 burgers in an hour and a half,” he says, “So it seemed like we were onto something.”

And, indeed they were. 

Step into the new neighborhood burger joint and you might just feel like you’ve taken a step back into the past. Black and white vinyl tile covers the floors and old-school red diner stools line the venue’s vibrant blue and white bar.

Archie's barX

That same blue covers the eatery’s walls, forming a fitting backdrop for additional seating at round diner-style tables. Meanwhile, you’re likely to hear the magic of analog in the background as vinyl records turn right round on the record player behind the bar.

Tables at Archie'sX

Head to the back of the restaurant and you’ll find two new-school pinball machines, which Patzer says they will change out on a regular basis (current machines offer up Toy Story 4 and Mandalorian themes). There’s also a pass-through in the back of the restaurant which connects to the Scratch Ice Cream “side” of the business.

Archie’s menu

Service at Archie’s is simple. Just place your order at the bar and someone will bring it to your table (guests are welcome to sit at the bar or at any of the tables on both the Archie’s or Scratch sides of the venue).

As for the burger selection, Archie’s keeps things simple.

Every burger is made with freshly ground custom-blended beef sourced from Becher Meats (next door), which is seasoned with a house seasoning blend and smashed on a flat-top grill until the burger’s edges are delectably lacey and crisp.  From there, each burger is placed on a toasted potato roll, topped with finely minced onions which have been cooked in butter and Pabst beer and gilded with American cheese. Thick-cut pickles are served on the side.

Archie's #1X

That’s the basic burger (the #1, $8).  Get the #2 and you’ll get another crispy lacey beef patty ($10.50). Order The Archie and you’ll get the #2 PLUS shredded lettuce, tomato and housemade burger sauce ($12).

The Archie burgerX

Not in the mood for beef?  Try The Linda ($9). This vegetarian black bean and corn burger offers up plenty of Southwestern flavor, along with a crisp exterior from being smashed just like the beefy smash burgers.  It’s topped with all the good stuff: lettuce, tomato, American cheese, PBR onions and chipotle aioli with pickles on the side.

The Linda vegetarian burgerX

Pair any of the above with your choice of crinkle cut fries ($3) or panko breaded onion rings ($5). Ask about making your burger gluten-free.  Archie’s is happy to accommodate.

Since you’ll probably need a drink to accompany your meal, Archie’s offers a full complement of Coca-Cola soft drinks, Dang! Root beer and lemonade. The bar currently stocks an impressive collection of beer with a focus on global imports from Nicaragua, Peru, Spain, The Netherlands and Germany, plus a good showing of American craft brews.  A beer tower will be set up within the next month to feature classic brews including Schlitz, Pabst, Hoffbrau and Weihenstepaner.

Guests can also opt for mixers (choose your spirit and your mixer for $7), along with canned hard seltzers, cider and hard kombucha. Want to try something new?  Archie’s carries MKE Distilling’s new blackberry and ginger brandies, which can be mixed with lemonade, orange juice, sparkling water or ginger ale.

“Our bar is stocked with things we don’t serve at the Cheese Shoppe and Station No. 6 and that capture the spirit of the space,” says Patzer, who also plans to offer a couple of specialty cocktails on tap. 

Miles Patzer
Miles Patzer, behind the Archie's bar

Scratch Ice Cream

Lutz’s partnership with Scratch Ice Cream has been a while in the making. For quite some time the local small batch ice cream company has been using brownies and cookie dough from The Bake Sale in its ice cream. So when Lutz thought about the perfect accompaniment to Archie’s burgers, Scratch was first to come to mind.

Ryan Povlick, who owns Scratch with his brother Justin, says the location was a perfect match.

“Burgers were something we always wanted to do,” he says. “We even played with a concept for Zocalo [Food Park] at one point. But it turns out we’re just not burger people. So this is a great collaboration for us.“

Scratch dining areaX

Step over to the Scratch side of the venue and you’ll find another seating area with larger tables that accommodate parties of four.

At the Scratch counter you can choose from 16 flavors of ice cream (in cones or dishes), shakes, malts or ice cream sandwiches.  You can also grab a pint from the Scratch cooler to take home with you.

Scratch PintsX

As the business gets its footing, Povlick notes that they also hope to partner with The Bake Sale to offer additional desserts like homemade pie or brownies served a la mode.

Lutz says he’s excited to see the Archie’s Flat Top / Scratch Ice Cream concept come to fruition, as it not only adds something new to the Becher Street corridor, but to West Allis on the whole.

“This is the sort of place that we hope will appeal to folks of all ages,” notes Lutz. “We’d love it if this became a hot spot for high school date nights and families looking for a night out.” 

The kitchen at Archie’s is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. (bar until 10 p.m.), Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. (bar until 10 p.m.) and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.  Scratch Ice Cream is open the same hours as the Archie’s Flat Top Kitchen.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.