Jonathan Klug, the original owner of Crawdaddy’s, has announced that he will be opening a new venue at 9638 W. National Ave. in the former home of The Chance Pub.
The new restaurant and bar, which will be called Crawdaddy’s Roadhouse, is the result of a partnership forged between Klug, his wife Lety and building owner Ronald Mellantine.
Mellantine, who has spent the past four years rehabbing the building, will oversee operations for the business. He notes that the venue could open as early as mid to late October.
Klug says the concept, named for its proximity to I-41, will knit together classic cajun and creole fare with a Southern roadhouse theme, live music and a fun, lively vibe.
"I’ve researched roadhouse menus all over the country ... from Canada and St. Louis to Florida and Louisiana," he says. "And we’ll be pulling together our twists on classic roadhouse dishes."
That means Southern comfort foods like chicken fried steak with four peppercorn gravy along with casual fare (think burgers and po’boys) and numerous signature items – including things like macadamia nut crusted tuna and andouille and cheese stuffed bread – from Crawdaddy’s cajun and creole arsenal. Pricing, he says, will be reasonable, with entrees topping out between $15-20.
"When I opened Crawdaddy’s in 1995, there were like three or four good places in the city, so we really stood out," says Klug. "But now Milwaukee has become a real dining city. So we’ve really tried to design a restaurant that appeals to what people are looking for."
Klug says one of his main goals is to revive the fun, convivial feel of the original Crawdaddy’s on 64th Street. Part of that picture will include a great bar and a much bigger focus on music, including live country western, bluegrass and the like.
So much of the fun vibe was lost with the last iteration of the restaurant," he says, "So, the biggest thing is to get it back to being a fun, lively spot. We used to have so many regulars … it got to the point where we knew half the people who walked in the door. We knew what they loved to eat, and we practically had their drinks on the bar by the time they arrived ... I want to do everything in my power to repay those loyal patrons."
Klug says he anticipates that Crawdaddy’s Roadhouse will be open for both lunch and dinner. They will also offer a late night menu from 10 p.m.
Watch OnMilwaukee for additional details as they develop.
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.