After a decade of opening many of Milwaukee's hippest bars and eateries, Diablos Rojos restaurant group is restructuring.
"The great thing is that we are doing all of this amicably and fully support each others' endeavors," says Mike Eitel.
Eitel, along with Scott Johnson and Leslie Montemurro, started Diablos Rojos about 10 years ago, and Eric Wagner joined the group in 2005. Eitel and Wagner plan to keep Diablos Rojos afloat, but Montemurro and Johnson will no longer be invoved.
"Eric and I are planning to take Diablos Rojos to the next level, growth-wise, and are planning to roll out a couple of more concepts in and around Milwaukee," says Eitel.
Johnson and Montemurro, who own Fuel Cafe, 818 E. Center St., Comet Coffee Shop, 1947 N. Farwell Ave., and Palomino, 2491 S. Superior St., will purchase Hi-Hat, 1701 N. Arlington Pl., and Balzac, 1716 N. Arlington Pl., from Diablos Rojos.
Eitel and Wagner will retain ownership of Café Hollander, 2608 N. Downer Ave., Trocadero and Redlight, 1758 N. Water St. Eitel also owns The Nomad World Pub, 1401 E. Brady St.
"We have been friends and partners for over 10 years now, and fully expect to keep those friendships going strong," says Eitel.
Johnson says he and Montemurro want to "take a step back" and focus on their existing businesses.
"We are really thankful for how far, with the help of a ton of talented people, we have come since we started," says Johnson, who opened his first business, Fuel Café, with Montemurro in 1993.
Johnson says he and Montemurro want to make their buildings more energy efficient, possibly grow some of the food they serve at their restaurants and explore new projects with their Comet partners, Val and Adam Lucks, in the Seattle area.
Plus, the two business partners have personal goals they want to achieve. Montemurro is getting her motorcycle license, and Johnson says he started skateboarding again, plans to focus on motorcycle racing, wants to learn how to make maple syrup, build a cabin in the woods and fix up an old Ford pickup.
"We're really happy for Mike and Eric and wish them tons of luck with their future endeavors," says Johnson. "They are both very talented, have great business sense and will, I'm sure, do very well with their many future projects. They are never short of ideas nor the follow through to bring them to light."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.