Wisconsin’s first Wahlburgers restaurant is slated to open at The Corners of Brookfield on Tuesday, Sept. 24. But we’ve got a preview that gives you all the information you need before you go.
First, you can find the restaurant on the northeast corner of the main mall, across from Cafe Hollander and the brand new Silver Spot Cinema. Just look for the lime green signage!
From there, you’ll enter the spacious restaurant, which occupies about 6,000 square feet, including seating for 237 both inside and on the sidewalk patio.
"The footprint of this location is a bit bigger than our other locations," notes Chef Paul Wahlberg, who took his first trip to Milwaukee to introduce the new venue. "But it holds itself really well. It’s beautiful."
The interior showcases a palette of lime green and charcoal grey with seating at both high and low top tables, as well as more intimate four-seat booths; there are also high chairs and a special "Smahlburgs" menu for the kiddos. It has an industrial feel that’s softened by warm wood accents and a variety of photos of the Wahlbergs and their family.
"All of our restaurants have somewhat of an industrial feel," notes Wahlberg. "It’s an homage to our humble beginnings. But we also added rich wood to give it that really comfortable feeling. Ultimately, we want an environment that’s always inviting … light and airy during the summer time and warm and inviting in the winter."
That light airy feeling plays out in elements like retractable garage doors along the east side of the restaurant, and a moderate amount of natural light.
The interior of the restaurant also offers a nod to the Wahlbergs’ celebrity. Ceiling tiles tell their story in sound bites from movie titles like "Boogie Nights" and "The Italian Job" along with phrases like "Donnie Loves Jenny" (a reference to Donnie Wahlberg and his wife Jenny McCarthy).
Fans will also find what we can only believe will become the restaurant’s Instagram wall, a portrait of Donnie, Mark and Paul on a Wisconsin backdrop.
Along with a variety of dining areas, guests can also belly up to the bar which features features six flat screen televisions where folks can catch a variety of programming including sportsball.
"When you come to Milwaukee," says Wahlberg. "You’ve got to have the Bucks, the Brewers … it’s a local hangout. And we want people to see it as their local bar."
On the menu
The bar menu includes a list of Wahl-coctions (specialty cocktails) like the best selling strawberry jalapeno margarita, a pear mule and spiked cherry cola made with cherry vodka, grenadine and Mexican Coca Cola.
There is also wine and craft beer, including selections from local breweries along with Wahlberger’s staples like the "Wahlbrewski," a custom unfiltered pale ale from Boston’s Harpoon Brewery.
On the menu, diners can expect sandwiches and salads along with Wahlburger’s signature burgers piled high with toppings. Selections include the O.F.D. ("Originally from Dorchestah") with sauteed mushrooms, Swiss, bacon and tomato jam.
You'll also find each of the Walberg brothers’ favorites: Mark’s Thanksgiving Turkey Burger with topped with stuffing, mayo, housemade orange-cranberry sauce & roasted butternut squash; Donnie’s choice, the BBQ Bacon with a ⅓ pound beef burger, white cheddar, bacon, fresh jalapeños, housemade BBQ sauce & avocado spread; and Paul’s fav, the Our Burger featuring ⅓-lb. burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, government cheese, Wahl sauce & pickles.
Wahlberg says the burgers feature housemade pickles and sauces (with basic exceptions like the Heinz ketchup) along with a custom beef blend featuring brisket, chuck and short rib.
There are fries, onion rings, tater tots and sweet potato tots, each sprinkled lightly with sea salt.
There are also rootbeer and creamsicle floats and frappes in flavors like chocolate, strawberry, coffee and vanilla, along with spiked adult versions in specialty flavors like Mississippi Mud Pie and Fluffanuttahh.
"You have a frappe and your eyes roll back in your head," remarks Wahlberg. "They’re so delicious and rich."
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 24, Wahlburgers will be open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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.