By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Oct 01, 2008 at 9:45 AM

I just called Harbor 550, and despite many people saying that it's closed or is closing, a server told me that they indeed are open and "open for lunch" today.

Yet rumors continue to swirl that Milwaukee's only waterfront restaurant on Lake Michigan, across from the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World will close next month after a sale to Milwaukee philanthropist Michael Cudahy. A few sources say it will close on Oct. 15.

Several customers have had special engagements and weddings cancelled by Harbor 550 staff and just last weekend patrons were talking about the closing and sale.

Former home of the iconic Milwaukee restaurant, Pieces of Eight, the land and building at 550 N. Harbor Dr., could (according to sources) become a park and additional parking for lakefront activities.

Rumors of Cudahy taking over the space and of the restaurant closing began several years ago. In 2007 Pieces of Eight's attorney Tom Gehl told that the Harbor Commission, which also owns and leases property to the Milwaukee Yacht Club, is permitted to set up leases there as it sees fit, but that also comply with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' vision of what is appropriate use of Milwaukee's lakefront.

According to Gehl, the DNR isn't keen on restaurants lining the lake, which is why the Pieces of Eight space remained the only other dining option besides Alterra.

Pieces of Eight opened in 1969, after taking over the site at the end of 1966, with a 21-year lease and three 10-year renewal options that could keep it in place until 2018.

Specialty Restaurants Corp. owns the restaurant and its lease with the Port of Milwaukee reportedly runs through 2017.

Sources have confirmed that Discovery World hasn't had conversations with Harbor 550 and will "never own that piece of property" but that Cudahy has had discussions (at least in the past) with the owners of the land. E-mails to Cudahy have not been returned.

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.