By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published May 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

The Downtown sub wars are heating up, as another Subway franchise will take the place of the recently closed Mocha, 124 W. Wisconsin Ave. Mocha closed this past weekend. Its phone number is disconnected but the Web site is still active.

Mocha, a coffee bistro (as its sign reads), was locally owned and operated by the Mo's Restaurant Group, headed by Johnny Vassallo.

It opened its prime Downtown location in 2005 and quickly became a hot spot for Downtown residents, office workers and Marquette students. Later that same year, the café replaced Starbucks as the coffee vendor at the Henry Maier Festival Grounds.

Vassallo expanded food and drink options through the years, and even looked at partnering on rent with a vendor like Subway. In the end, though, giving up the space made the most financial sense for all parties.  Vassallo said he got a "great offer."  

"I loved having Mocha," Vassallo said.  "We never thought we'd get rich doing coffee but it was an amenity that I thought the neighborhood needed."  

I've always liked Mocha and it's the kind of place that Downtown Milwaukee needs. I wish Mo's the best and would ask that Alterra or Stone Creek open a new street level café in Downtown Milwaukee very soon.

The new Subway will be one of the franchise's new cafe store concepts. It will serve espresso and coffee. Potbelly Sandwich Shop is located kitty corner from the space.

I'll post more details as I get them. 

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.