Smoke Shack, a collaborative venture between Joe and Angie Sorge (Swig, AJ Bombers, Water Buffalo and Sullivan's), Scott Baitinger (Streetza), Robert Joseph (Joseph Property Development) and Flux Design, will replace MJ's, 322 N. Milwaukee St., early this summer.
MJ's will close when its lease expires at the end of March.
Smoke Shack will be the third project in the Historic Third Ward for Sorge, who worked with Flux on Swig, 217 N. Broadway, and Joseph and Flux on Water Buffalo, 249 N. Water St.
Baitinger will join the group, bringing his creativity from Streetza and his marketing and public relations savvy from his agency "day job."
"We've learned a lot together as a group," said Sorge. "This project is more than a year in the works and, yes, it will be our third in the Third Ward."
Smoke Shack's team will revamp the entire building, transform the outdoor patio and utilize the plentiful parking owned by Joseph.
Sorge promised a "funky, cool space" and said the group will "take a pretty unique approach" to the dining experience and the food.
As for the barbecue, we'll have more specifics soon. But, with the quality of AJ Bombers, Water Buffalo and Swig and the addition of another food mind in Scott Baitinger, Smoke Shack should be able to more than take a creative spin on a tradition that's near and dear to Milwaukee's heart, barbecue.
Watch for Smoke Shack to open in mid-June, according to Sorge.
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.