A new sandwich shop called Boo Boo’s is expected to open in early May at 405 S. 2nd St. That’s the former home of Philly Way, which closed last July.
At the helm of the new restaurant is Richard Regner, owner of Soup Bros., the popular soup spot at 212 W. Florida St.
Soup Bros., which opened in 1998, made a name for itself with its housemade soups, as well as its freshly baked baguettes and boules.
Regner says sandwiches have taken off at the cozy restaurant. "They started selling so well that it was somewhat perplexing. This machine is geared for soup, after all," he notes, adding that it only made sense to expand.
Boo Boo’s, which will be managed by longtime Soup Bros. employee David Hernandez, will serve both hot and cold sandwiches, including a "Milwaukee" cheesesteak, an homage of sorts to Philly Way, which Regner says will be served on a freshly made baguette. There will also be vegetable based soups, including Soup Bros. red pepper bisque and a cheddar-based soup.
Regner will also serve up house-made hand-cut fries, which he says he hopes to do as well as his "favorite place, Oscar’s on Pierce."
Regner claimed the restaurant space shortly after Philly Way owner Dave London vacated the space, and has worked with designer and local artist Clive Promhows to pimp out the the patio seating area, adding fun colorful details (you can see some of the yellow, green and blue painted brick in the photo above) as well as an electric fireplace with a facade of repurposed brick from downtown Milwaukee buildings.
"It’s warm and cozy," says Regner, who spent a good part of the winter revamping the interior of the space, replacing equipment and installing new tile.
As for the name, Boo Boo's, which might conjure images of Yogi Bear cartoons if you’re of a certain age, really isn’t based on a theme.
"The name just stuck when I threw it against the wall," says Regner with a chuckle. "It’s kind of a cross between Lulu’s and Stubby’s. Cam from Cafe Lulu used to work here, and Brad Todd would never tell me who Stubby actually was."
He says he likes the name because it’s "pretty unforgettable;" but he says the place is less about the name and more about the food.
"You know a name is only as good as your last meal there," he says. "If the sandwiches are good, the name doesn’t really matter."
And he does have a point.
Once launched, Boo Boo’s will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Regner says the restaurant will also offer in-house online ordering and delivery services.
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.