John's Sandwich Shop, 8913 W. North Ave., has closed its doors. The longtime Wauwatosa staple quietly turned off its lights sometime in the past week or so and put all of its assets up for auction.
Founded by John Canter in 1963, John's Sandwich Shop was a longtime gathering place for families looking for breakfast, lunch or a homestyle dinner. The restaurant, which was purchased by Peter and Kris Hyndiuk in 1991, most recently made a name for itself by offering healthy, fresh options in addition to classic burgers and sandwiches.
However, starting next year, the restaurant will begin a new era under the leadership of North Avenue Grill owner Mike Topolovich, who will open a new restaurant called The Grill at the location, which he hopes will open by late April.
Although he chose not to continue operating the former restaurant, Topolovich says the space is a special one for him. After all, John's gave him his start in the restaurant industry, and he worked there for nearly 16 years.
"It holds a very special place in my heart," he notes. "I'm so glad I get a chance to try and bring this place back to the great times it once had."
Topolovich says he will take over control of the space beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and will be cleaning and sprucing the place to begin; however, he'll also apply for permits and go before the Tosa planning commission in February to propose his renovation plans.
"We would like to do the old school burger malt shop theme," he says. "Focusing on the classics and then throwing in some fun new things."
He notes that a few things will be carried over from North Avenue Grill. However, the venue will have a distinct personality all its own complete with all-day breakfast, housemade soups and a special menu of shakes and malts.
Watch OnMilwaukee for additional details as they become available.
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.