By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Jan 26, 2011 at 5:04 AM Photography: Royal Brevvaxling

When Doug Konzak graduated with his executive MBA from Marquette University in 2007, he knew he wanted to try his hand at running a business. For more than 20 years, he worked in the Walker’s Point area and decided, because he was such a fan of the neighborhood, to open a cafe.

"This is a new adventure for me," says Konzak. "And I’m really excited about it."

He hopes Zak’s Cafe -- the name, of course, comes from the last three letters of his last name -- will open at the end of February.

"It depends on the build-out process," he says.

The building, located at 231 S. 2nd St., is a multi-story, cream city brick structure. The cafe is in the large ground floor space that accommodates up to 100 diners and features a loft area. High ceilings and hardwood floors will complete the airy, old-meets-new feel.

Zak’s will offer early morning Alterra coffee along with grab-and-go menu items like scones and muffins and  hot, sit-down breakfasts including a variety of egg dishes. Eventually, the bakery items will be made in-house, but to get started, Konzak says he will hire a Walker’s Point-based baker to help him out.

Lunches will include homemade sandwiches and wraps. A delivery service will be available. Konzak says Zak’s will also offer nightly dinner specials as well as weekend brunches.

"We’re still working on our dinner menu," says Konzak. "But it will focus on appetizers like mini sliders, chicken wings, pizzas. We’re developing parts of the menu as we go."

Konzak is working on the recipes with chef Marta Monti, who graduated from the Seattle Culinary Academy and worked in numerous Seattle-based restaurants.

"We’re not going to be high end, but everything will be fresh and homemade," he says.

Konzak says the atmosphere will be "trendy" and "something for the younger generations." He has his eye on the condos in the area and what might appeal to the people living in them.

"We’re really hoping to open at the end of February. We’re completely retro-fitting the building for our restaurant, including building a full-service kitchen in the basement and a refinished wood floor," he says.

Although Konzak is new to the restaurant business, he says his love for good food and cooking has always been more than a hobby. 

"My passion for authentic, healthy ingredients originated from growing up and working on the family grain farm in North Dakota where most of our family meals included home grown, home raised ingredients," he says.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.