By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published May 04, 2006 at 5:36 AM

The answer to the question, "Where should we go to watch the game?" isn't as easy as it should be in Downtown Milwaukee. Zim's, 770 N. Milwaukee St, hopes to change that when it opens its doors later this Summer.

Zim's, currently under construction inside the former Michael H. Lord Gallery space, aims to be Milwaukee's first "contemporary sports bar."

"I've always had the idea tucked away," says owner Mike Zimmer, a Wauwatosa native who lives Downtown. "(Zim's) will complement the offerings of Milwaukee Street."

A 15-year veteran of Johnson Controls, Zimmer knows the corporate and technology worlds and says he will use a finely-crafted business plan to launch his entrepreneurial dream, which has been in the works for years.

"I'm loving just being a part of everything that is going on," says Zimmer about Downtown. "I really started getting serious about (Zim's) two years ago."

Zimmer says the two-story, 4,000-sq. ft. former art gallery will be "clean and modern architecturally" and "not a 'jersey on the wall' type of place."

Quorum Architects, the firm that designed Barclay Gallery and Café and Metro Eye in the Historic Third Ward, among other projects, is working on this project.

"The idea is a sports and entertainment experience," says Zimmer. "The place to watch the game, (with) entertainment all the time."

Zim's will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, and will offer a full lunch and dinner menu of burgers, chicken, brats, pasta bowls and other items, as well as personal pizza carryouts until bar time and a kid's menu with hot dogs and Spaghetti-Os.

"During the day and evening, you will be able to watch about any sports item available," says Zimmer, who notes that Zim's will feature 10-15 televisions and live, scrolling XML feeds of scores and other sports information.

Need more sports? Zim's also will feature a Full Swing Golf machine where you can play a round of golf inside and in the heart of downtown.

Zimmer, who is in his mid-30s and recently met his biological parents for the first time, sees Zim's as his next step in life; what he calls his "just do it moment."

He says, "This is my exit strategy from a company that served me well for 15 years and gave me the tools (and courage) to go out on my own."

Zim's Web site is under construction at

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.