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What should replace John Hawks Pub?

What should replace the old John Hawks Pub?

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Nearly one year ago today, after 45 years in Milwaukee, John Hawks – a Downtown Milwaukee pub that sat on the Milwaukee River – closed its doors and has been vacant ever since.

The space needs renovations, and I'm going to assume updates to the kitchen – if not an entirely new one. Nonetheless, it sits nicely inside the 100 East Building and, of course, beautifully upon the Milwaukee Riverwalk.

It's prime for someone or some entity to remake, remodel and reimagine the space.

But who is the best fit? What's the Downtown area still need? At nearly 8,000 square feet, a coffee shop would seem perfect. Colectivo? Valentine? Anyone?

Cory Sovine, senior vice president at Colliers International, told me this about the space, "While we were very sad to see a true Milwaukee Icon in John Hawks Pub closed down after all these years, we are excited to have this iconic restaurant space to offer. The new building owner, Hertz Investment Group, is a first class owner and 100 East is a Class A building and we would really love to have a tenant or tenants that reflect how great of a property and how unique of a space this truly is. Hertz is committed to making this an outstanding location for the right operator and has already allocated substantial capital towards doing so. In fact, demolition of the space will be starting soon to clear the canvas so to speak and allow a new tenant to really create their own space and put their mark on the building."

On the national front, I think a Panera or Corner Bakery would be a welcome addition for Downtown residents and workers. Or, as I've called for before, a burrito place like Chipotle or Qdoba.

What are your thoughts?

The old John Hawks is ripe for redevelopment and, if leased now, could be open easily in time for the spring season in 2018.

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