Now Serving

Another Elsa’s For Milwaukee?

Karl Kopp plans to open a new place on Seeboth. Will it serve custard?

By - Mar 17th, 2015 05:36 pm
100 E. Seeboth St.

100 E. Seeboth St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Karl Kopp is an ever mysterious restauranteur, who typically doesn’t respond to the press. One can’t complain about the results. His Kopp’s Frozen Custard places are delicious outposts with great hamburgers, fries and what some would argue is the best custard in a city known for the stuff. And Elsa’s on Cathedral Square remains one of Downtown’s most elegant restaurants with late-night hours, and a smart menu anchored by fantastic buffalo wings.

So it’s wonderful news that Kopp is moving forward with plans to open a new restaurant, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported. But all we really know is that the city “has issued a permit for the construction of a dine-in restaurant at 100 E. Seeboth St. The permit is issued to Winn Design and Construction, and the project’s estimated cost is $50,000,” And it will be eligible for state historic preservation credits.

The restaurant would be in a 144-year-old, red-brick building Kopp has owned for 30 years, in a great spot, on the west side of the river near Water St. Back in 2013, Kopp had first proposed renovating the building to create a 4,200-square-foot dining area with seating for lots of restaurant-goers with a courtyard near the entrance, and offices and a conference room on the second floor.

That certainly doesn’t sound like a custard stand. It sounds huge compared to Elsa’s. And that’s all we know except that it’s likely to be a smart place, given Kopp’s record. His custard stands in Glendale, Greenfield and Brookfield are all well designed. His Elsa’s-styled Bar 89 in Manhattan’s Soho was a success for 17 years, until Kopp closed it in January 2013, with no explanation to the press.  And he also owns AZ/88: The Bar in Scottsdale, Arizona, which gets high online ratings from customers. So we await the new venture hungrily.

Outpost Upgrades Cafe

Outpost Natural Foods’ first and principal store at 100 E. Capitol Dr. is getting a number of updates for its 45th anniversary, according to

Among the numerous features to be remodeled is The Fork, the store’s dine-in café. The café’s capacity will be expanded with custom tables and seating, and the overall look of the area will be updated to include natural materials. The juice and coffee bar will be remodeled, and kombucha (a fermented tea drink with Eastern roots) will be served on tap.

Remodeling is set to begin later this month, and is expected to wrap up by the end of April.

Now Closing: The Philly Way

The burger and Philly cheese steak joint at 1330 E. Brady St. is closing its doors on May 16th, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Philly Way on Brady is one of two locations in Milwaukee. The original is located at S. 2nd Street.

The sandwich shop is closing due to lack of business, according to owner David London. It also marks the beginning of a new opportunity. According to London, a developer at Blue Ribbon Management asked him to open a location at the Pabst Brewing complex, which is being converted into college apartments.

The new location will be in a pseudo food court on the property, alongside three other restaurants. London told the Journal Sentinel the location is far easier to manage and more cost efficient, potentially making it a more lucrative venture than the location on Brady.

The new location is expected to open in summer 2016.

0 thoughts on “Now Serving: Another Elsa’s For Milwaukee?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nobody will miss Philly Way on Brady. I know people who were treated with open and unprovoked hostility, served as if they were an imposition and then rudely kicked out because the staff wanted to close up RIGHT NOW. Each time I went, the people were nice enough, but had to apologize because they were out of something – fries, napkins, forks, hot sauce, drink lids, etc. – each not a deal-killer but a detraction, and evidence of poor management.There’s plenty of greasy bar-time food competition in the area, and when it comes to cheese steaks, Chubby’s has a better product.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The proposed restaurant planned by Karl Kopp will rescue a fine, but much neglected piece of old Milwaukee architecture. The fact that this ugly duckling is at the end of the view corridor looking north on KK will only make it a more striking swan when it is complete. I am wondering, however if your report is accurate on one key fact, though. You report that the building permit cites a cost of $50,000. That sounds like about 1/10th of the investment it will take to put this building right, much less to turn it into a restaurant. I’ll bet Elsa’s spends close to $50,000 each time they do a makeover of its interior.

    So. I hope you are right on the apsirational story and wrong on the proposed budget..

  3. Anonymous says:

    @Bill My understanding is that the $50k is just for early demolition work.

  4. Anonymous says:

    @Bill And I just heard some work has actually started.

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