A Brady Street Trio
Qdoba, Glorioso's and an apartment building reshape East Side main street.
We’re covering three developments on E. Brady St. for this extended edition of Friday Photos. The first, a two-story Qdoba restaurant at the northwest corner of E. Brady St. and N. Warren Ave. will open in 10 days according to a sign at the site. The second, the Keystone on Brady at the northwest corner of E. Brady St. and N. Humboldt Ave. is a mixed-use project that will bring apartments and commercial space to the diverse street. The last project is Glorioso’s redevelopment of their former grocery store into a kitchen to be used for teaching and catering.
Brady St. Qdoba
The more polarizing development on E. Brady St. is the construction of a two-story building to house a Qdoba Mexican Grill at 1348 E. Brady St. The building is being built on a long vacant site.
A representative of Roaring Fork Restaurant Group, the Wisconsin franchisee for Qdoba, told Urban Milwaukee they hope to open the restaurant in January. That’s come and gone, but a sign in the window notes the restaurant will open in 10 days. If nothing else, it seems to be motivating the construction crew: workers were scurrying every which way on the site when I stopped by to take photos.
Customers will find a partial upper level complete with a 12-seat balcony and 32-seat mezzanine area. The rear of the second level will be open to the first floor. The first floor will include 40 seats, as well as restrooms, the kitchen and other service areas. A substantial outdoor seating area will be included.
Will it destroy the character of Brady Street? Urban Milwaukee commenters are divided on the topic, with one going as far as to say “there goes the neighborhood” and another chiming in, “this is great infill.” As far as this author is concerned, the urban building is much more preferable than a vacant lot.
The restaurant is being designed and constructed by Waukesha-based The Redmond Company.
The Keystone Apartments project will bring 22 apartments and a 3,300 square-foot commercial space to E. Brady St. Ogden Multifamily Partners is developing the project and serving as their own general contractor through the firm’s Ogden Construction arm. Design of the building is being led by Tim Wolosz of Engberg Anderson. North Shore Bank is providing financing.
The L-shaped building will eventually rise four floors, although the fourth floor will only contain a club room and fitness center. Workers are currently building out the framing for the third floor.
A one-story, 2,270 square-foot building on the site was demolished to make way for the development. As opposed to the traditional golden shovels event to kick-off construction, Ogden let dignitaries take swings with gold-painted sledgehammers.
Will it destroy the character of Brady St? Area alderman Nik Kovac doesn’t think so. After taking a few swings with a sledgehammer at the June 2016 event, Kovac told me: “I think this is a great building, and it came out of many different and often conflicting opinions about what should be here. But at the end of the day I think it’s well designed. It will be a new icon on an iconic street.”
The new building is anticipated for completion in 2017.
Glorioso’s New Kitchen
Glorioso’s began work on their new commercial kitchen in January. They’re developing the kitchen in a 5,217 square-foot, first-floor space that stretches across two buildings from 1016 to 1028 E. Brady St. The space has been vacant since December 2010 when the family relocated their grocery store to its current home on the south side of the street at 1011 E. Brady St.
In January, shortly after work had started, Michael Glorioso told the Brady Street Association that he hopes to complete the project this year. Glorioso told the audience that the family will not be opening a restaurant in the space, but will use it for as a hands-on cooking school, demonstration kitchen, large commercial kitchen, expanded catering facility and for “anything that brings food and drink together.”
City records indicate the buildings are from 1910 and 1927. Mehmert Store Services and Tom Stachowiak of Stack Design Group are leading the project for the family.
Glorioso’s has a pending application for rebuilding the facades of the building that will be heard by the Historic Preservation Commission on April 10th. A drawing filed with the application shows the first-floor facades rebuilt with large windows.
Unlike the prior two projects, no Urban Milwaukee commenters have accused this project of destroying the character of Brady St.
Learn more about the project via Michael Horne‘s January article “Glorioso’s Will Expand on Brady.”
Political Contributions Tracker
Displaying political contributions between people mentioned in this story. Learn more.
- April 10, 2019 - Nik Kovac received $100 from Michael Glorioso
- February 11, 2016 - Nik Kovac received $100 from Michael Glorioso
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9 thoughts on “Friday Photos: A Brady Street Trio”
Too bad Milwaukee doesn’t have a progressive well informed city plan that embodies contemporary knowledge of how to create a visually civil urban environment. There is no dearth of information concerning not only the aesthetic virtues of trees and planting street side and the value a green ribbon contributes to reducing urban stress. Drive down Water Street passing Fresh Thyme to Brady Street and you are surrounded by a concrete canyon, which intimidates and creates claustrophobia. Our city had a golden opportunity to beautify adding to the quality of life for urbanites and our visitors. Brady Street planners have failed us! Milwaukee planners have failed us!! Extra cost? Yes, but the payback is a city with high walkability, a friendly inviting visual environment with reduced urban stress.
Since moving to Milwaukee in the late ’90s, I have always liked the ‘feel’ of Brady St. So where does the name come from? Who was ‘Brady’ and why did he get this cool street named after him?
This is from the application to create the Brady Street Historic district:
East Brady Street was named after James Jopham Brady, a nationally known New York
City attorney who championed the cause of states’ rights before the Civil War. His name
became well known to the public as a result of his frequent contributions to the
Knickerbocker magazine, a popular nineteenth century publication. Brady never lived in
Milwaukee, but because of his popularity, some of his friends in the city honored him by
having the street named after him. A proposal was made in 1892 to change the name of
East Brady Street to Cleveland Avenue, but it failed.
Take a Historic Milwaukee walking tour when they start in May and find out!
Brian, thank you so much for your explanation!
“… no Urban Milwaukee commenters have accused this project of destroying the character of Brady St.”
So that’s a subtle way of suggesting that the Glorioso reno. will be crapping up the streetscape?
Defacing facades was arguably the norm in Milwaukee from the 1940s-1990s. I guess some people just miss retail crapitechture.
I think the “character” of Brady Street is more resilient than some people realize. You don’t need to freeze the street in time to continue enjoying visiting it.
Surprised you didnt bring up Restaurant Depot moving to 1st & Becher in Bay View
I’m highly amused at Ron’s weird comment. “Intimidating concrete canyon”, guess he hasn’t been to many other big cities.