Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Hue’s New Home

Restaurant expanding, relocating in Bay View.

By - Jun 25th, 2021 04:24 pm
2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Among the dozens of projects featured in this weekly column, the new home for Hue Vietnamese Restaurant in Bay View definitely stands out.

It’s exceedingly modest in scale, but grand in ambition and free of regulatory hurdles despite its complexity. It’s the type of thing that was far more commonplace when the building the restaurant currently occupies, 2691 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., was originally constructed in 1922.

Hue owners Cat Tran and Mark Nielsen are taking a one-story, 1,288-square-foot building and nearly quadrupling it in size.

A two-story addition will be constructed in front of the structure at 2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., which was last home to Sven’s Cafe. The upper floor will contain three studio apartments.

The lower floor will serve as a new home for the restaurant, merging the old building with the new. A building permit indicates the finished project will contain 4,320 square feet of space.

A patio is planned for the eastern side of the irregularly shaped lot. Only a small portion of the property directly fronts S. Kinnickinnic Ave. with larger segments facing S. Logan Ave. to the east and E. Russell Ave. to the south.

The work, which started in the past month, is expected to be completed this fall. The northern wall went up this week, largely obscuring the mural that was on the south side of the Shape Up Shoppe building, 2695-2697 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Madison-based Linville Architects is leading the project’s design. One Source Construction is leading the general contracting.

Often projects involve zoning hearings, public meetings and delays from one source or another. But for Hue, the project team was able to compile a project that skirted almost any legislative approvals by reusing the existing building, relocating an existing business and complying with any existing zoning regulations. The result is a project that will be less costly to develop and more quickly completed.

But, the Hue owners still will need to have the council approve a liquor license relocation and secure a special use permit for outdoor storage from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Not as many hoops as the developer of the proposed apartment complex to the south is jumping through, but still not a libertarian’s dream.

An affiliate of Hue acquired the property in October 2019 for $300,000 from Sven’s owner Steve Goretzko. The former owner closed the cafe in July 2019 after 15 years of operation.

The existing building was constructed in 1956 according to city records. Automotive service company Smith Standard Service occupied the property,, according to historical records. The building was later used as a newspaper distribution hub, with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel selling the property in 1998 for $40,000.

Photos and Rendering

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