Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

The New Hue

Restaurant transforming former Sven's Cafe building.

By - Dec 3rd, 2021 05:45 pm
2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. construction. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. construction. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Hue Vietnamese Restaurant is on the move, but not far.The restaurant, 2691 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is moving two doors south to a dramatically redeveloped building.

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 late spring, is expected to be completed in the coming months.

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, a project was put together that avoided almost any legislative approvals by reusing the existing building, relocating an existing business and complying with any 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. It’s 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. At one point the automotive service company Smith Standard Service occupied the property. 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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