Michael Holloway
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Jake’s Deli Has a New Owner

Bud Selig has sold it. Plus: New downtown cafe, new Cudahy breakfast-lunch place and Italian deli returns to Riverwest.

By - Feb 28th, 2022 06:30 pm
Jake's Deli. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Jake’s Deli. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

It was half a century ago, back in 1969, that future Baseball Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig bought Jake’s Delicatessen at 1634 W. North Ave, along with famed PR man Ben Barkin, and Julius Atkins and Julius Rubin. As others passed away, Selig, now 87, was the last of the partners remaining. In December, he sold the business and the building to Wajeeh Alturkman, a longtime fan of the deli who opened his own popular restaurant, House of Corned Beef, in 2007, at 5201 W. Silver Spring Drive. Carol Deptolla has the full story

“Jake’s is always the place I looked up to because Jake’s is the father of corned beef in Wisconsin,” Alturkman said…. “The deli has a great Jewish history.”

The deli is named for Jake Levin, who bought it in 1955 from Ruben Cohen. At the time, the neighborhood was filled with Jewish families…

“My dream is to bring Jake’s back to the glorious days,” Alturkman said.

He’s put in new bathrooms and is cleaning and painting the deli, and the floors will be redone. But he said he’ll be respectful of the deli’s historical nature. “We’re going to preserve that,” Alturkman said.

“The booths and the tables, they have to stay, no matter what.”

Health-Focused Cafe Coming to Downtown

A new cafe specializing in shakes and teas is planning to open in Downtown at 823 E. Kilbourn Ave. The cafe, called 4on4 Nutrition, sports a menu that boasts healthy alternatives to fast food — all by serving strictly beverages. 4on4 Nutrition plans to open in mid-March, and will operate from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Hannah Kirby reports:

The shakes, which are from Herbalife Nutrition, are meal replacements, (owner Katy) Murphy explained. They typically contain 25 grams of protein and no more than 18 carbs and 9 grams of sugar, she said. She aims to keep them between 200 and 250 calories.

For teas, there are basic options, such as raspberry and cinnamon. More “outside-the-box” ones, called lifted teas, include vitamin B12. Murphy’s personal favorite is the pink la la, which she said tastes like a pink Starburst. 

The teas, which have zero sugar, are intended to provide energy and a metabolism boost, Murphy said. A liquid form of aloe is also mixed into the teas to help with digestive health and absorption. 

New Breakfast and Lunch Spot Open Now in Cudahy

A new restaurant with an emphasis on breakfast and lunch services has opened in the former Samano’s building at 3431 E. Plankinton Ave. in Cudahy. La Crema, which is a Spanish translation of the French phrase “creme de la creme,” is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., opting out of a dinner service. The restaurant was opened by siblings Claudio and Gerardo Flores, who put in work renovating and restoring the property while preserving the space’s historical saloon elements as much as possible. Erik S. Hanley reports

A menu highlight is the chilaquiles: corn tortilla chips topped with a homemade salsa verde, pico de gallo, queso fresco and sour cream. It’s served with two eggs in any style and black beans on the side for $13.

The siblings are also using a family recipe for their pancakes. Confessing that they “stole it from Dad,” they said it’s a very personal menu item to them. Toppings such as banana pecan, chocolate chips, strawberries and blueberries are offered.

The restaurant does not yet have a liquor license, but the siblings hope to be able to serve alcohol by summer.

Scardina Specialities Plans Reopening

Since 2021, residents of Riverwest have been seeking the answer to one very important question: When will Scardina Specialties reopen? The business abruptly shut down after the building it had been operating out of since 2012 was declared “unfit for human habitation” by the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services

Well, there’s good news for the neighborhood that was left without its staple Sicilian deli. Scardina has found a new building to call home, with enough space for indoor dining and a bigger kitchen that can offer more menu items. Graham Kilmer reports:

… owner Damien Scardina has plans to reopen in a bigger space at 713-715 E. Locust St., in the building that was formerly home to Riverwest Healing Arts. The new space will have a full kitchen and a small dining area.

With the kitchen, and added cooler space, he said the deli would have more hot foods on the menu, including Scardina’s signature sausages. He’d also like to sell a spiedini dinner, a kind of Sicilian kebab of thin cuts of meat stuffed with breadcrumbs, currants, pine nuts and cheese, and skewered with onions and bay leaves.

Scardina said he’d like to carry a beer from each of the Riverwest breweries at the new deli: Lakefront BreweryBlack Husky BrewingGathering Place Brewing Company and Company Brewing.

Western-Themed Bar to Replace Camp 131

The Hackbarth Hospitality Group will transition Campsite 131, the satellite location for the company’s Camp bars, into a Western-themed bar called Saloon. The new bar will put an emphasis on cocktails and live music in an environment surrounded by vintage decorations and Western-influenced art. Kilmer reports

Owner Paul Hackbarth will fill the bar with vintage saloon decorations and western-style taxidermy. There will also be a collection of western art from Hackbarth’s grandfather William F. Eisner.

The new western bar will have a specialty cocktail menu that plays on both Wisconsin and western influences. But it will specialize in smoked cocktails, according to the hospitality group.

The new bar will also have weekly live music, and will be closed for private events two nights of the week. The bar will be open for regular business Wednesday through Sunday.

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