Jeramey Jannene

Mr. B’s Specialty Will Be Smoked Turkey Legs

Owner of Kiss Ultra Lounge plans replacement for Buffet City on northwest side.

By - Apr 6th, 2022 05:40 pm
Buffet City in 2021. Photo taken by Jeramey Jannene.

Buffet City in 2021. Photo taken by Jeramey Jannene.

A new restaurant aims to become a northwest-side hub for a smoked Texas specialty and live entertainment, while catering to an older crowd.

Mr. B’s would host neo-soul, R&B and jazz music acts and comedians while serving up lunch and dinner at 8617 W. Brown Deer Rd.

“Our real niche to get people on our side of town is smoked stuffed turkey legs,” said owner Jennifer Garcia to members of the Licenses Committee on Wednesday morning. “We want to bring that to Milwaukee.”

She said the turkey legs are popular in Texas and she has visited and toured a number of restaurants to understand how to bring the idea to Milwaukee.

“We also have an extensive seafood menu that we are bringing,” said Garcia.

The Mr. B’s menu would also include chicken wings and fried fish, which she said are northside Milwaukee staples. A full liquor license is also included.

“We are excited to have a different menu,” said area Alderwoman Chantia Lewis.

But concerns about Garcia’s other business briefly threatened to derail her new plan. Before meeting with the Licenses Committee, Garcia presented to the citizen-led Granville Advisory Committee. The committee aims to create a shared vision for reinvigorating the area around the former Northridge Mall.

Garcia is the owner of Kiss Ultra Lounge, a nightclub at 7330 N. 76th St. that caters to a younger crowd.

She told the advisory committee that she didn’t want to replicate Kiss and was focused on creating a restaurant that offered live entertainment. “My age range is going to be 28 and up,” she said of after-dinner age restrictions.

“It kind of scares me that it would end up like Kiss. I would probably try to come and support you, and run right back out,” said advisory committee member Natasha Dotson. She said she walked into Kiss for a party, only to walk back out because of the hookah smoke and young crowd.

Kiss’s Instagram account has multiple videos of scantily-clad workers delivering bottles of liquor to customers while waving sparklers. Garcia said the business has operated successfully for 20 years.

But Lewis agreed with Dotson and other member’s sentiments.

“Twenty-eight is young. I’m trying to figure out why you’re not doing 35 or something if you’re trying to cater to an older crowd. I don’t want to go hang out with the young people, which is why I don’t want to go to Kiss,” said the alderwoman.

Garcia agreed to amend Mr. B’s license application to be only available for patrons ages 30-and-up after 10 p.m. The advisory committee then voted to support Mr. B’s.

“I think this will be a good establishment for food and a sit-down meal,” said Lewis when it was before the Licenses Committee. “It doesn’t look like a club establishment. That is important to the residents.”

But she made sure the advisory committee’s requests were formally added to the record: a minimum age (30) after 10 p.m., a dress code, and the removal of the request to allow a dance floor. “The main thing we that don’t want to replicate is Kiss,” she said.

Two neighbors not present at the advisory committee meeting testified in support before the council committee. Both mentioned the number of vacancies in the area.

“We are definitely filling up the vacancies,” said Lewis.

Mr. B’s would replace Buffet City, which closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Granville Connection, a marketplace planned to be similar to the Sherman Phoenix is slated to go in the space next door. Lewis has been a vocal champion of the proposal, which is officially a project of the Granville Business Improvement District.

Northridge Mall‘s 2003 closure triggered a wave of retail closures in the surrounding area. The city, through a protracted court battle, is pursuing demolition and redevelopment of the mall.

The Licenses Committee unanimously recommended approval of Mr. B’s liquor license. Full council approval is still required.

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