Graham Kilmer

Japanese Style Pub For Walker’s Point

Red Maple will replace old dive bar Ollie's at 100 W. Maple St. As for its style, 'think Godzilla.'

By - May 11th, 2022 10:48 am
Ollie's, 100 W. Maple St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Ollie’s, 100 W. Maple St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A historic bar in Walker’s Point will see new life as a Japanese style pub called Red Maple.

The bar at 100 W. Maple St. was formerly Ollie’s, a tavern with more than 100 years of history and some of the cheapest drinks in town, as an Urban Milwaukee story by Michael Horne reported. The property was listed for sale in July 2021 after the bar had its license pulled by the city in 2020.

The new owners are Robin Koutecky and Janet Boettner. This is the second bar Koutecky has purchased in the past year. In the summer of 2021, a bar called Swigs Pub & Grill, at 3143 S. Clement Ave. went up for sale and the veteran bartender bought it with her business partner Amanda Delsart and turned it into Clementines.

Koutecky’s partner on Red Maple, Boettner, told Urban Milwaukee in an interview that Red Maple will be a “hip, eclectic, Japanese-style pub.” Describing their plans for the former dive, she said “I think the best way, and this sounds funny, but the best way I can describe it is, think Godzilla; it’s gonna be kitschy and fun.”

Boettner, who has 20 years in the food industry, said the plans for the bar will eventually include food, and the menu will in part be inspired by her childhood. Boettner, who is half-Japanese, said the menu will be based on the kind of Americanized Japanese food her mother would cook.

“I grew up with a Japanese mom who had to incorporate and kind of mix Japanese food and American food together for us to eat,” she said. “So I miss that homestyle cooking of westernized Japanese food.”

This will include menu items like Japanese curry, which is not like Indian or Thai curries, she said. Then there’s Omurice, which she said is a very popular “Japanese family style dish” that contains a Tangy tomato base, like chicken fried rice wrapped in an omelet. This food will be complemented by a plenty of Japanese beer on tap, Boettner said.

The pair are also looking into getting some Pachinko machines for the bar. For those that have never played one, Boettner described it as “sort of like a cross between a slot machine and an amusement machine.” The machines, she said, are incredibly popular in Japan. “We actually had one when we were kids and we played the heck out of that thing.”

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