Graham Kilmer

Cheba Hut Coming to Bay View

Milwaukee's second location of national chain offering sub sandwiches, cocktails and marijuana lingo.

By - May 24th, 2022 10:34 am
RedBrick Pizza Kitchen Cafe. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

RedBrick Pizza Kitchen Cafe. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A second Cheba Hut is coming to Milwaukee, this time landing in Bay View.

The Cheba Hut will take over the 2,336-square-foot commercial space on the first floor of the Vue Apartments, 2202 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., that was recently a RedBrick Pizza Kitchen Cafe. The pizza franchise officially closed and auctioned off its kitchen equipment in late 2021 after being closed for several months with a sign referencing a labor shortage.

The new Cheba Hut is being opened by the same owners behind the first Milwaukee location at 2907 N. Oakland Ave., Heather Huhn and RC Huhn. RC is also the owner and CFO of Viking Masek Packaging Technologies. A business license application recently filed with the City of Milwaukee indicates the new Cheba Hut will open in October of this year.

Cheba Hut is a national chain serving fast-casual fare, particularly toasted submarine sandwiches. The chain was founded in Denver in the late 1990s and employs marijuana-themed branding. Many food items are named for strains of marijuana. Though, there is no marijuana or hemp used in the making of any of the food.

Despite being a fast-casual restaurant, Cheba Hut also serves alcohol, and the location on N. Oakland Ave. has a sizable bar. The owners have also applied for a liquor license for the Bay View location. The names for many of the drinks are also allusions to marijuana or the smoking of it, like the “Hot Box”, made with grapefruit vodka, jalapenos, ginger brew and lime juice. The license requires Common Council approval.

The restaurant also sells “munchies” like nachos and pretzel nuggets. Then there are the “cottonmouth cures,” which is the name given for everything from sodas to beer.

In 2018, the chain announced plans to open four restaurants in the Milwaukee area. The only other Cheba Hut in Wisconsin is in Madison, and the Huhns bought that location in December 2021. There are more than 40 locations across the country.

Heather told Urban Milwaukee that they are interested in adding some new features to the restaurant’s offerings with the new expansion, like catering, which she said would be easier to do with two locations.

Heather did say that they plan to get involved in the Bay View community as they open the new restaurant. After opening the first location on Oakland, Huhn became a member of the Oak & Loc Business Improvement District and the restaurant partnered with the Street Angels, a homeless outreach organization, to help raise awareness of their work. “One of the things I’m championing our GM’s to do is to find something that is important to that community to partner with,” Heather said.

The 69-unit, five-story Vue Apartments building was sold for $14.6 million in April to Milwaukee Dermond LLC, whose principal office address in state records is a single-family home in Las Vegas owned by John Evilsizor. It was sold by its original developer, Dermond Property Investments.

East Side Location Photos

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