Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Train Car Bar Being Demolished

No more good times at 76th and Hampton

By - Feb 27th, 2023 04:14 pm
4730 N. 76th St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

4730 N. 76th St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A one-of-a-kind Milwaukee building is no more. A wrecking crew is nearly finished demolishing the former Tommy’s Good Time Saloon building and its attached train car at 4730 N. 76th St.

The country-western-themed strip club had an attached caboose. The train car was installed for the tavern’s owner, Thomas Michels, a former railroad employee and model railroad enthusiast.

Michels ran his namesake tavern near W. Hampton Ave. from the 1970s until his death in 2000, at the age of 62. He had the caboose attached to the south side of the 2,147-square-foot building.

A former Milwaukee Road employee, Michels also was an avid car collector and model railroader. In addition to his namesake tavern, he acquired the Camelot Lounge strip club, 2714 S. 13th St., in 1981. His Good Time Saloon, once known as Tommy’s 76, started as just a tavern but later became a strip club after a fire at Camelot. A fire also struck Tommy’s in 1996.

Based on Department of Neighborhood Services records, the building has seen its share of fires and illegal dumping since Michels’ death and the ensuing bar closure. Its been vacant for 23 years, with the caboose’s interior being exposed to the elements.

While the property was under the ownership of Shah Haqqi‘s S&L Global Consulting USA, an occupancy permit was issued for Right Now Movers in 2018. But subsequent complaints and enforcement actions indicate it had continued to be used for outdoor vehicle storage without approval.

The 22,726-square-foot property was sold in September 2020 for $190,000 to Ashraf Khaled‘s 3300 LLC. Khaled owns several properties across the city, including the two occupied by the NYPD pizza restaurants.

An August 2022 fire spurred a condemnation case. It was not the first for the building, constructed in 1949, but this one stuck. Omar Ahmad of AZ Management applied for a permit that same month to remove the structure.

Something is intended to replace it, although exactly what is not immediately clear. A project description attached to an erosion control permit gives a project description of: “remove structures on property to prepare for new development.” The permit was filed by Tom Stachowiak of Stack Design Group on behalf of his client.

In 2020, Khaled also acquired an adjoining property, 4750 N. 76th St. Built in 1972, the building once held a Taco Bell restaurant. Khaled’s 3300 LLC paid the estate of Sidney and Phyllis Ellis $135,000 for the 8,000-square-foot property. The property is currently leased to title loans business TitleMax.


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