AJ Bombers, Smoke Shack permanently close at Mayfair Collection

AJ Bombers and Smoke Shack at Mayfair Collection. Image from Google.
AJ Bombers and Smoke Shack at Mayfair Collection. Image from Google.

The Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa has lost two of its restaurant tenants, due to business slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

AJ Bombers and Smoke Shack Express have permanently closed after four years of business at the mixed-used development, located on West Burleigh Street.

Milwaukee-based operator Hospitality Democracy confirmed the closures to BizTimes on Wednesday.

“We’ve had to make tough, strategic decisions to protect our businesses as best we can during these unprecedented times,” said vice president of operations Chris Adams in a statement. “And during these changes, the well-being of our Mayfair Collection team was a top priority.”

Smoke Shack and AJ Bombers’ downtown Milwaukee locations remain in business. Hospitality Democracy also owns Onesto, Blue Bat Kitchen and Holey Moley Coffee & Doughnuts, all in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

The group shut down its entire footprint for six weeks at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, in an effort to keep its employees and diners safe, it said at the time. Its four downtown full-service concepts began reopening for curbside and delivery service in late April, and for dine-in service in June. 

Meanwhile, AJ Bombers and Smoke Shack Express at the Mayfair Collection remained closed.

“The Mayfair Collection has been an incredible partner for us since we opened our spaces there in 2016 with Smoke Shack, AJ Bombers, and Holey Moley Coffee & Doughnuts,” said Adams. “We are grateful we were able to serve the Wauwatosa community in addition to downtown Milwaukee.”

Holey Moley at the Mayfair Collection closed in 2018, and the space was used to expand AJ Bombers. The three restaurants occupied a 6,280-square-foot freestanding building at the south side of the development. Holey Moley’s Third Ward location has yet to reopen.

Adams said the company is “overwhelmed” with customer support for dine-in, patio and carryout at its downtown restaurants, and that the demand has allowed the group to offer its Wauwatosa staff new positions downtown. 

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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