c.1880 in Walker’s Point to shut down next month

Almost one year after owner Thomas Hauck closed historic German restaurant Karl Ratzsch

Don's Grocery & Liquor is located in the former Circa 1880 space on 1st Street.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:22 pm

c.1880, 1100 S.1st St.

Walker’s Point restaurant c.1880 will close its doors on April 28 after six years, owner Thomas Hauck announced in a statement on March 19.

“Sadly, with the unfortunate failure of the Karl Ratzsch venture, and the changes in the Milwaukee restaurant market, I am no longer in a confident financial position to renew the lease for the space we call home at 1100 S.1st St.,” Hauck said in the statement. “This is in no way a reflection on the landlord or others.”

Downtown Milwaukee’s iconic German restaurant Karl Ratzsch closed in April of 2017, one year after Hauk took over its operations. When he announced its closure last year, he said many factors led to the decision. Karl Ratzsch originally opened in 1904 as Hermann’s Café.

Months after he closed Karl Ratzsch, Hauck and his wife filed for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 filings indicated assets of approximately $410,000 with more than $3.4 million in debts.

Hauck said his decision to close c.1880 is ultimately based on the needs of his family. He said he announced the closing date in advance so that patrons could visit the restaurant for the last time and use any gift cards for the restaurant.

“Most importantly, we also want the opportunity to say goodbye to some of our loyal customers, who without their support, we would be nothing,” he said.

Hauck was named a James Beard Awards semifinalist in 2016, 2017, and this year for the Best Chef Midwest category.

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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