Fast-casual seafood restaurant Captain D’s has reopened for business on Milwaukee’s northwest side.
Located at 7320 Good Hope Road, the stand-alone restaurant is one of two Captain D’s locations that had originally opened in Milwaukee between early 2018 and late 2019, only to close down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The other restaurant was located at 3326 W. Capitol Drive, near Century City Business Park.
Both franchise locations had been owned by Valerie Daniels-Carter, president and founder of Milwaukee-based V&J Holding Cos. Inc., one is of the largest multi-brand restaurant franchise operators in the country.
The Good Hope Road location — with a 62-seat dining room, drive-thru, carry out and call-ahead ordering options — has reopened under new ownership: Rajiv Lala of Captains of Chicagoland LLC. The restaurant industry veteran owns more than 100 restaurant locations across the Midwest, with national franchise brands including Dunkin’, Wingstop and Baskin- Robbins. In addition to his Captain D’s in Milwaukee, Lala will be opening a second location in Matteson, Illinois, later this year.
As he looks to grow his own multi-brand portfolio, Lala is bullish about not only the Captain D’s brand, but also the local market.
“Seafood occupies a unique niche in the foodservice industry, and Captain D’s is the clear leader in the segment.,” he said. “… Operating multiple businesses in the Midwest over the past several years, we see immense potential for Captain D’s in Milwaukee and look forward to continued growth throughout the region,”
Captain D’s itself has identified Wisconsin and Milwaukee as key to its greater expansion across the Midwest. However, it’s unclear whether the company plans to resume operations at the West Capitol Drive location.
In addition to several openings over the past couple of years in states like Illinois, Michigan and Missouri, Captain D’s is debuting its first Express prototype in Whitehall, Ohio, later this summer. The Nashville-based company and its franchisees operate more than 530 restaurants in 23 states.
“We’ve prioritized the investment in our company’s operations and systems to ensure our franchisees receive a premier level of support,” said Brad Reed, chief development officer of Captain D’s. “This has rewarded us with a strong system made up of passionate operators who are dedicated to the brand’s growth.”