Cheba Hut to open first Milwaukee-area location next year

Taking over former Blaze Pizza on North Oakland Avenue

Courtesy of Cheba Hut

Marijuana-themed fast-casual restaurant chain Cheba Hut is moving forward with plans to expand into the Milwaukee area.

The Fort Collins, Colorado-based company expects to open its second Wisconsin restaurant, in May 2021 on Milwaukee’s Upper East Side, according to a license application filed with the City of Milwaukee. The storefront at 2907 N. Oakland Ave. previously housed Blaze Pizza and currently shares the building with Good Land Wing Co., which opened in 2018.

Local franchisee Robert Huhn is listed on the application as owner of the new Cheba Hut restaurant, and Heather Gawlitta is listed as the agent.

Founded in 1998, Cheba Hut is known for made-to-order toasted sub sandwiches and “munchies,” such as loaded nachos, meatballs, and garlic cheese bread. The chain has 39 locations in 14 states. Its first Wisconsin location opened in 2013 in Madison.

In 2018, the company announced plans to open four to six new locations throughout the Madison and Milwaukee areas during the following year, with three to four of those restaurants located in Milwaukee.

“Milwaukee deserves Cheba Hut,” chief operating officer Marc Torres said at the time. “The city is full of loyal, hard working people. That’s who we are, and we connect well with those kinds of folks.”

He also explained that Cheba Hut has traditionally been successful within college markets, so the company had planned to look for potential sites in Milwaukee’s downtown area, near Milwaukee School of Engineering, and the East Side, near UW-Milwaukee. The Oakland Avenue site is just blocks from UW-Milwaukee’s campus.

In addition to food, Cheba Hut will serve both nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Proposed hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Construction at the space is expected to be complete by April 1, 2021.

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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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