Dual-concept Juana Taco, Makk’n’Cheese coming to East Side

Juana Taco & Makk'n'Cheese will open at 2911 N. Oakland Ave.

A new dual-concept restaurant will bring both tacos and mac and cheese dishes to Milwaukee’s East Side this fall.

Juana Taco and Makk’n’Cheese are slated to open soon at 2911 N. Oakland Ave. The space previously housed Good Land Wing Co., which closed in 2020 after two years in business. The restaurant will share a building with Cheba Hut, a new marijuana-themed sandwich shop that opened in July.

Milwaukee-based KRS Hospitality LLC is the operator behind both Juana Taco and Makk’n’Cheese as well as two other bar-restaurants in town, Mangos East Cafe and Points View Boite. The group’s new dual concept will feature two separate menus, with ambiance and decor reflecting the two restaurants, said co-owner Marcos Ramos-Garcia.

It’s a second location for Makk’n’Cheese, which first opened in Bay View not long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Business has remained strong despite industry-wide disruption and the group had been in the market for another location since the fast-casual restaurant debuted.   

“We actually anticipate this one to be a lot busier, given the location and (UW-Milwaukee) right there and the high school close by,” said Ramos-Garcia. “It’s really high in traffic when it comes to lunch and dinner in that area, so we’re very excited about going over there.”

Meanwhile, the location is a rebirth for Juana Taco, which launched in late 2019 as a vendor at Crossroads Collective on the East Side but closed months later due to the pandemic.

Ramos-Garcia said plans for the new restaurant have been well received by Heather Gawlitta and Robert Huhn, who own Cheba Hut next door. Since moving in, the couple has made an effort to improve the curb appeal of their busy corner at the intersection of North Oakland Avenue and East Locust Street.

The property now features a newly paved parking lot and an enclosed outdoor patio that was popular amongst local diners over the summer. The ongoing revitalization of the block was a draw for KRS Hospitality, said Ramos-Garcia.

Inside the restaurant space, both concepts will utilize one kitchen, and customers will place orders at one counter with a central POS system. Juana Taco and Makk’n’Cheese will offer in-house seating, carryout and delivery. 

KRS Hospitality which is co-owned by Frank Sandino-Badillo and Greg Kieckbusch, is poised for additional growth next year with a third Makk’n’Cheese location at the North Avenue Market, which is slated to open in spring at 5900 W. North Ave.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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