Iconic German restaurant Karl Ratzsch closes

Chef-owner Thomas Hauck reopened restaurant less than a year ago

Iconic downtown Milwaukee German restaurant Karl Ratzsch closed Saturday after being operated less than a year under chef Thomas Hauck.

karl ratzschs

Hauck announced his decision Sunday, saying due to many factors he is no longer able to sustain keeping Karl Ratzsch, 320 E. Mason St., open.

“It was my greatest hope that I could take this restaurant into the future and take it to a new generation, without it being lost,” Hauck said. “We put everything we had into this dream and it is with a heavy heart I have to let this go. I am incredibly grateful for everyone that helped to try to make this dream come true.”

Hauck, chef-owner at Walker’s Point restaurant c. 1880, purchased the Karl Ratzsch restaurant in January 2016 and re-opened it in mid-April of 2016.

Karl Ratzsch was opened in downtown Milwaukee by Otto Hermann in 1904, and was originally named Hermann’s Café.

The restaurant later moved to its current location and was passed down through the Ratszch family until it was sold to the management team, dining room manager Judy Hazard, executive chef John Poulos and restaurant manager Tom Andera, in 2003.

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