Karl Ratzsch’s sold to Milwaukee chef

Hauck will renovate iconic downtown German restaurant

Iconic downtown Milwaukee German restaurant Karl Ratzsch’s has been sold to Thomas Hauck, chef-owner at Walker’s Point restaurant c. 1880.

Karl Ratzsch's
Karl Ratzsch’s restaurant in downtown Milwaukee.

Karl Ratzsch’s 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. Hauck purchased the restaurant from Hazard, Poulos and Andera.

Hauck opened c.1880 at 1100 S. First St. in May 2012. The restaurant features farm fresh produce and food from local artisanal farms. Trained at The Culinary Institute of America, Hauck previously worked at Michelin-starred Le Globe and L’Essentiel in France and as executive sous-chef under chef Michel Richard at Citronelle in Washington, D.C.

Karl Ratzsch’s will be closed immediately for renovations, with the goal of reopening in the spring. LP/w Design Studios, which renovated the c. 1880 space, will complete the design and renovations. Hauck plans to continue featuring German food, beer and culture.

“This restaurant has been a landmark in the history of Milwaukee, its dining scene, and has firmly represented the German heritage of the city for over a century,” Hauck said. “I am humbled and excited to take stewardship as we turn the page, and enter the new chapter in the history of this great restaurant.”

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