New York-based grocery wholesaler plans store in Bay View

8-acre site eyed for development

This photo of an existing Restaurant Depot looks similar to the one planned on S. 1st Street in Bay View.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:03 pm

A New York-based company that specializes in wholesale grocery and restaurant supplies is planning to redevelop about eight acres of land along South 1st Street in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood to build a restaurant supply store.

This photo of an existing Restaurant Depot looks similar to the one planned on S. 1st Street in Bay View.
This photo of an existing Restaurant Depot looks similar to the one planned on S. 1st Street in Bay View.

Restaurant Depot, a subsidiary of Jetro Cash & Carry, of College Point, N.Y., purchased the property at 2209 S. 1st St. for $4.2 million from Frank Giuffre.

The 8-acre site, located southwest of Becher and 1st streets, includes 677 feet of frontage along the Kinnickinnick River.

The site also includes Bay View Bark to the south and everything north to Becher Street.

Julia Kaminecki, who has owned Bay View Bark since November 2011, said for now, her store will remain”status quo,” but she has been told she could be given a 10 month notice to move.

Kaminecki, who was privy to the new owner’s plans for the property, said all of the other buildings on the property will be razed and a restaurant supply store, similar to Boelter Superstore at 4200 N. Port Washington Road, will be built.

There are several small businesses the buildings along S. 1st Street that would be demolished, including Staffing Partners, 2107 S. 1st St. and mechanic shops. A manager for Staffing Partners could not be reached for comment.

“(Jetro Cash & Carry) knew I wanted to keep my building and stay in business,” Kaminecki said. “From what I understand, that is their true intention. Time will tell.”

Restaurant Depot is planning a 66,000-square-foot store that will back up against the river, said Rich Danieli, Restaurant Depot regional vice president.  There will be about 210 parking spaces, covered by a canopy, customers will enter on Becher.

“Market research has showed we will have a distinct increase in sales and we are projecting adding at least 10 new positions, possibly 20 to our staff of already 60,” Danieli said.

Restaurant Depot will not be open to the public. Its primary customers are independent restaurant owners, non-profits, caterers, and police and fire departments.

Danieli said demolition permits have already been pulled for the project, and he hopes to have the new store open by next year. The company has been leasing space at 5250 S. 6th St.

The 6th Street location will close next year when this space opens, Danieli said.

Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski, who represents the area, would not comment on specifics of the project, but said it would only move forward if the neighborhood supports it.

“Any major project only goes forward if and only if the neighborhood supports the project,” Zielinski said. “If they support it then we support it. If they don’t support it, then we won’ t support it.

Jeff Fleming, spokesman for the city department of community development, said plans have not been submitted for the project.

Jetro Cash & Carry was founded in 1976 by private investors as a wholesale grocery.  Restaurant Depot was founded 1990, offering restaurateurs savings of up to 30 percent on more than 10,000 items, ranging from produce to paper goods and flatware, according to the company’s website.

Restaurant Depot described itself in 2000 as selling a full range of fresh meat and produce, chicken and pork, frozen products, dry groceries, paper and cleaning supplies, beverages, and equipment.

Jetro had revenues of $361 million in 1996.

The company lists its principal competitors as Costco Wholesale Corp. and Sam’s Wholesale Clubs.

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