Ninja Japanese Steakhouse owner buys downtown building for new location

Building sold for $1.15 million

770 N. Milwaukee St., photo by
770 N. Milwaukee St., photo by

Last updated on May 7th, 2020 at 04:52 pm

The owner of Ninja Japanese Steakhouse in West Bend and Menomonee Falls has purchased a downtown Milwaukee building where he plans to open a new restaurant.

The 7,800-square-foot, two-story building at 770-772 N. Milwaukee St. was acquired this week by Ninja Center LLC for $1.15 million. Ninja Center is registered to Lichai Chen, owner of Ninja Japanese Steakhouse. The seller is Bell Super LLC, which is owned by Balbir Singh, who also owns the Maharaja Indian restaurant on the city’s East Side.

The Milwaukee Street building is assessed at just under $912,000, according to city records.

Chen plans to renovate the building and open a sushi-hibachi restaurant. He filed license applications last year with the city.

If eventually opened, it would be Chen’s third location.

Chen said a sushi bar area will go on the building’s first floor and hibachi stations will be installed on the second floor. Also on the second floor will be a small meeting room for 10-12 people, which Chen said could be used by companies to host small gatherings.

The basement will be used for karaoke, he added.

Chen said he is unsure when the restaurant will be able to open, though he is hopeful it could happen by the end of the year. Renovations won’t take place during the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, he said.

The building was formerly home to Catch 22 bar and restaurant, according to license application records. Other businesses had proposed to open there since Catch 22 closed in 2015, but it has remained vacant.

Singh’s sons, Gurcharan “Sunny” and Manbir “Prince” Singh, were the seller’s representative in the transaction.

Transaction information was provided by the seller. Chen confirmed that he closed on the purchase on Monday.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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