Plans for Indian food warehouse, grocery and restaurant proceed in Waukesha

Interior of a Harika Foods.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:55 pm

The Monkey Joe’s indoor playground in Waukesha could be rezoned so a Chicago-based Indian food maker can move forward with plans to operate a manufacturing and distribution center, Indian grocery store, and restaurant at the site.

Harika Foods submitted plans to the city of Waukesha in May to operate a 3,800-square-foot restaurant in the building at 2040 W. Bluemound Road.

Interior of a Harika Foods.

Harika intends to use 5,600 square feet for manufacturing and a warehouse. The remaining 7,400 square feet would be an Indian grocery store, according to plans submitted in May.

Harika had an option to purchase the property from an affiliate of VJS Development Group; however the contract lapsed and now Monkey Joe’s has made an offer to purchase nearly 17,000-square-foot space and is planning to expand.

The Monkey Joe’s is currently zoned for manufacturing use. The Waukesha City Council will decide Nov. 7 to create a new district, mixed-use manufacturing, so the stalled Harika project can move forward.

The plan commission approved Harika’s the rezoning request in September. If the rezone request is approved next month, but Monkey Joe’s moves forward with purchasing the building, it is unclear where Harika will locate its business.

Harika has an accepted secondary offer on the property if the Monkey Joe’s offer falls through.

Representatives from Harika could not immediately be reached for comment.

Harika Foods was started in Chicago in 2000, specializing in Indian spice-mix powders, snacks and sweets, according to the company’s website. Harika’s products are available in Indian grocery stores across the country.

If the project moves forward, it would be Harika’s second manufacturing and distribution facility and the first to combine production and a retail environment.

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