Sandwich shop to open in former Philly Way space

Owner of Soup Bros. planning a second restaurant

The owner of Soup Bros. will open a second restaurant at the former Philly Way.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:00 pm

The owner of the Soup Bros. restaurant in Walker’s Point is opening a sandwich shop around the corner in the space formerly occupied by The Philly Way, which closed this summer.


Richard Regner, who has owned Soup Bros., located at 212 W. Florida St., since 1998, hopes to have the sandwich shop, which has not yet been named, open this winter. As of right now, he’s working with the city of Milwaukee to bring the former Philly Way space up to code.

The Philly Way, located in the same building as Soup Bros., abruptly closed in July after 16 years, with owner Dave London saying the rent was increased 50 percent by the building’s new owner Paul Spencer, who owns Caroline’s Jazz Club, which is also located in the building.

Regner, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked in several restaurants in New York before coming back to Milwaukee, said he is hoping to bring back the manager of Philly Way to run the sandwich shop. And he does plan on serving cheese steaks.

He also plans on serving a variety of other sandwiches, and taking a “sous-vide” approach to his meat, a method of cooking in which food is sealed in an airtight plastic bag and placed in either water or a temperature-controlled environment for longer cooking times to ensure it is evenly, but not overly cooked.

“I heard about this 14 years ago and have been wanting to try it,” he said. “Morel does it, so does c.1880 and Ardent. It’s an amazing approach to food that puts it at the exact perfect temperature and I want to do it with all my beef and turkey.”

While Soup Bros. is typically open until about 3 p.m. daily, Regner plans on having the sandwich shop open until 7 p.m. for people who want to grab a bite to eat before a show. Caroline’s would like to use the parking lot in the evenings for the Jazz Club, he said.

As far as the increased rents, it did happen, but it has been worth it because of improvements made to the building by the new ownership, Regner said.

“I could have picked up and moved, or I could have continued here and that’s what I decided to do,” Regner said. “I’ve been really pleased with the new ownership. They’ve been fixing up the place in a way that has never been done.”

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