Scooter’s Coffee, Taco John’s proposed in West Milwaukee

Would redevelop former Deutsch & Sons Company site

Taco John's store. Courtesy of Shutterstock

A vacant commercial property in West Milwaukee could become the site of two new-to-market quick-service franchises, Scooter’s Coffee and Taco John’s.

The restaurants are being proposed at the former Deutsch & Sons Company site, located at 2172 Miller Park Way. Milwaukee-based Greywolf Partners Inc. submitted plans to redevelop the 1.62-acre parcel, which would be divided evenly between the two users.

The real estate development firm purchased the property in 2016 from Deutsch & Sons Co. for $1 million, allowing the manufacturer to relocate to Pewaukee.

Omaha, Nebraska-based Scooter’s would operate a kiosk-style location, serving coffee drinks and breakfast foods, such as egg and cheese burritos, sandwiches and bakery items. Its footprint would be small, only about 400 to 500 square feet, and focus primarily on drive-thru service. It would be Scooter’s first cafe in the Milwaukee area and second in Wisconsin, along with a location in Madison. The company has about 300 franchise and company-owned stores across the U.S.

Cheyenne, Wyoming-based “West-Mex” chain Taco John’s plans to open a 3,200-square-foot restaurant with outdoor seating, according to site plans. The company currently has eight locations statewide, but this would be its first step into the Milwaukee market. Taco John’s has more than 400 locations in 27 states.

Total development costs are expected to range from $1.5 million to $1.8 million for both buildings, excluding furnishings, fixtures and equipment, according to the proposal.

Greywolf was also the developer for the nearby Miller Park Shoppes, located at 2086-2094 Miller Park Way. Since acquiring the West Milwaukee property, the plan has been to demolish the site’s existing building to build a retail development.

According to the developer’s proposal, the site has primarily generated interest from QSR businesses, with the exception of Aldi. The grocery store considered the site four years ago, but the parcel wasn’t large enough.

Greywolf acknowledged the rise of drive-thru concepts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fact that two businesses can fit on a site typically meant for one user.

“This is the last undeveloped site for the foreseeable future and these users will bring a clean, professional look to this undeveloped site,” Greywolf wrote in its proposal.

Project plans were discussed early this week by West Milwaukee’s Plan Commission, but no action was taken. The item will be up for review again likely in June, according to a village official.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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