SURG continues to search for space for Umami Moto

Deal to purchase Check-n-Go building on Milwaukee Street fell through

SURGE was planning to buy 723 N. Milwaukee St. for Umani Moto.

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

SURG Restaurant Group was within days of closing on a new location for Umami Moto in downtown Milwaukee but the deal fell through in the 11th hour, forcing company owners back to square one.

SURGE was planning to buy 723 N. Milwaukee St. for Umani Moto.
SURG was planning to buy the building 723 N. Milwaukee St. for Umami Moto, but the deal fell through.

SURG co-owner, Omar Shaikh, said he worked for more than four months on a deal to buy the Check-n-Go building, 723 N. Milwaukee St. The plan was to knock a hole through the basement wall and connect the building to the Garden, 725 N. Milwaukee St., which is owned by SU Real Estate Group, a SURG-related business.

Shaikh was planning to reopen Umami Moto in one of the spaces and move his marketing and banquet offices to the other building.

SURG Restaurant Group’s corporate office is located at 9667 S. 20th St., Oak Creek.

“We found out the basement (of 723 N. Milwaukee St.) was shared and anytime we would want to do anything we would have to go to the condo association for a vote,” Shaikh said. “We absolutely could not move forward with the project. We have spent tens of thousands of dollars on this and had to walk way.”

The Check-n-Go building is owned by G/S Partnership LP, according to city records. The owners could not be reached for comment.

SURG owns Carnevor Steakhouse Moderne, 718 N. Milwaukee St. and Distil, 722 N Milwaukee St. Carnevor moved recently to the space formerly occupied by Umani Moto.

Shaikh had hoped to reopen Umami Moto in a new location on Milwaukee Street, or nearby. But at this point he says anything is possible – including a move out of downtown Milwaukee.

He is looking for a 2,500 to 3,000-square-foot space, preferably a space that had been a restaurant previously.

“We’re exploring all options,” Shaikh said. “Everyone keeps asking when we are going to open, so this is really disappointing.”

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