SURG opens banquet space in former Graffito location

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Milwaukee-based SURG Restaurant Group on Tuesday reopened its riverfront restaurant space in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward as a banquet facility.

SURG on the Water replaces Graffito, which closed to the public in October after a two-year run. SURG has renovated the 10,000-square-foot Milwaukee Brewers themed Italian restaurant at 102 N. Water St. to make space for special events like weddings and corporate meals, said Omar Shaikh, co-owner and president of SURG Restaurant Group.

“We started doing quite a bit more parties, and we had several weddings there too in the last year as well, where people just raved about how great of an experience it was,” Shaikh said. “That’s really where the idea came from. We get inquiries all the time for parties of 100, 200, and we really only have private parties for spaces up to 40 people.”

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By knocking down the wall to a private party room and taking out the raised level of booths around the dining area, SURG has made space for up to 250 seated guests in the main dining space and another 60 seated on the other side of the bar, Shaikh said. The large patio overlooking the river can hold about 200 people.

“We’ll do corporate events, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs,” Shaikh said. “Really, it’s a space that’s conducive for any of those events. We really see it in large part being a wedding destination.”

The open space will have a nautical theme that can be adjusted to fit each party. SURG on the Water will also hold a few public events, like a wine dinner on the patio, a Mother’s Day brunch and a Marquette graduation weekend brunch, which will be announced through the company’s mailing list, Shaikh said.

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