Daniel Manesis, the owner of West Allis trucking firm Daniel Manesis Transportation Inc., has purchased The Gobbler, a landmark Johnson Creek restaurant that has been closed for many years. Manesis plans to convert the building into a live music venue that will be called The Gobbler Theater.
Manesis purchased the building last week for $635,000, according to state records.
The Gobbler was built in the late 1960s at 350 N. Watertown St., just off of I-94. The building has a unique design that looks like a flying saucer, but from overhead it looks like a turkey, Manesis said. It had a turkey theme with waitresses dressed like turkeys, he said.
The Gobbler was popular for a time, but it has been closed for many years.
Manesis plans to convert it into a live music venue with stadium seating for 450 to 500. The Gobbler’s rotating bar will remain, but the kitchen will be removed so there will be no food served. Some food might be catered for special events, Manesis said.
The building is “in good shape,” Manesis said. “They’ve taken perfect care of it,” he said. The exterior appearance of the building will remain the same.
The conversion and renovation project will cost about $1 million, said Manesis. He plans to open the facility sometime between Christmas and spring of 2015.
“Around here it’s an icon,” Manesis said.