The Sorges in 2000 launched Hospitality Democracy, which now operates Onesto, Swig, Blue Bat Kitchen, Smoke Shack, AJ Bombers and Holey Moley Doughnuts, all located in downtown Milwaukee.
In 2011, a majority portion of the business was purchased by Milwaukee-based Marcus Investments, allowing Hospitality Democracy to grow and open more restaurants. The investment firm will take over full operations when the Sorges officially depart by late summer.
“We’ve had a very successful seven-year run as a result of our partnership with Marcus Investments in Hospitality Democracy, and Angie and I felt that the timing was right to venture out on our own again,” said Joe Sorge.
SideWork will advise nationally-based hospitality operators in creating and opening new concepts.
“We absolutely love the restaurant industry and are excited to advise others in their endeavors and continue to satisfy our entrepreneurial spirit with the new consulting firm,” Angie Sorge said. “We’ve been proactively training our key management team leaders over the last year to ensure the smoothest possible succession.”
The Sorges' have been transitioning out of the company since the beginning of this year and, Angie said, they expect the restaurants will continue to succeed under the Marcus family's leadership.