For most of the first decade he was in business, Dave Sobelman focused on making great burgers. Then one day he posted a photo to Facebook with a slider as a garnish on a Bloody Mary. It was partially a joke to suggest maybe he’d gone too far, but instead, the idea of offering extravagant over-the-top Bloody Marys took off. Today, Sobelman’s restaurant location at 1900 W. St. Paul Ave. in Milwaukee will serve 40 to 80 Bloody Marys on a weekday, 80 to 100 on a Friday and 275 to 325 on weekend days. The total tops 400 on some summer days, and big events like a Brewers-Cubs series will bolster sales. Selling hundreds of drinks with elaborate garnishes requires lots of prep work for Sobelman’s staff.
A completed “The Classic” Sobelmans Bloody Mary. Other versions include a cheeseburger slider, bacon-wrapped cheese balls or even a whole fried chicken.
Blanca Sanchez sprays celery hearts used for garnish. Sobelman had to search for a vendor that would provide hearts instead of stalks.
Pickled mushrooms and Brussels sprouts are supplied by Bay View Packing Co. and prepped earlier in the week.
Bay View Packing, located next door to the Sobelman’s restaurant on West St. Paul Avenue, also supplies pickled Polish sausage for garnish.
Sanchez skewers bacon-wrapped cheese balls. Staff preps hundreds of them each week.
Each Classic Bloody Mary includes a variety of garnishes, including lemon wedges.