Third Ward Melting Pot project gets $700,000 SBA loan

The SBA is guaranteeing a $700,000 loan for a planned Melting Pot restaurant that would be located at 341 N. Milwaukee St.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is guaranteeing a $700,000 loan from the Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corp. for a planned Melting Pot restaurant that would be located in the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee.

The Melting Pot is a Tampa, Fla.-based chain of fondue restaurants. There are more than 140 Melting Pot locations in the U.S., but the only other Melting Pot location in Wisconsin is in Brookfield at 19850 W. Bluemound Road.

Matt Soik, the Melting Pot franchisee that operates the chain’s Brookfield location, is planning to open another location in the former Milwaukee Antique Center building at 341 N. Milwaukee St.

The Melting Pot’s web site indicates that the restaurant in the Third Ward will open during the “winter of 2010.”

The five-story, 43,200-square-foot building in the Third Ward is located at the southwest corner of North Milwaukee Street and East St. Paul Avenue. According to David Stroud, one of the investors that owns the building, Soik plans to purchase a commercial condominium space in the building for the restaurant. However that purchase has not closed yet, Stroud said, and no closing date has been set. Soik is still trying to put together the details of the project, Stroud said. The sale of the space could close within the next 60 days, he said.

Soik could not be reached for comment.

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