Wahlburgers to open restaurant in Third Ward

Will occupy space in former Jennaro Bros. building

Jennaro Bros. building at 322 N. Broadway

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:21 pm

Wahlburgers is planning its second restaurant in the Milwaukee area, today announcing plans for a location in the Historic Third Ward.

Jennaro Bros. building at 322 N. Broadway

According to a news release, a 5,300-square-foot Wahlburgers restaurant will be located in the Jennaro Bros. building at 322 N. Broadway, and will open in late 2019.

The announcement comes less than two months after Wahlburgers, the Hingham, Mass.-based burger chain owned by chef Paul Wahlberg in partnership with his two brothers, actors Mark and Donnie, announced it would open its first Wisconsin location at The Corners of Brookfield in late summer.

Similar to the Brookfield location, the Milwaukee Wahlburgers will be operated by West Des Moines, Iowa-based supermarket chain Hy-Vee Inc. This would be the fifth location operated by the grocery chain.

“Families will have a great time, and hopefully share a lot of laughs and love when they enjoy my family’s delicious recipes at our new Milwaukee Wahlburgers location,” Wahlberg said in the release. “Along with Hy-Vee, our family is committed to offering a unique culinary experience that goes beyond the basic burger, with customer service that will make you ‘feel’ like family.”

Hy-Vee is leasing the space from Joseph Property Development LLC, which recently redeveloped the four-story building into offices and first-floor retail space. Redevelopment efforts included adding a fifth floor, which consists of 5,800 square feet of office space and a 750-square-foot private deck, said Robert Joseph, founder of Joseph Property Development.

Joseph said Hy-Vee reached out to his group in late 2018 about leasing the space for a Wahlburgers restaurant.

“We were very excited right away,” he said. “We knew that was a perfect match for the neighborhood and area.”

Nexus Solutions is the first announced office tenant for that building. The Maple Grove, Minnesota-based facilities planning firm leased the fourth floor, occupying about 6,600 square feet. The company moved into that space in late 2018.

Joseph said the third and fifth floors are also spoken floor, but did not name the tenants. This leaves only the roughly 6,300 square feet of space on the second floor available for lease.

“Joseph Property Development is excited to welcome Wahlburgers to our family of tenants and we are thrilled to have them anchor this recently restored landmark 1914 Commission Row warehouse,” said Nathan Bernstein, director of commercial real estate with Joseph Property Development. “The Wahlburgers in Milwaukee’s Third Ward will enhance and complement the strong food scene in the city and will be a great destination for all residents and visitors to the Third Ward.”

Wahlburgers currently operates 29 restaurants in 19 states and Canada. In 2017, Hy-Vee announced plans to build, own and operate 26 Wahlburgers restaurants. Its first three Wahlburgers locations opened in 2018 at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota; West Des Moines, Iowa; and Olathe, Kansas.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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