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0758, 28 Apr 18

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Don Ramon Mexican Restaurant coming to West Bend

There’s a new restaurant opening in West Bend. Don Ramon Mexican Restaurant will be opening this summer in the former Mother’s Day location, 501 Wildwood Road in West Bend.

“We’ve been in Mayville since 2011 and we’ve been chasing West Bend since then,” said owner Felix Sanchez.

Some of the places he considered included the former Ponderosa building, soon to be Pizza Ranch and the old Pizza Hut restaurant, which closed in February 2016.

“We have a lot of customers right now from West Bend,” said Sanchez. “People come from Slinger and Jackson and we looked at other buildings but some were overpriced.”

Sanchez signed a contract two weeks ago with Sam Fejzuli, owner of Mother’s Day.

Fejzuli purchased the former Dairy Queen property in May 2015. That building has been in foreclosure since January 2014. Two short years later Fejzuli closed his restaurant in October 2017. Fejzuli said he had trouble getting employees and “keeping everybody happy.”

Don Ramon has a large menu. “We’re authentic Mexican, tacos are our specialty and we marinate and cut our own meat,” said Sanchez.

With a background in the restaurant industry Sanchez said he started his career when he was 16 years old. “I was in bigger cities like Lexington, Kentucky and Illinois and Minnesota,” he said. “I then opened in a small town in Mayville and we’ve been able to build a family here.”

Now 35 years old, Sanchez employs 13 people. Don Ramon is expected to open in West Bend on July 1.

Opening-day schedule for new restaurants in West Bend

There are quite a few new establishments opening in West Bend and someone asked for a list on the locations and when they’re opening.

The most anticipated opening is for Pizza Ranch, 2020 W. Washington Street. That word came down Thursday that the restaurant will open May 21.

The neighboring McDonald’s on W. Washington Street is open in the drive-thru but the lobby is closed for an interior remodel. That will reopen May 12… or there about.

The old Dublin’s will reportedly open in August. The building at 110 Wisconsin Street is going through an interior remodel and plans are on the table to add a second story outdoor patio.

Eaton’s Fresh Pizza will open in July at 803 E. Paradise Drive. Click HERE for more details.

Firehouse Subs will open in June at 1733 S. Main Street in West Bend.

This week was the first to tell you about Don Ramon Mexican Restaurant coming to West Bend.  Owner Felix Sanchez said he will open in the former Mother’s Day location, 501 Wildwood Road. Most likely that will be a June opening.

And coming up this summer watch for a major remodel of the McDonald’s on S. Main Street which includes getting rid of the indoor playground and the Galactic theme.

As far as Ries’ Sausage Plus reopening… that’s going to take a while. Stay tuned!

The Barbershop a Hair Salon for Men is opening in West Bend

The Barbershop a Hair Salon for Men will open next month in West Bend, 2028 S. Main Street.

This will be our 50th location,” said owner Todd Degner.

It was 13 years ago when Degner, 50, and his wife Shannon opened their first location. “We were basically the new kids on the block. We were a male-centric salon designed specifically for men. It’s something that straddles between a traditional barbershop and a salon,” Degner said.

“We have a comfortable, timeless look and feel that’s the same for men and boys and grandpas and students and millionaires.”

Degner said what makes The Barbershop different is its commitment to employees. “Thirteen years ago when I started researching the industry I found it’s really the employee base in the salon industry has been exploited and commoditized,” Degner said. “So right from the get go we created a foundation built around excellent employees and we’re going to attract and retain the best people in the industry.”

Degner said the way they do that is through a set of benefits and professional atmosphere.

“Our team of stylists and barbers have comprehensive health care benefits, dental, vision, company-matching 401K, sick benefits and maternity benefits that’s really becoming a benchmark in the industry because of us.”

Degner is an IT and consulting guy in his previous life. In 2009 he retired and committed himself full time to The Barbershop.

While never one to get behind the business end of a scissors or razor, Degner does recall some memorable haircuts from his youth.

“When I was a kid my dad would whip out the clippers and give us what we called ‘the heiney,’” he said. “It was basically a flat top but really he took our hair down to the skin. The minute school was out that was our look for summer.”

Degner remembers his father taking him to a small barbershop in Rhinelander called ‘Doug’s Barbershop.’

“The barber’s name was Mr. Walters and he was my dad’s barber and then mine and I just remember the vibe and the smells and the sounds and the magazines and the conversations and that really is what inspired me to bring that sort of tradition back,” he said.

“One of the more satisfying things for us is just seeing that community in each of our shop and seeing people talk to each other, one-on-one, and not texting or being on the phone.”

Degner is looking to open prior to Memorial Day; a build out is currently underway. Other locations in Wisconsin include Fond du Lac, Wausau, Stevens Point, Sheboygan and Manitowoc.

New restaurant open at Shalom Wildlife Zoo

There’s a rustic feel to the new Grizzly Grill at Shalom Wildlife Zoo, 1901 Shalom Drive in West Bend. The new restaurant opens Saturday, April 28. It’s part of the zoo’s Arbor Day celebration that includes tree planting.

On Friday afternoon we got a sneak peek inside the new eatery and a first look at the new menu. While staff were pleased to show off the new place they talked highlight of the restaurant addition, the family-friendly atmosphere and they reassured everyone there would not be bear or hasenpfeffer on the menu.

The food selection is affordable with most items $10 and below. There are recommendations, from the animals at Shalom of course, including Lewis’s Favorite Southwest Burger and Elk’s Favorite a garden salad. Clark’s Favorite is listed as a Western Burger and Fox’s Favorite is a hot dog. There are both hot and cold selections along with extras including the traditional Wisconsin cheese curds, a healthy fruit cup and even a kid’s menu.

One of the fun things at the Grizzly Grill is the ‘no waste’ policy as there’s a huge collection pot for garbage. If you can’t finish your meal toss the remains in the pot and they will be fed to the animals who eagerly welcome leftovers. The Grizzly Grill opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.

Kettle Moraine Symphony to perform with UW-WC Moraine Chorus

On Sunday, May 6, UW-WC’s Moraine Chorus, the Kettle Moraine Symphony, and three soloists will be collaborating in a performance of Haydn’s oratorio The Creation. The spring concert begins at 3 p.m. at Holy Hill, 1525 Carmel Road in Hubertus.  Tickets are $18 Adult, $15 Senior and $5 Student with ID.

On Sunday, May 13, the Moraine Symphonic Band will present a concert in the campus theatre at 3 p.m.  The band will perform Children’s March by Percy Grainger, Robert Jager’s Third Suite, October by Eric Whitacre and other well-known works for band. The concert is free and open to the public.

Police investigate reports of fraudulent activity on credit/debit cards

April 27, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – On Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27 several citizens in West Bend reported fraudulent activity on their credit cards and debit accounts.

These victims have accounts at numerous area banks. All of the victims are still in possession of their credit and debit cards. The West Bend Police Department is investigating to determine where and how the victims’ information was compromised.

The West Bend Police Department encourages residents to pay close attention to their financial accounts at all times, and to report all incidents of Fraud and Identity Theft to the West Bend Police Department.

Washington County Sheriff’s Captain Bruce Theusch said one woman reported some fraudulent activity on Thursday. The woman was from the Village of Richfield and her credit card was used at the Walmart in Germantown.

Janiece Maxwell is owner of Mad Max and the BP in West Bend. “We’ve had no problems at all and we do checks of the gas pumps on a consistent basis and we have had no skimmers,” said Maxwell.

A skimmer allows a thief to retrieve credit card and PIN numbers with a wireless device. According to  “These devices connect directly to the pump’s power supply, and include a Bluetooth chip that enables thieves to retrieve the stolen data wirelessly — just by pulling up to the pump and opening up a laptop.”

Maxwell was particularly upset about “fake news reports that identified her station and others in town.”

“One of the things the fake news said was that there was a skimmer on our ATM and that’s so funny because I’m the only one that has keys to the ATM so there’s no possible way to get in and somebody would have to get in the store and put the skimmer in while our employees are here,” Maxwell said. “That’s not happening.”

Pat Osowski is owner of the Shell stations in West Bend. He said they too do regular pump checks and they have backup security to make sure there’s no tampering. “We put a sticker on it that has a number so if somebody would go in there they would have to break that seal so we would notice if someone was in there,” he said.

Scott Sadownikow owns the Citgo in Barton and the BP on the east end of Highway 33 and he said the police have not contacted him and they have top-notch security measures in place. “I’ve even gone so far as to intentionally place larger stickers on the pumps so customers can see them,” he said.

Sadownikow said his station employees conduct daily checks and there are tamper-proof labels on the pumps. He said they’ve had no incidents at his gas station outlets.

One woman in West Bend is reportedly working with police after she said her debit card was “hacked for the second time this month.” Police are reviewing transactions with the card and working with area banks.

West Bend Police Lt. Paul Pokorski said they’ve made contact with area banks. He said they are investigating and he admits they don’t know if a skimmer device is even involved at this point.

Rotarians plant trees on Arbor Day

Members of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary and West Bend Noon Rotary put the business end of a shovel to use on Sunday planting trees at Lac Lawrann. The event was all part of Earth Day.

Later the week the folks at Lac Lawrann considered a new way to remove the invasive species buckthorn. One of the growing trends is to bring in goats.

According to an article in The Growler, “Not only do goats love the taste of buckthorn and burdock, but these plants also tend to grow at a goat’s eye level, right where they browse for a snack.”

There’s still quite a bit of work to do if goats are brought to the local nature conservancy. They would not be allowed to freely roam; fencing would have to be put in place and then adjusted to spread out the grazing territory. Stay tuned!

Holy Angels School is a finalist for Innovations in Catholic Education

Holy Angels School, in West Bend, was recently recognized by the publishers of Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine at the annual National Catholic Educational Association’s convention in Cincinnati. Holy Angels was one of three finalists for the Innovations in Catholic Education (ICE) award presented by the magazine for innovations in curriculum.  The award was presented for the unique World Languages Program at Holy Angels which includes Spanish, German, and Chinese.

In order to prepare students for a multi-cultural interdependent society, Holy Angels School supports the importance of offering a sequential program of study in world culture and language. Several outcomes of the program at Holy Angels include: 1) the ability to communicate in a second or third world language, with emphasis on the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills; 2) an awareness of and appreciation for God’s gift of diversity in other cultures; and 3) provision for the option of advanced placement in the high school world language program for those students who choose to continue in a world language. A basic belief that a world language program is important for everyone mandates that the program be part of the regular school curriculum, at all grades, for all students.

As much as possible, the study of world language/culture correlates with other areas of the curriculum, such as social studies. Therefore, world language is considered to be both an extension of other areas of curriculum and a curriculum in its own right.

Students in grades kindergarten through grade five receive instruction in German, Spanish and Chinese language and culture on a rotating trimester schedule. Students in grades six through eight concentrate on one of the world languages for three years. This language is chosen prior to sixth grade placement. By the end of eighth grade, it is possible for students to complete the equivalency of level one at the high school, in their respective language. The program has been a part of the Holy Angels curriculum for more than 25 years.

Updates & tidbits

Signs of summer cropping up in my yard. How about you? I find the crocus are so small and colorful and mighty to be able to weather the cool nights.

– On Saturday, May 19, 2018 the Slinger Area Music Booster Association (SAMBA) will be holding its 12th Annual Chicken Dinner at Veteran’s Memorial Park-Pavilion, in Allenton. It is SAMBA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

-Friends of West Bend Park & Rec are inviting companies to host their company summer party at either the West Bend Biergarten, Regner Fest and German Night. Contact Lori Yahr for more information at

– Mai Fest is coming to Friedenfeld Park in Germantown on May 18, 19 and 20. There will be fantastic beers, fabulous music and dancing and good old-fashioned fun. There will be food from Schwai’s Fish Friday (Friday night only), Germantown Kiwanis Club, Brats, Frankfurters, Hamburgers, and Potato Pancakes. Come enjoy the fun.

-The Downtown West Bend Association is gearing up for the 6th annual Banner ArtWalk. Fifty hand-painted banners will be on display at the Museum of Wisconsin Art on Saturday, May 12.

– The 31st annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is at Gehring View Farms this year, 4630 Highway 83 in Hartford. The host family will be Eugene and Christine Gehring and their family Derik, Jordan and Emily. This year’s Breakfast will be Saturday, June 9, rain or shine.

-American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will hold a brat fry Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 11, 12 and 13 at the corner of Washington Street and 15th Avenue in West Bend. Hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

– “Logan’s Laps for Love” is May 26 starting at 9 a.m. at Hartford High School track. All money raised will go to the Love for Logan Fund at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin


0758, 28 April 2018


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