Badger Burger Co. going into former Sobelman’s Pub & Grill in Richfield
Remodel is underway at the former Sobelman’s Pub & Grill in Richfield as the new owner, Mark Weiss, prepares to open Badger Burger Co.
“We’re probably going to call it Badger Burger North,” he said. “Our Mukwonago location is 25 minutes to the south; I think that makes the most sense.”
Weiss has been in the restaurant industry since he was 14 years old. “I was a dish washer and worked at the Mexican restaurants cutting onions, cheese and jalapenos in Racine,” he said. “I learned everything and always loved the restaurant business. Then got out of the business for a while and now I’m back in and wanted to expand.”
Weiss was aware of the current climate surrounding opening a business, especially a restaurant.
“I’m not one to back down from a challenge but having a restaurant is crazy to begin with,” Weiss said.
One of the big hooks to opening in Richfield was the historic building. “This is fairly well built and very beautiful,” said Weiss. “My wife Ana loved it the moment we saw it.”
Weiss described the building, as “architecturally perfect.”
“We are going to put in outside seating in the front of restaurant, take down some overgrown trees and bushes hiding the natural beauty of the building, and spruce things up a bit,” he said. “We are going to add a small event room upstairs, add family-friendly booth seating, more open spaces on both floors and the floors are beautiful.”
Weiss was especially impressed with the modern and functional elevator. Badger Burger North will have a menu that matches the south location. Weiss expects to open mid-July.
Groundbreaking announced for Baskin Robbins/Dunkin’ Donuts in West Bend
The last time Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins were in conversation with the City of West Bend was the September 5, 2019 Plan Commission meeting.
Now comes word groundbreaking for the new coffee, donut and ice cream franchise at 1610 W. Washington Street, formerly home to Pizza Hut, will be this week, Wednesday, June 10.
On Monday, June 8 a confirmation note was received.
Good Morning Judy,
I hope your Monday is going well. It is great to hear West Bend is excited to have us open. We are very excited as well to be joining such a great community as West Bend. We are slated to break ground on June 10, 2020. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Have a great rest of the day.
All the best, Louis Lessor
Redevelopment of 1610 W. Washington Street – 2,160 square foot. Property is zoned B-1. Parking – use existing driveway and 21 standard stalls. Required storm water management. Request added signage on west side of building and east side of building. Majority of building is mountain red brick and accents on walls and a cool grey tower. Orange colored awnings. Part of site plan also remove asphalt on east side of the lot.
An October 2020 opening is anticipated, however that can change depending on weather.
Sandy Paws Dog Park opens at Sandy Knoll
Sandy Paws Dog Park located in Sandy Knoll County Park is now open. The new park consists of a small dog area and an 8-acre large dog area featuring open play areas and hiking trails.
A couple of four-legged visitors took their humans for a walk on Friday afternoon. All chimed in with rave reviews about the cleanliness of the park, the trails and even the animal education signs.
Sandy Paws is the second dog park for Washington County Parks fully funded by contributions from the community.
“I toured the new dog park with Curt and Dale Stockhausen,” said County Executive Josh Schoemann. “Without their generous donation, this dog park would not be possible. The Stockhausens’ generosity ensures many more generations will enjoy the park; it was privilege to open this dog park with them. Recreation activities have always been important to our community and are even more critical to our quality of life.”
West Bend-based aviation unit deploying to Middle East this summer
Approximately 35 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s G Company, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation will deploy to the Middle East this summer.
Based in West Bend, the unit will mobilize in support of Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve.
The Wisconsin National Guard continues to maintain a high operations tempo with hundreds of Citizen Soldiers and Airmen deployed overseas including approximately 200 Red Arrow Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry currently serving in Afghanistan and approximately 160 Red Arrow Soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquarters who deployed to Ukraine in fall 2019 where they are overseeing a group of multinational “partner and advise training teams” – or PATTs – based at the International Peacekeeping Security Center in western Ukraine.
Approximately 150 Soldiers from the 829th Engineer Company and another 20 Soldiers from the 924th Engineer Facilities Detachment remain deployed to the Middle East. The 1967th Contracting Team also deployed to the Horn of Africa in the winter.
Approximately 200 troops from the 128th Infantry have returned from Afghanistan over the past two months. The deployments in support of the National Guard’s federal mission overseas come amidst a series of unprecedented Wisconsin National Guard mobilizations in Wisconsin.
More than 1,200 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen continue to support the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 1,500 troops also mobilized in late May in response to requests for assistance from Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine to help preserve public safety and ensure individuals had the ability to peacefully demonstrate.
More than 2,400 troops also mobilized in April to serve as poll workers during the state’s spring election after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a critical shortage of poll workers across the state.
Covid pause affects some construction in West Bend
As groundbreaking is slated to get underway this week for the new Baskin Robbins/Dunkin’ Donuts store in West Bend another project is put on hold.
“We are moving the start of construction of our West Bend projects from 2020 to 2021,” said Troy Mleziva with Kwik Trip.
City Administrator Jay Shambeau said he is not surprised some of the commercial businesses are taking a “pause due to COVID.”
“We do know the Kwik Trips are still a go for 2021… they are just not being constructed in 2020,” he said. “We realize there’s a nationwide pause going on but we’re still fortunate some growth is positive and continuing in West Bend.”
Kwik Trip has three projects pending in the City of West Bend.
Kwik Trip No. 3 is proposed for Paradise Drive and River Road. It’s the location of the former Egbert & Guido’s.
Store No. 4 is at 1610 E. Washington Street at the former Yahr Mobil station.
Kwik Trip No. 5 is the former Fleet Farm location on W. Washington Street.
While Kwik Trip takes a pause in its development there are plenty of projects moving forward in West Bend.
Title Max is getting closer to opening in the former Midas location, 2334 W. Washington Street. The sign for the new business was put in place this week. Some remodeling is still ahead as the store prepares to open later this summer.
Across town on Water Street and S. Forest Avenue there’s visible progress being made on the Marriott TownePlace Suites and the neighboring office complex.
The new 68-suite hotel will feature a pool and an office building that will share the same parking lot.
On the west side of town Cedar Community is in the midst of a large construction project as the new Cedar Ridge Homes are being constructed on Cedar Community’s Cedar Ridge Campus. Eleven new homes are being built with occupancy set for later this year.
The new Milwaukee Tool should be breaking ground on River Road in August 2020.
A couple other projects include the new event center in West Bend, the new Taco Bell on W. Washington Street, and the possibility of a new senior living complex in the old Paradise Springs location. The photo below is from January 6, 1999 when the facility was first built. The assessed value is $1,778,400 and the current asking price is $1.7 million.
July 4 fireworks in City of West Bend may be in jeopardy
The West Bend Parks Department is currently putting together a plan regarding the July 4 fireworks.
Mike Jentsch, Park, Rec and Forestry Director for City of West Bend said they have met several times and are evaluating the Washington County Health Department’s Blueprint to Reopen.
“We’re evaluating everything from public safety to what happens if West Bend and Hartford are the only communities in Washington County to have fireworks? How many people will we see traveling into the community?
“At this point in time we do not have an answer whether we will have fireworks on July 4 or not,” said Jentsch.
The discussion, according to Jentsch, is ongoing between the Parks Department, Police and Fire, city administration and the mayor’s office.
“Right now, our answer is, we don’t know for sure,” Jentsch said.
District 4 alderman Randy Koehler encourages people to contact their district aldermen who will be voting on the issue at the Monday, June 15 meeting. “The Parks Department will make a recommendation and the council will then decide to accept it or move in another direction,” said Koehler.
“At some point in time we have to quit living in fear and move on with life,” said Koehler. “It is time to get back to as near normal as possible. The local fireworks to celebrate the country’s freedom is an important event and I think it should go on as in past years.”
“In Kewaskum the community was a little surprised by the vote but the common council in West Bend is going to vote on its fireworks so contact your elected official and let them know how you feel,” said Koehler.
District 8 alderperson Meghann Kennedy said it is important we hear from people about the issue. “I hope we are able to reevaluate. I know there was hope for the fireworks and hopefully we’ll still do the fireworks even if they don’t do the July 4 parade,” she said.
Kennedy said the parade is up in the air right now as well. “That’s an evolving situation and we want the events to happen; we have to keep in mind is it best for the city,” she said.
Kennedy said she has not seen a spike in COVID-19 cases and personally she is living a life of supporting local businesses. “I’m going to restaurants and I’m not afraid for myself and I’m definitely on team ‘let’s open things up,’” Kennedy said.
A check Wednesday, June 7 of the Washington/Ozaukee Health Department COVID-19 statistics show 37 confirmed cases in 53090 area code and 47 confirmed cases in 53095.
Jentsch said part of the administration discussion is where to hold the fireworks. Normally Riverside Park is used but alternatives are being reviewed. “I’d rather not discuss the site at this point… it’s not a big secret but we just want to make sure what we bring forward is the right choice for West Bend,” he said.
The fireworks are sponsored by Horicon Bank. It is still onboard to support the event. If fireworks are moved to another location, there may be more funding issues on the table.
West Bend Mayor Chris Jenkins said, “I believe it is important for both the morale of the City and as an opportunity for our residents, to carry out this celebration of the birth of our nation. I would be in favor of doing so and have made that known to both staff and the Council. I look forward to having this discussion, and hopefully, moving forward with a plan that allows us to celebrate our Independence Day in whatever fashion that may be.”
New County Highway M bridge now open
The new bridge on County Highway M is now open. The project just south of Highway 33 that runs over the Milwaukee River was completed two months ahead of schedule.
Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann said, “Washington County continues to lead the way to #JustFixIt by implementing our plan which 100% funds the maintenance, resurfacing and reconstruction of all county highways and bridges for the next three decades without raising taxes.”
The County Highway M bridge reopened Friday, June 5.
The bridge project was a united effort involving the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Washington County, and Pheifer Bros. Construction.
The bridge project included improvements to the bridge approaches and replacing the narrow and deteriorating bridge structure originally built in 1952 with a safer and wider bridge that will serve Washington County travelers for several decades.
The bridge was completed using the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s replace in kind policy, which saves taxpayer money by not overbuilding. Construction was completed approximately two months ahead of schedule and under budget.
Updates & Tidbits
- The Museum of Wisconsin Art is preparing to reopen in July.
- Cedar Community is now officially a Great Place to Work certified company by Activated Insights, an independent research and consulting firm. The certification process evaluated more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job, including employee pride in the organization’s community impact, belief that their work makes a difference, and feeling their work has special meaning.
- The Allenton Volunteer Fire Department and American Legion Post 483 announced “due to the COVID-19 virus and the uncertainty ahead, American Legion Post 483, Allenton American Legion Auxiliary and the Allenton Fire Department have decided to cancel the Allenton Picnic August 14 – August 16, 2020. The American Legion Post 483 and Auxiliary along with the Allenton Fire Department have a mission to protect and serve our community. Your safety and the safety of our personnel are more important than our picnic in 2020.”
- The Washington County Farm Bureau held its annual Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Essay Contest this past spring and was open to all 4th and 5th grade students in Washington County.Nearly 50 students entered the contest. Essays were judged on content, grammar, spelling, originality, and creativity and between 100 – 300 words. First place winners receive $50 and $25 was awarded for second and third places. These winners went on to compete at the district level. All winners are from Allenton Elementary School. 1st place: Isabella Kratz, daughter of Rich and Kelly Kratz, 2nd place: Ella Stensaas, daughter of Tyler and Heather Stensaas, and 3rd place: Riley Odenwald, daughter of Brian and Crystal Odenwald
West Bend Sunrise Rotary presents Disaster Response Grant By Mary Beth Seiser
The West Bend Sunrise Rotary made a generous donation to the Albrecht Free Clinic in West Bend this week.
Presenting the check were Rotarians Jon Sacks, Todd Vance and Mary Beth Seiser.
The Rotary Foundation has a Disaster Response Fund. When the coronavirus pandemic began, the foundation set aside $1 million for Disaster Response Grants for districts, maximum $25,000 each, with the goal of enabling clubs to help their local communities combat the virus.
That was quickly dispersed, they added another $2 million, and with the help of donations and an online telethon, they added another $2 million.
To date nearly $5 million has been dispersed and applications are still pending.
(There are more than 500 districts in the world so $5 million would have benefitted 200 districts – the need is still great.)
When this program was announced, several clubs in our district contacted me about applying for one of these grants. We are able to identify four clubs with Covid-19 related projects and filed our application. We were in the queue for about a month, however as more funds became available, we eventually received word we would receive our $25,000 grant. Four clubs in our district are now purchasing and delivering food to those in need, donating to Feeding America, and purchasing face masks, face shields, and other PPE’s for local first responders and fire departments.
The West Bend Sunrise Rotary received one of those grants and is using its share to provide Personal Protective Equipment for the Albrecht Free Clinic. This will include a Splash Guard for the reception area, and face masks and shields for the safety of staff members and clients.
Rotary District 6270 also had funds available from an earlier Rotary Foundation grant and we were able to utilize that money for Covid-19 related projects. Thirteen clubs in Southeastern Wisconsin applied for and received smaller amounts and were able to provide food, PPE’s, and other equipment and devices for their local communities. The Rotary clubs of both West Bend Sunrise and West Bend Noon received funding under that program as well and used the funds to provide care packages to children in the Casa Guadalupe program.
Rotarians are people of action!
Chucky Fellenz of West Bend has died
It is with a heavy heart to announce the passing of Chucky Fellenz of West Bend.
For years Fellenz was a fixture on the corner of Decorah and Main Street in West Bend. He worked two shifts daily during the school year and crossed about 200 kids a day.
“Every day was the best,” said Fellenz. “I loved my corner; there was no sitting in the car reading papers. I had hundreds of kids a day and they come really fast. I never had a kid get hit.”
This past April Chuck celebrated his 80th birthday.
Aside from his dedication and concern for the safety of the children, Fellenz had a penchant for some unique attire. One would have thought he had been dreaming about wintering in Florida as he showed up to work year-round almost always wearing shorts.
Below is a story from March 2016 when Washington County got socked with a late-season snowstorm and Chucky Fellenz dashed out of the house to go to work.
The robins are flitting around the late winter white saying, “What are this?” The hearty purple crocus are pushing their faces through the heavy blanket of ice and Chucky Fellenz wife shakes her head as her little boy leaves the house in a fluorescent lime green jacket, hat and shorts.
“I put my pants away three weeks ago,” said Fellenz with confidence. “I just had a lady roll down her window and yell at me. I hollered back ‘I’m not cold.’”
Fellenz has been working the corner of Decorah and Main as a crossing guard in West Bend about a dozen years and he’s not gonna let Mother Nature tell him what for.
On Wednesday afternoon school kids ducked their heads as they braced against the pelting rain. Traffic moved slowly as windshield wipers pushed away the heavy, damp snow and Fellenz knew enough to stay 2-feet back from the curb.
“These cars come along and they hit that puddle and the water carries up over in a good slosh,” he said.
White chicken legs exposed to the elements, Fellenz gives a sharp blow to his whistle, lifts his stop sign and safely crosses students to the opposite side of Main Street.
He dances back up on the sidewalk, his white tennis shoes soaked. He’s a poster boy for every mother’s winter-wardrobe nightmare.
“My wife bought me a pair of heated gloves,” he said. “I got them on low. Put your hand in here.
“My ears may get a little cold, but the rest of me is just fine.”
Thank you Chucky Fellenz for all your years of service and keeping children safe in West Bend.
Below is a tribute from his niece Tiffany Fellenz.
I’ll miss my uncle Chuckie so much; we all do! We lost him yesterday. 🙁He had the HUGEST infectious smile (third one from rt) with the “Fellenz brothers,” laugh, and cared immensely about his family & friends. ￼When us cousins were small, he always pulled fun pranks on us.
I recall my hamster 🐹 disappearing 😳 only for seconds though ha ha , finding coins behind our ears, and whistles! He was the best whistler. Denise shared a video I posted here. He preferred talking face to face. I recall he was not a fan of the phone.
I have the best countless memories of Christmases when growing up. Visiting my aunt & uncle‘s home & being in our basement celebrating with family.￼ He was the owner of the fondly remembered bar in West Bend, Pitchers Mound and I will forever see that Charlie Brown on the building out front.
We had some good memories there. Uncle Chuck would always beat you in a game of horseshoes. He was pretty good if I recall. He was a proud member of the Moose Lodge in the 70s and 80s, at least that is what I remember. He even received an honorable recognition for his dutiful crosswalk job. He adored children and took pride in doing that. He loved to ride his bike. These are just some of the best memories that I know and have of our dear uncle Chuck. RIP ❤️I’ll walkways remember 🌹you!❤️￼￼
Chuck died Saturday, June 6 just a little after 3 p.m.
Please keep his wife Sally and the Fellenz family in your prayers during this difficult time.