Sobelman’s Pub & Grill to open in former Schwai’s in Cedar Creek

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A big ‘reveal’ today at the former Schwai’s as Sobelman’s Pub & Grill will be opening soon and taking over the building in Cedar Creek.


For the past 2-and-a-half years property owners Kevin and Amy Zimmer have been working to remodel the space at 3747 Cedar Creek Road; the couple purchased the property in August 2014 with the intention of eventually leasing the space.


Last Thursday, April 28 Dave Sobelman and his family came to Cedar Creek to tour the building.


“I came walking in and all the Sobelmans were there,” said former property owner Tommy Schwai. “I toured them around the building and showed them the bedrooms and Dave said, ‘That’s going to be our office.'”


Sobelman’s is owned by the husband-and-wife team of Dave and Melanie Sobelman. The couple started their first restaurant in 1999 and they were recently featured on the Travel Channel show Food Wars.


Sobelman’s has locations on N. Port Washington Road, W. Wells Street in Milwaukee, and W. St. Paul Street in Milwaukee. The bar / restaurant is known for its burgers and Bloody Marys.


“Last week I gave them some Packer brats, Badger brats, Hungarian brats and some hot sticks,” Schwai said. “Maybe they can add the hot sticks in their Bloody Marys.”


Three generations of Schwai’s owned the property since 1941. There was the Schwai’s Country Store Tavern & Hall along with funerals, fish fries, St. Patrick’s Day blasts, and tiddlywinks tournaments.



Archives at the Washington County Historical Society Research Center show the building dated to the 1800s and was normally home to a saloon, dance hall, and/or hotel. Some of the early names associated with the property include the Bibinger family (1846), A.B. Mueller Hotel and Sample Room (early 1920s), Albert Heidtke (who built a slaughterhouse) and previous owner Peter Gruehl (some spelled it Gruel) who then sold to Joe Schwai Sr.


“Well I think they should call it Sobelman’s,” said Tommy Schwai. “Their name is known all over; I don’t mind if they change it.”


The Sobelman’s franchise will be run by Travis Dowden and his business partner Ben Anderson.



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There’s been a lot of anticipation as neighbors kept an eye on the reopening of the location in Cedar Creek.


Pat Puestow said Sobelman’s name will draw the numbers back to Cedar Creek. “This news is phenomenal,” she said. “Are they going to have Schwai’s brats?? Oh I can’t believe it – this is the best news, it gives me goosebumps! OMG, I never expected that but this is wonderful for Washington County.”


Kevin Zimmer said he was elated with the development. “We think it’s a perfect fit and it’s exactly what will succeed in this location,” he said.


Zimmer is in the final stages of reconstruction with drywall going in.


It’s likely Sobelman’s could open as early as June.


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