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REAL ESTATE | New Mexican restaurant set to open on N. Main Street in West Bend, Wi

November 6, 2023 – West Bend, Wi – A new Mexican restaurant is preparing to have a soft open in the coming days at 111 N. Main Street. Take a sneak and peek inside the new…
Sabor A Mezcal Bar & Grill will be opening in the lower level of the Murphy & Prachthauser / Baird building; it is taking the spot of the former Copper River Bar & Grill.

Ruben Hernandez, 44, is the owner. He got his start in the restaurant industry in 1995 at Johnny Rockets restaurant in Santa Monica, California; the trendy spot served hamburgers and shakes.  After moving to Wisconsin in 2017, Hernandez worked in an establishment on the south side of Milwaukee and recently decided to strike out on his own.

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“People think of Mexican food as just rice, beans, tacos and burritos but we’re going to bring fusion with a Mexican and American menu.”


Hernandez gave the example of Pozole which is a broth and full of flavo. “It’s like a soup but totally different with pork and chicken,” he said.

Hernandez said they will also make all their own pastry. “All of our desserts and breads and our sourdough will all be made in house,” he said. “For our soup we will have a sourdough ball.”

“We’re going to be different because of the Mezcal,” he said.

Mezcal is an “agave-based spirit, and tequila,” primarily made in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where Hernandez grew up. 

“I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico,” said Hernandez. “I will be bringing a variety of those culinary specialties to the area.

“We are going to have consistency with our food,” he said. “Not just any meat or any ribeye; our culture is going to be to be there for our guests.”

Part of the culture, for Hernandez, is that people who visit the restaurant are guests and not customers.

“When people say ‘customers’ it’s like thinking of money. I think of our guests as guests, like someone who comes to our house and we’re going to value them.”

Sabor A Mezcal Bar & Grill will be open for lunch and dinner and Hernandez is hoping to add Sunday brunch. “You have to see it,” he said. “Like our crème brûlée with Mezcal.”

Sabor A Mezcal will employ a dozen people and is looking to grow.

A grand opening will be December 1, 2023.

Below is some history on the location on N. Main Street.

August 2022 – Copper River Bar and Grill, LLC, 111 N. Main Street, West Bend, WI has moved into the former Oaken Hogg location and is making great strides towards opening in mid-August.


Tracey Serwatt, owns the building with his wife, Rebecca. “As building owners, we are truly invested in the development of Downtown and are very excited about all the improvements the city is doing to Main Street and the riverwalk,” he said.

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“We hope to create a unique casual dining experience that has a great atmosphere and offers beautiful outdoor seating, overlooking the river.”

Murphy & Prachthauser
Copper River
Future event space at Copper River

During a tour Serwatt showed how he gutted the space and was making headway with upgrades such as an ADA compliant bathroom and more functional space with an entrance off the riverwalk. “Right after July 4th the whole west side of the riverwalk will be knocked out,” Serwatt said.

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Serwatt has partnered with local chef Katie Pozorski and plans to open the bar and grill along with an event center. Neighbors will be familiar with Pozorski as she previously worked at Wallace Lake Supper Club and Sysco.

“We will have a menu that is inspired by our local farmers market and beautiful location on the river,” said Pozorski. “While having local favorites, we will bring urban inspired options to West Bend.”

Wendy Wendorf

Tracey Serwatt started in the restaurant industry working at Champs, a chain restaurant in Brookfield, and then at Tunes and later Club Baja in Germantown.

Interior of Copper River – a work in progress

“The location has been completely gutted. All new plumbing, all new electrical, we’re putting a large investment into the property to open a new venue,” said Serwatt.

Another big part of the business will be the patio seating along the riverwalk. “We’ll have roughly 15 tables; it’ll be fenced in,” Serwatt said.

Serwatt and his wife said this venture along with the theme, “Copper River is something downtown West Bend really hasn’t seen before.”

Barring any supply chain shortages, Serwatt is planning to open the second week in August 2022. Stay tuned, the new menu will be released shortly.

On a history note: How many restaurants/organizations/businesses can you name that were in the lower level of 111 N. Main Street.  I’ll start: Chamber of Commerce, Muddy’s on Main, Cafe Soeurette…

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