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REAL ESTATE | New bakery/cafe to open in old Hemauer Paint store in downtown West Bend, WI

West Bend, WI – A new bakery/cafe is opening in the triangle building at 136 S. Main Street in West Bend, Wi.

The name of the business is Guíe’ Sicaju’ Bakery & Cafe. “The name is basically ‘beautiful flower,” said owner Ruben Hernandez.

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It was November 2023 when Hernandez opened Sabor a Mezcal Fusion Bar and Grill, at 111 N. Main Street. 

Hernandez said they will use the oven at the restaurant to help make the bread and bakery for the cafe.

Aside from bakery, Hernandez said they will also serve coffee and breakfast sandwiches. They expect the bakery/cafe will be open Tuesday through Sunday.

So far, Hernandez is still working with architects on the plan.  An opening timeline will be announced shortly.

On a history note:

As another business prepares to move into 136 S. Main Street we take a look back to the 1930s and what used to be at the triangle building which once used to be home to Hemauer’s Paint Store. We asked for some input regarding other buildings pictured along the west side of the street from the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Main Street down to Kilbourn Avenue.

Archives in the Research Center at the Washington County Historical Society indicate a man named P.W. Harns built the Hemauer building in the 1890s. Back then it was called the Harns building.

P.W. Harns ran the monument works across the street on Fifth Avenue.

Though the early years the Harns building was home to various barber shops. John Wendelborn opened his barber shop in 1892. He sold the shop in 1907 to Fred Riemer.

Teddy Holtebeck bought the building from B.C. Ziegler in 1911 and ran Teddy’s Barber Shop. A newspaper ad in the archives at the WCHS features a black-and-white photo of the building with three people standing on the front steps by the triangle.

The ad reads: ‘Teddy Holtebeck The Barber First-class work guaranteed. Give us a trial. Baths hot and cold any time of the day.’

“You could get hot baths for 25 cents,” said Carl ‘Kracker’ Kircher, a life-long West Bender who grew up across the street at his parent’s bakery, Schlegel’s Bakery, and then Apple Barrel General Store.

 

Kircher was a kid in the 1940s. He remembered “running hamburger buns from the bakery to the Dugout Tavern” across the street from the Harns building.

Kircher recalled how the front steps of the old Harns building once served as a political pulpit for Julius ‘The Just’ Heil who ran for Governor in 1939 and won.

“He stood on the corner campaigning and Golden Gill, he used to drink a little bit, he worked at the Gehl Company and was talking loud about how they were let out of work to hear Julius ‘The Just’ Heil,” said Kircher.

To the south of Teddy’s Barber Shop was a parcel business called the Railroad Express run by Georgie Mooers.

To the south of that was Kuester’s Garage run by Herman Kuester. “They used to bring cars up over the sidewalk and the curb here,” said Kircher pointing to the photo and adding “they sold Whippets” which was a vehicle noted for its ‘finger-tip control.’

Sam Moser’s Triangle Tap, also known as Muggle’s, was just south of Kuester’s.

Over the years the tavern frequently changed to places like Larry’s Tap and Konstantyn’s run by Kons Sadownikow.

Kircher said he was often sent to retrieve beer at Sam Moser’s Tavern, Klassen Stop & Go In, or Turk’s Oasis, next to the old Roeckel building.

Other businesses came and went including the Motor Grinding shop owned by Joe Strenke and Ollie Klemp who had a shop where they rewound electric motors.

Phillip Heipp ran Heipp General Store on the northwest corner of Main and Walnut Streets. Later Charlie Heipp took over.

In 1950 Harold Mehring opened the Port Fish Mart in the front portion of the General Store facing Main St.

Charlie Heipp continued to run the grocery in the back portion of the building facing Fifth Avenue.

Several years later the Port Fish Mart took over the entire building and changed the name to Mehring’s Fishery.

Jerry’s Super Service was the gas station on the southwest corner of Main and Walnut Streets, currently home to Westbury Bank.

South of the station Joe Kirsch had a saddle shop; Kirsch eventually went on to become Washington County Sheriff.

Further down the street, at the corner of Kilbourn Avenue and Main Street, there was a small residence occupied by a member of the Weinert family and on the triangle, point was the Reisse Paint Store; a building originally built by the Fink brothers after the Civil War in the late 1870s.

In later years, behind Reisse Paint was the Klinka Olds Agency and then Schwartzburg Olds: today it’s Bits ‘n’ Pieces Floral.

The traffic light, just north of Main and Walnut, was the first in the city of West Bend. Kircher said it dated to 1915 and controlled traffic coming off Water Street, which has since been rerouted to hook up with Walnut St.

With the town population in the 1930s and 1940s between 2,500 and 3,000, Kircher said it was often they were up to some foolishness on the block, like the time he walked on stilts from the bakery to Jack Kullman’s Tavern, now Brazen Head Pub, 147 N. Main St.

“Jack had a place on the sidewalk where you could open a metal door and throw beer barrels down in the basement and I’ll never forget I walked all the way there on my stilts and I’m standing on that door, stomping around and making a lot of racket and guess who comes flying out of the place but Jack Kullman.

“He’s yellin’ and reaming me out and I was like, alright get off it man,” said Kircher laughing about memories of the good ole days.

Lohr’s Meat Market – Another history photo is John Lohr’s Meat Market, also known as West Bend Meat Market, dates to 1897. Do you know where that building stood and what’s currently at that location?

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