Looking for a bite to eat after the Brewers’ Opening Day game against the Colorado Rockies? Ryan Braun might have just the place.
According to an investor working with Braun on the project, Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Grill will soon take over the space currently occupied by Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant, 102 N. Water St. in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward. Madison-based lawyer Patrick Sweeney said he finalized a lease on Monday, and the aggressive plan is to open to the public by Monday, April 5.
But Braun’s agent, Nez Balelo of Creative Artists Agency, cautioned that the deal was not quite final.
Situated along the Milwaukee River, the space in question has seating for 275 including a huge outdoor patio with room for about 110 diners. The menu will feature fresh seafood in addition to steaks and chops, chicken, pastas, individual pizzas, sandwiches and hamburgers and kids fare. The wine list includes private-label, Italian-style wines licensed to Braun. Valet parking would be available.
Braun has been dipping his toes into the restaurant business since last summer, when he signed on with Sweeney’s group to open Ryan Braun’s Tavern and Grill in Lake Geneva, Wis. Progress is continuing slowly at that location, Sweeney said, though it will not be ready to open by the start of the baseball season.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee opportunity presented itself within the last month. It requires less build-out, though Sweeney conceded that the proposed schedule is aggressive.
“Very,” Sweeney said. “But these things have been in the works for almost a year, so we can pull it off.”
Braun has been personally involved in both projects. Assuming the deal goes through, he plans to spend some time at the restaurant this summer.
“I think I’ll be there all the time,” Braun said. “I’m really excited about it. I think we’ll get some good buzz at the beginning, but then it becomes about great service and quality food. That has to be what it is all about, and that’s why I associated myself with people with experience who know what they’re doing.”
Sweeney has been equally impressed with the young entrepreneur.
“Any time you have a deal like this where you license someone’s name and likeness, they get to sign off on various things, and what has impressed me is the way his input has gone from, ‘OK, that’s fine,’ to, ‘I think we should do it like this instead,'” Sweeney said. “His intelligence sort of caught me off-guard. This is an impressive kid.”
And a busy one. Braun is involved in a number of off-field ventures including a clothing company, Remetee, and a line of baseball bats from Sam Bat that bear his initials and uniform number.