Lucky Joe's Alchemy and Eatery, a speakeasy-style bar and restaurant, could open this summer in the space that has housed One Way Cafe for over a decade at 1425 Underwood Ave. in the Wauwatosa Village.
One Way Cafe owner Sandy Haeger said she was looking to "start a new chapter," while likely remaining in the food industry. She stopped operating the cafe earlier this month.
"It's been a great ten years with a great customer base," Haeger said.
As she welcomed Lucky Joe's, Alderwoman Allison Byrne said the community would miss One Way Cafe.
"Thank you for the many wonderful breakfasts," Byrne said. "We wish you a fond farewell."
If permits are approved by the city of Wauwatosa, Lucky Joe's would be owned by a team including Lee Guk and Joe Modl.
Guk, who operates Lucky Joe's Tiki Room in downtown Milwaukee, said he originally wanted to start a tiki bar in Wauwatosa but backed down when he heard about the plans for Wauwatiki.
Guk said the speakeasy environment will be created with a wooden bar, checkered floor, Edison-bulb chandeliers, and booth seating.
"The atmosphere will provide a unique experience, like a throwback to the past," Guk said. "It's going to look really nice but not be pretentious and stuffy."
As planned, Lucky Joe's will provide a variety of cocktails, from the classic Martinis and Manhattans, to tiki drinks and craft originals. It will also serve appetizers and dinner dishes with ingredients sourced from local farmers.
The Lucky Joe's owners are also planning to host theme nights like tiki night or Martini night with related drinks, movies (on mute), and music. Guk said his lease is conditional on soundproofing the building.
Wauwatosa's Government Affairs Committee approved the transfer of a liquor license March 31 from One Way Cafe to Lucky Joe's.
"You won't be the first speakeasy in the Village," Alderman Dennis McBride said. "But you will be the first legal speakeasy."
Guk said he hopes to have Lucky Joe's open in June if the city approves a conditional use permit for the business.
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