Courtesy of Sobelman's
Yes, things get a bit ridiculous at Sobelman's sometimes.
Sobelman's Pub & Grill, the goofy Milwaukee restaurant famous for its burgers, fried cheese curds and over-the-top bloody marys, has its eye on expansion to another city: St. Louis.
And while you may not think you've heard of the concept, don't be too sure. In fact, unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen photos of Sobelman's bloody marys: glasses of vodka and tomato juice topped with increasingly ludicrous garnishes from sausages to sliders. They started as a joke, says owner Dave Sobelman, but they quickly became an online sensation.
Of the cheeseburger garnishes, he says, "We put it on Facebook as a joke, but the following weekend, people came in wanting a slider!"
"I'm very serious about food and my ingredients," he adds. "But we're in the business o
Photo courtesy of Sobelman's
Dave Sobelman (right) with wife Melanie.
f entertaining people more than feeding people. People have fun at Sobelman's."
Sobelman is himself a St. Louis native — he grew up near the Hyde Park neighborhood of Old North
. But his parents split when he was nine, and his mother took him with her when she moved to Milwaukee. He's made regular return visits to Missouri, but has been a Wisconsin resident ever since.
Today Sobelman's Pub & Grill has grown to three different locations, all in Milwaukee, including one smack-dab on the Marquette campus. Sobelman has decided to explore the possibility of franchising, though he cautions it isn't as always fun and cheeseburger-topped bloody marys. "This business is a lot more tough than it looks," he says. "It's been a very tough 17 years. Now, if you hang in there 15 years, you'll have a really good living, a whole lot of fun — but there's also days where you will be miserable."
People interested in knowing more should check out Sobelman's website
. And he's hoping that means you, the RFT reader: At this point, he's only looking at Chicago and St. Louis.
Chicago, he thinks, could support a few Sobelman's. But it's St. Louis that would really mean something.
"If I could just get one in St. Louis," he says, "that would be great. That would be like, 'Wow, I've really done something special."
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