For years, Jon Gustavson had an idea.
An ardent actor in assorted chili and barbeque cook-offs, Gustavson capital to accompany the abstraction of a true, Southwest-style barbeque restaurant to Milwaukee. But afore he did so, he capital aggregate to be perfect.
Now, with the aperture of The Durango Grill, 1007 N. Old World 3rd St., Gustavson thinks things are perfect.
Durango brings a “touch of the West” to a artery lined with altered dining options like German, Italian and accepted American bar fare.
Located in the amplitude aforetime active by Capone’s and, afore that, Taj Majal, Durango boasts a baby but aged card of barbeque classics, like brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, forth with ambrosial chili and wings.
For Gustavson, it’s all about the quality. He buys bounded meats from Usinger’s and Kissinger’s. The rolls appear from Scorinto Bakery on Brady Street. And what’s not purchased, like the assorted sauces, glazes and marinades, is all fabricated in-house.
“Hidden Valley makes agronomical dressing,” Gustavson says. “We booty the capacity and go from there.”
To achieve the barbeque angle out, Gustavson brought in what he considers an able in Andy Jebsen, w acclaimed name in the barbeque association and champ of abundant cook-offs and championships.
“Doing barbeque at this scale, compared to at home or competitions, is actual different,” Gustavson says. “He does a lot for us as far as accepting us up to acceleration quickly.”
Durango prides itself on its pricing, too. Despite the arduous efforts of advancing about aggregate from scratch, alone two card items – the 1/3rd arbor of ribs ($10.95) and adornment bowl ($14.95) – are priced aloft $10. Plus, barter are advised to acceptable portions.
“You’re not activity to go home hungry,” Kuta says. Gustavson echos the sentiment: “You’re either abrogation blimp or with a doggie bag.”
Both men were complex with the Three bistro and accept had to acclimatize to a altered clip and agenda at their new endeavor.
“There are still things I don’t accept and that I don’t know,” Gustavson says. “But I assassin bodies that were bigger than me at those things.
Back architecture his staff, he assassin servers who had been accomplished in restaurants endemic and operated by the Bartolottas or Sandy D’Amato. The kitchen agents consists with advisers who aforetime formed for added acclaimed restauranteurs like the Weissgerber ancestors or Omar Shaikh of Carnivore and Umami Moto.
“It’s accurate to be a acceptable choice,” Gustavson says.
Durango is aboriginal and foremost a restaurant but has additionally been accomplishing a advancing bar business, abnormally late-nights and afterward contest at the Bradley Center or U.S. Cellular Arena. Kuta sees abounding bodies advancing for dinner, afresh either blockage for the black or abiding afterward a bold and spending the butt of the night at the bar.
There, too, Gustavson and Kuta bare to achieve adjustments. While both had cogent acquaintance alive abaft the bar at Three, confined drinks at a bistro is actual altered than accomplishing so at a restaurant-driven bar.
Again, the two looked for applicants with experience.
“I bare absolute bartenders who can ability a acceptable booze and do it the aforementioned way every time,” Gustavson says.
In acknowledgment to the bar’s success, Gustavson affairs to access the alternative of accessible whiskeys and tequilas, afresh abacus to Durango’s Western flair.
In March, Gustavson and Kuta plan to extend their kitchen hours until 4 a.m., abacus to late-night dining options for Downtown association and bar patrons. To achieve this, while still befitting on the appropriate ancillary of bounded booze sales ordinances, the bar breadth will be bankrupt off from the central while a additional storefront will be opened for aliment sales.
“What you can eat backward at night isn’t consistently absolutely acceptable food,” Kuta says. “Here, you’ll be able to get aerial affection aliment at a abundant price. It’s not activity to breach the coffer to appear and get a brisket sandwich afterwards a night out.”
Kuta is a big fan of Durango’s area and its adjacency to the Bradley Center and added Downtown attractions.
“I anticipate it’s the best admirable artery in Milwaukee,” says Kuta.
A check to Durango’s area is a abridgement of accessible – and oftentimes, affordable – parking. On accident nights, parking in adjacent lots can amount as abundant as $20 or more. To advice accumulate bodies advancing through the doors, Durango will booty $5 off a customer’s bill back presenting a parking lot ticket.
Added than that, though, things are activity appealing able-bodied for the business.
“People absolutely adore the food,” Gustavson says. “We’re advantageous that things are falling into abode for us.”
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