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Places: Brown Deer Village

Photos by Dan Bishop

June 2014

River Lane Inn

A century ago, Brown Deer’s original village center, a triangular area surrounded by railroad tracks to the west, Green Bay Road to the east and Brown Deer Road to the north, was the hub of the community, humming with basic services like a barber shop, grocery store, ice cream parlor and service garage.

But as strip malls and big box stores cropped up along Brown Deer Road, the historic neighborhood, with its quaint mix of older storefronts and traditional bungalows, faded into the background.

Now, with the recent completion of a $3 million streetscaping project, Brown Deer hopes to bring this hidden community gem front and center once again. Along with new roads and infrastructure, the area received a cosmetic makeover, including gateway signs, a historical plaza and brick crosswalks.

Kurt Schultz Deli and Restaurant

Anchoring the original village in a turn-of-the-century building at 4313 W. River Lane is the River Lane Inn, a venerable seafood restaurant regarded for its culinary creativity.

Just east of River Lane Inn, Prime Time Sports Bar and Eatery (8777 N. Deerwood Drive), a popular casual dining spot, serves up hearty American fare at reasonable prices.

Larry's Market

Next-door neighbor Larry’s Market (8737 N. Deerwood Drive) has been a Brown Deer staple for more than 40 years. The gourmet grocer and caterer carries an array of specialty foods from artisanal cheeses to fine meats.

Across the street is another village mainstay. With its warm, homey atmosphere, Kurt Schultz Deli and Restaurant (8752 N. Deerwood Drive) is renowned for its fresh-from-the-oven breads, deli meats and soups.

Modus Design Inc.

Homeowners seeking state-of-the-art home theater systems and audio equipment can find their fill at Audio Emporium (8766 N. Deerwood Drive). Tucked away at 4134 W. River Lane, Poco Loco, a 1920s-style cantina, serves up a mean margarita and classic Mexican fare.

Recent newcomers to the area include Modus Design Inc., a graphic design and marketing firm that renovated a former auto garage at 8759 N. Deerwood Drive into its office headquarters last year. Peabody’s Interiors, a high-end interior design firm specializing in custom home furnishings, consolidated two North Shore locations to 8655 N. Deerwood Drive in 2010. Peabody’s shares the building with Wade Weissmann Architecture.

The community will celebrate the original village at "Eat and Greet on the Street," a grand opening event June 7 along Deerwood Drive between River Lane and Ruth Place. The neighborhood block party, scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m., will feature a ribbon cutting, food and drink specials and live music.


This story ran in the June  2014 issue of: