Last call for T.J. Ryan’s
Building owners plan to open Cedar Place Pub

By Lisa Curtis - News Graphic Staff

July 10, 2014

Paper covers the windows of T.J. Ryan’s tavern while the interior undergoes renovation. 
Photo by Mark Justesen

CEDARBURG — T.J. Ryan’s, the bar where people have long gone to have a drink with friends, grab a Bloody Mary before the Fourth of July parade or even drop off a stolen Klement’s racing sausage, has closed its doors for good as the interior undergoes a radical transformation.

The bar’s lease was not renewed, as the owners of the building opted keep to it, confirmed Steve Smith, who owns the structure and the adjoining one next door that houses Schwai’s Meat and Sausage, with partners Dennis Fox, Barbara and Dick Fischer and Bill Elesh.

“We’re remodeling from top to bottom,” Smith said.

That includes new floors, walls and bathrooms. The bathrooms, for example, will be built to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will be located on separate sides of the bar. The changes will include creating a lounge in the small area located between the front and back bars. It will be a cozy space that could include a fireplace, Smith said. The back bar area will be used during festivals and for private parties. Overall, the changes will be a “big, big improvement,” he said.

The plans have been in the works for several months, Smith said, and already the business has a new name: Cedar Place Pub.

T.J. Ryan’s co-owner Tim Ryan said very little about the closure this week, only “We’re done.” Ryan and Chris Morton have owned the bar for 19 years. They also own Morton’s WisconsInn.

Because the structure, which was built in 1890, is located within the Washington Avenue Historic District, any renovations will have to get approval from the state and the Cedarburg Landmarks Commission. This week, they are meeting with state building inspectors to get approval of the plans. They are also working to get input from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

“When the state says ok, we’re going to start,” Smith said.

He declined to give an estimate of when the new business will open. For the near future, the pub will stick to alcohol, but there are plans in the future to add smallplate food.

Lisa Curtis can be reached at .