Next generation
Gen 5 to change hands, Oberholtzers to focus on ‘Smokey O’s’ food truck

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

April 2, 2015

Generations at 5 Points will be reopening soon under new ownership.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA — Generations at 5 Points has a sign on the window stating it’s closed for remodeling. That may be true, but when it reopens, it’ll be under new ownership.

Llazar Konda and Nicko Sifnaios are buying the restaurant so current owner Jeff Oberholtzer can spend more time on his family, and on his food truck — Smokey O’s.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” said Oberholtzer, who has run the restaurant at 294 W. Main St. with his family since 2008. “It’s a good chapter coming to an end, but I don’t feel bad about it because I know it’s going to be turned over to someone who cares. Someone with a passion for the industry and for the city, who will put in the effort.”

Oberholtzer has wanted a food truck for more than 10 years, and got a good deal on one about a year ago. Since then, he’s been bringing it to “Bike Night” at Spurs and pulling it up behind Bosco’s Social Club during Friday Night Live in the summer to serve up barbecue, brats and other classics either smoked or cooked over an open flame.

“It’s a mobile restaurant essentially. Instead of waiting for people to come to you, you can go to the people,” Oberholtzer said.

“We’re not tethered to a specific type of food either. We can keep the creative juices flowing — in the fall we’ll work with elk and venison. In the winter we can do duck.”

Jeff Oberholtzer with his new food truck on Wednesday.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Oberholtzer said the truck will also allow him to be mobile, heading anywhere from food truck rallies in Milwaukee to event catering here in Waukesha at any time, from breakfast to late at night. The flexibility will allow the growing Oberholtzer family to spend more time together.

He also plans to operate the food truck’s “home base” from the space next door to Gen 5 at 290 W. Main St., the spot originally slated for a Gen 5 expansion.

There are a few more tweaks necessary to get the other side of the food truck operational, and Oberholtzer hopes to have it up and running sometime in May.

Future generations

Konda and Sifnaios have almost four decades of restaurant experience between them, with Konda’s most recent gig in a managerial role at nearby People’s Park and Sifnaios running the Tuscan Hall banquet facility on Delafield Street.

Konda moved here from Greece six years ago and has always dreamed of opening a restaurant downtown. Gen 5 was his “go-to place,” and when he heard the Oberholtzers were open to selling, he jumped on the opportunity.

“Downtown Waukesha has become my home now,” Konda said. “I really love this place. I bought a home in Waukesha and started making friends and meeting people. I’m excited to be down here and be a part of this.”

Konda isn’t ready to reveal details about the next generation of the space at 294 W. Main St., other than to say there will be more of an emphasis on the bar and he’s already tapped a popular chef for the kitchen.

“Inside, there won’t be much of a change. Jeff and his family did a great job of maintaining this place,” Konda said.

As for the type of food and general theme of the restaurant, that’s to be determined. Whatever it will be, Oberholtzer said, he trusts that the space will be in good hands.

“I love this industry, and I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Konda said. “Is this easy? No, it’s not easy. But it’s my passion.”

Konda hopes the restaurant will be ready to reopen sometime in May.