Choo Ng, owner of Grill Junkies at 1288 Summit
Ave. #188 in Oconomowoc, is moving the business to Delafield
at the end of the month because of Highway 67 construction
and high rent.
Eric Oliver/Freeman Staff
OCONOMOWOC - Faced with more than a year
of construction on the road that runs before Grill
Junkies, owner Choo Ng decided to move the
nine-and-a-half-year-old business to Delafield.
He said the widening of Highway 67/Summit
Avenue, combined with the cost of his rent, convinced
him to look for new locations. He selected the space
formerly occupied by The BackStreet Café at 2566 Sun
Valley Drive in Delafield. Grill Junkies will remain
open at 1288 N. Summit Ave. until the end of April, but
Ng hopes to be in the Delafield location by early May,
or perhaps by mid-May.
“I am sad and excited because I know so
many faces after spending so much time in one place,” Ng
said. “A lot of the customers are from the Delafield
area. Overall, I’ll be gaining a lot more people.” Ng
hopes to draw in new customers from Pewaukee and
Waukesha once relocated.
The Wisconsin Department of
Transportation is handling the Highway 67 work, which
started last month. The project includes expansion of
southbound Highway 67 from two lanes to three between
Interstate 94 and Lexington Drive, in addition to
reconstruction of the roadway from Blue Ribbon Drive to
I-94, and from Lexington Drive to Armour Road.
Choo Ng, owner of Grill Junkies at 288 Summit
Ave. #118 in Oconomowoc, is closing his doors at the end of
the month and moving to Delafield.
Eric Oliver/Freeman Staff
Also, there will be reconstruction of the
southbound Highway 67 bridge over I-94 and
reconstruction of the I-94 ramps west of Highway 67. A
pedestrian tunnel under Highway 67 at Oconomowoc Parkway
will be constructed as well.
The project, which has been broken down
into phases, is scheduled for completion by late fall
Katie Miller, executive director of the
Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce, said she is
surprised by how little she has heard from the business
community about the road construction. She does feel
that WisDOT has done a good job trying to inform the
business community and the public about the project.
Attracting customers during construction
It’s important for businesses to “find
ways to work together to keep business coming in,”
She said the road construction will be a
challenge for business owners and residents. It will be
important for the community to make conscious decisions
to frequent businesses in the construction zone.
“The chamber will continue to work with
members to promote and to keep the economy strong
through these disruptions,” Miller said.
Books & Company co-owner Lisa Baudoin
said she’s been considering different options related to
customer service and other promotions to help the
independent book store through the construction project.
Having a website to connect the business with customers
helps, Baudoin said.
She is also exploring different signage
and creation promotion to attract shoppers to Books &
Company, 1039 Summit Ave.
It’s important for area residents to know
that the affected businesses need their patronage to
survive, Baudoin said.
Ng said he knows the road construction
will cause him to lose sales. He also anticipates
spending about one-third less on rent in his new
Delafield location. Currently, he said being set back a
distance from Summit Avenue hurts him because people
drive by without seeing the restaurant.
The menu, staff and name will stay the
same with the move, but Ng said the décor will be
significantly different. He has hired a sculpture artist
to create large sculptures for the walls, to give the
restaurant a more artsy feel.
While the widened Summit Avenue may be
nice for traffic, Ng said it will allow vehicles to move
faster and be more likely to miss his restaurant.
For more information about the Highway 67
road construction, go to