New Lake Country BBQ joint Hoggin’ It up

By Eric Oliver - Enterprise Staff

Oct. 29, 2015

  Tamara Schuett, Mike Sommers, Karl Filipowicz and Noah Listle at the front counter of Hoggin’ It BBQ, N50-W34959 Wisconsin Ave.
Submitted photo

OCONOMOWOC — Mike Sommers started grilling as a way to meet women in college.

Little did he know his grill would become the key to his livelihood.

Sommers opened Hoggin’ It BBQ recently in Okauchee at N50-W34959 Wisconsin Ave. He’s promising good food and a great atmosphere, all at a reasonable price.

The Enterprise spoke to him about why he wanted to open a BBQ restaurant and what he likes most about his restaurant.

What made you want to open a BBQ restaurant in Okauchee?

SOMMERS: My family had been coming out and boating on Okauchee Lake since the late ’80s, so this area always gravitated towards my family and myself.

ENTERPRISE: What can visitors expect from your restaurant?

SOMMERS: When coming to the restaurant, our expectations are that one finds a warm, friendly, differently decorated, and family orientated place. A place where someone is well fed at a reasonable price with food that is fresh, delicious, and a bit off the normal dining experience in this area.

ENTERPRISE: What would you say is the best part about Hoggin’ It?

SOMMERS: That’s difficult to say, obviously the food we offer is different than most other menus in the area, the decor is not the norm; kind of an homage to the military and the Brewers. Our selection of beer and soda is one of the most unique in Lake Country; with the exception of two flavors of bottled soda our entire selection of beer and soda (bottle and tap) is all made in Wisconsin. Plus the staff, while a very small crew, are extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and dedicated, most of these individuals I personally sought out to hire because they possessed those qualities.

ENTERPRISE: Why did you want to open up in Okauchee?

SOMMERS: I initially looked in Watertown to open, but it just never panned out. While searching for a store front my father suggested looking in Okauchee, which I did, and found the perfect location at present, plus my parents have a house there so that made the choice to look out this way that much easier.

ENTERPRISE: Why did you start grilling out?

SOMMERS: When I was in college at (the University of Wisconsin—) Whitewater my friends and roommates would get together and grill out in our front yard as a way to meet women so that was my initial introduction into the smoking world. I worked at a Famous Dave’s while going through school also, and feel in love with the style, that’s where it started.

ENTERPRISE: What makes your BBQ the best in Oconomowoc?

SOMMERS: I leave that up to the masses to decide, I do believe with all honesty that we have the closest to southern style BBQ in the area though. We didn’t add BBQ to our menu, BBQ IS our menu.

ENTERPRISE: What’s one thing you’d like everyone to know about Hoggin’ It?

SOMMERS: That we are passionate about what we do, our food is authentic, and the atmosphere inviting. Plus we will keep you well fed at a reasonable price.