Order’s up
Multiple restaurants coming soon to West Bend

By KEN MERRILL - Daily News

Oct. 30, 2015


Construction workers seen Thursday put finishing touches to the exterior of Panda Express, 1200 S. Main St. The restaurant is scheduled to open Nov. 6.
Ken Merrill/Daily News

If you’re looking for dinner out in West Bend, you’ll soon have more options.

Tochi Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup restaurant nearing its opening at 705 Village Green Way in the Rivershores development at the site of the former Imagine Coffee House.

Panda Express, described as a fast casual restaurant serving American Chinese cuisine, plans to open Nov. 6 at 1200 S. Main St., at the site of a former Dairy Queen.

And Samet Fejzuli, owner of the Mother’s Day Restaurant in Horicon, is renovating the former Dairy Queen at 501 Wildwood Road into a family restaurant, too.

The ramen offered at Tochi will be far different from the ramen noodles so popular among budget-conscious college students. At Tochi, expect soups with heartier noodles, thicker broths and tastier options. Ramen is increasing in popularity in the past few years, with restaurants popping up across the country.

Chef and owner Gregg Des Rosier was busy preparing for a “sneak peek” dinner for family and friends Thursday. He expects to open, well, soon.

“I don’t really want to be swamped. We’re not trying to get rich here,” Des Rosier said. “You can see that the tables are kind of spread out. We want to make this our home base and expand from here.”

Des Rosier closed his restaurant of the same name on West Capitol Drive in Bend. He is a West Bend resident.

Is West Bend ready for a niche ethnic restaurant?

“Fifteen years ago I opened a Cajun restaurant here,” Des Rosier said. “Nobody thought it could be successful, but it was.”

If you’re curious and adventurous, you might want to stop by, say, maybe next week.

A dozen or more workmen were swarming over the Panda Express building Thursday.

“We currently expect to open Nov. 6,” said Panda Express spokeswoman Thien Ho, “depending on how quickly we can move food into the store.”

The menu at Panda Express is heavy on chicken dishes — orange chicken, Kung Pao chicken, grilled Teriyaki chicken — “Americanized” for Western palates. The restaurant also offers Shanghai Angus steak, Beijing Beef, eggplant tofu and honey walnut shrimp, among other entrees.

The cuisine at Fejzuli’s Horicon restaurant is probably best described as “American comfort food” for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A look through the windows of the unoccupied restaurant Thursday morning showed booths and tables set up, but works remains before opening.

Fejzuli, who purchased the property in May, could not be reached for comment. He originally hoped to open the restaurant in September.

Reach news editor Ken Merrill at kmerrill@conleynet.com.