Maxim’s creates new specials, unique food offerings to keep them coming back for more

By Katherine Michalets - Enterprise Staff

April 27, 2017

 The Long Island iced tea at Maxim’s at Oconomowoc Depot is one of the drinks featured during the week.
Kenny Yoo/Special to the Enterprise

OCONOMOWOC — Stepping into Maxim’s at Oconomowoc Depot may feel like taking a step back in time, but ordering off the menu feels current thanks to the updates made by new general managers Ross and Kayla Bukatz.

Since taking over as general manager in October, Ross Bukatz said they have introduced new items to Maxim’s menu and are looking forward to other enhancements.

First off, there’s a weekly special board with a breakfast, lunch and dinner special listed for the week. For example, this week they are offering rhubarb strawberry conserve crepes with house-made sweet cream and garnished with lemon.

 One of the new smoked meats baskets at Maxim’s at Oconomowoc Depot is made with smoked chicken.
Lauren Anderson/Freeman Staff

Also newly introduced is the $5 bar menu that promotes their recently added smoke meats, such as brisket and chicken.

“We are trying to venture into new things and new ways,” Bukatz said.

He said it’s common for restaurants to get into a rut so that’s why Maxim’s, 115 E Collins St., is offering specials to add diversity and to introduce variety to the menu.

“People become very bored with that,” Bukatz said of unchanging menus. “They want to see something new and fresh and something upcoming.”

That was the reason behind the smoked meats — to give customers something they can’t get anywhere else in Oconomowoc, he said.


 Maxim’s at Oconomowoc Depot General Manager Ross Bukatz has introduced new menu items and specials.
Lauren Anderson/Freeman Staff

It’s his and Kayla’s goal to be constantly evaluating the menu and reinventing it when needed.

As part of the $5 bar menu, customers can get a burger and fries, a gyro and fries, rib tips and fries and a five-piece taco basket.

“We are very large portion about our portion sizes. We want it to be worth the money you are spending,” he said.

Going forward, Bukatz said he is thinking about opening a grill near the patio where meats could be cooked before diners. Enclosing the patio for year-round use is also being considered.

The Oconomowoc market and even Maxim’s are not new to the Bukatzes, who previously worked at the restaurant for several years, he as a chef and she as a waitress. After moving on to a new restaurant, they were lured back to serve as managers.

 The beef brisket basket at Maxim’s at Oconomowoc Depot is part of the new smoked meats menu.
Lauren Anderson/Freeman Staff

As Oconomowoc grows, Bukatz said, he is seeing more young people pass through the restaurant’s doors who are looking for a certain vibe and find pubs and tap houses appealing.

“That’s what I am trying to do, to have the action but still have that family feel,” he said.

In the end, it’s about keeping “people full,” Bukatz said.

“It’s not about I am serving 500 people. For me, what did it do for them? How did it make them feel? When they leave are they completely satisfied on the inside?” he said. “I want it to be as whole as possible.”

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