Nancy Bloom of West Bend,
left, and Joanne Oneska of West Bend laugh over drinks
Friday night at Nuckleheadz Bar and Grill in the town of
John Ehlke/Daily News
TOWN OF WEST BEND — Sometimes, there isn’t an
explanation for how things work out.
That is the case for Angie Yochem, owner of Nuckleheadz
Bar & Grill, 3680 Highway NN.
About seven years ago, Yochem was let go from
Nuckleheadz as a staff member. At that point, she had
already been in the restaurant industry for more than 10
years. So, one of two things was going to happen — she
would try restaurant ownership or leave the industry all
folks who frequent Nuckleheadz are glad she pursued
ownership as Nuckleheadz was voted as one of the 10
recommended restaurants in Washington County by Daily
News readers in an informal poll.
“Life would’ve been totally different if we weren’t
here,” Yochem said.
Yochem started in the restaurant and bar industry about
15 years ago, working at Stocky’s. She then went to
Bender’s and then Muggles.
2009, she arrived at Nuckleheadz, doing just about
everything, including dabbling with management. She was
let go about a year later.
that point is when we decided I was either going to own
a business or I was going to get out completely,” Yochem
wasn’t that simple, though.
was a little apprehensive at first,” Yochem said. “It
was my husband that pushed me to do it. He had
confidence in me.”
Yochem said owning a restaurant or a bar was something
that she always had as a goal, especially once she
started in the industry. She wanted to do it because she
loved the variety each day brings. Certainly, there are
customers who are repeat visitors. But, for the most
part, every day poses a new, but exciting challenge.
Owner Angie Yochem smiles as she talks with a customer
Friday night at Nuckleheadz.
John Ehlke/Daily News
“It’s not a repetitive job,” Yochem said. “You never get
husband’s motivational speech, if you will, wasn’t
spectacular. It was rather simple and to the point.
told me he had faith in me,” Yochem said.
Soon after, Yochem and her husband, Mike, sought places
to buy. And one of the first ones they did was
Nuckleheadz, which included making an offer. That offer
was turned down and the Yochems researched other places,
some they had put offers on.
reasons unknown, the Yochems found themselves back at
the doorstep of Nuckleheadz. It might not have been a
coincidence after all.
was here for two years so I knew the area, I knew the
people, I knew the building,” Angie said.
There was an accepted offer on one, but it wound up not
think it was fate that brought us back here,” Angie
Angie took over ownership of Nuckleheadz on Nov. 15,
“We’ve been very lucky,” Angie said, crediting her staff
and the customers. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without
them. You can’t do it on your own.”
Another factor that favored Angie was the rural location
on the corner of Highways NN and Z near Little Cedar
From the outside, Nuckleheadz doesn’t have the look of a
restaurant. Far from it, actually. It has more of a bar
facade. And that is partly because of the sand
volleyball court and the youth baseball diamond
surrounding the property.
don’t be fooled, there is a dining area inside that
offers mouth-savoring food.
“Amazing food and inviting atmosphere,” said Mary Kate
Schmidt of West Bend.
There are also some who have found this remote location
“Excellent food all around,” said Jennifer Loomis of
Norway, Michigan. “Always awesome meal no matter what
go-to items on the menu are the burgers.
“Best burgers around,” said Alex Gannon of West Bend.
What separates these burgers is not their freshness, but
what’s on the inside. That’s what counts.
“Stuffed with cheese,” Gannon said.
There are also unique burger offerings, such as the
Rodeo Burger, which has barbecue sauce, pepper jack
cheese and onion tanglers. There is the Poutine Burger,
which has choice of cheese, cheese curds, waffle fries
and gravy. That’s right. It’s on the burger, not on the
Getting to the five-year mark was a great moment, Angie
said. Wes Krimmer, owner of Krimmer’s Restaurant, said
most restaurants fail within five years of opening.
feels like we just opened,” she said. “We’re making it.
We’re doing a good job of it, I think.”
if restaurant ownership hadn’t worked out?
“Probably some factory job,” Angie said. “I don’t know.”
knows she is where she belongs.
“The people that live here are wonderful,” Angie said.
We’ve met some amazing people in the last five years.”
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