From Firehouse to Food Service
Historic Falls building becoming restaurant

By Eileen Mozinski Schmidt - Special to Conley Media

Dec. 21, 2018

 The patio outside the historic firehouse in Menomonee Falls. The building is currently being renovated into a restaurant and banquet hall.
Eileen Schmidt/Special to Conley Media

MENOMONEE FALLS — A project transforming a historic firehouse into a restaurant and banquet hall is underway in the village.

Mike Szohr and Chris Leffler are heading up the effort to renovate the 8,600-squarefoot historic building. The firehouse was built in 1929, at one time served as village hall, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The business partners also own Rever’s Wells Street Tavern in Delafield, and Leffler owns and Szohr manages Leff’s Lucky Town in Wauwatosa.

The firehouse project is still in the construction phase, according to Szohr. He said the parking lot and patio have been poured and asphalted.

“We’re focusing a lot on the inside right now,” he said.

The opening date and name for the restaurant have not been released.

 The patio outside the historic firehouse in Menomonee Falls.
Eileen Schmidt/Special to Conley Media

Szohr said project developers need to go through various steps as the renovation continues to ensure it meets standards related to the historic nature of the building.

“It’s not like a normal construction process. There’s been numerous things we’ve had to do that required additional approvals,” he said.

In an interview with The Freeman on Wisconsin Main Street Day in July, Leffler said the goal for the new restaurant is to create a family- friendly atmosphere that taps into the area’s sense of community.

The village received a $79,000 grant from The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to support the firehouse project at the July event.

Currently, Szohr said developers are “working diligently” and carefully on the project in order to preserve the historic nature of the structure.

“We would love to be open but we don’t want to force anything and want the end result to be what we imagined,” Szohr said.

“We’re very excited to move into the Falls,” he added.