c.1880 to close. Last service April 28th, 2018 Mar 19 2018
From Chef/Owner Thomas Hauck:
It is with a very heavy heart that I must announce the closure of my restaurant, c.1880. It has been an unbelievable experience to own and operate this restaurant and serve the Milwaukee community for 6 years. The patrons, the staff, and relationships built, have left an indelible mark on me that will last a lifetime. I am more thankful for them then I could ever simply convey in words. Opening c.1880 was a dream of mine, to watch it grow, change, and personally oversee all aspects as the chef and owner, has been one of my greatest joys in life next to the day I married my beautiful wife, and the birth of our two sons.
Sadly, with the unfortunate failure of the Karl Ratzsch venture, and the changes in the Milwaukee restaurant market, I am no longer in a confident financial position to renew the lease for the space we call home at 1100 S.1st St. This is in no way a reflection on the landlord or others. They have been a joy to work with, day in and day out. In reality, I must put my wife and children first in this decision, no matter how hard it is personally.
I want to have an opportunity for patrons to enjoy one last experience (or two, maybe even three) at c.1880 before we close the doors for good on April 28th. Hence the advance notice. Most importantly, we also want the opportunity to say goodbye to some of our loyal customers, who without their support, we would be nothing. As well to give the chance for those who have been received gift certificates, a chance to use them before we close.
On a personal note: It was always my dream to be in the kitchen of my very own restaurant, and I am proud to have done such, if but for a limited time. Cooking, plating, and interacting with the customers who enjoy our food, wine, and service. It has been humbling for our little restaurant to have received so many accolades and recognitions, from three James Beard Foundation “Best Chef Midwest” semi-finalist nominations, upper placement in Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal Annual “Top 30”, six consistent Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence, Food & Wine Best New Chef nominations, and more. This was never an exercise in vanity for me, just a simple love of great food, great service, and great wine…for great people. A concrete lesson taught to me from “my chef” and ultimate tutor, the late Chef Michel Richard.
They say hindsight is 20/20. I would open c.1880 again, without question. I still, and always will, believe in Milwaukee. This has been one of highlights of my career. I am proud to have had a restaurant in which my wife and my mother have touched tables and rooted relationships, a place my children have grown up and played between tables, and even learned to sneak chocolates out of my sight, while not really being that sneaky about it. This is not an easy decision by far, but it is an unfortunate reality.
I want to say that the chef and restaurant community in Milwaukee is an unbelievable pool of determination and talent, I feel blessed to have been a part of it. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I also want to extend a special thank you to our General Manager Joshua Wolter, for his dedication this dream of mine, and to my family. As well to Aaron, literally our longest lasting staff member, thank you for being here since day one. c.1880 is in all honesty, a family, and I am thankful to all who currently are, or have been with us.