Ryan Braun's Waterfront is slated to re-open in March under the banner of the SURG Restaurant Group.
Ryan Braun's Waterfront is slated to re-open in March under the banner of the SURG Restaurant Group.

SURG Restaurant Group adds Ryan Braun to lineup

The SURG Restaurant Group, which operates Carnevor Steakhouse, Umami Moto, Distil, Mikey's and Charro, is taking over ownership of Ryan Braun's Waterfront.

"This is an exciting time for SURG. Before we add to our hospitality family, we make sure the addition will be the right fit for our SURG brand and that we can guarantee our guests the outstanding food and attention to detail we put into each and every one of our restaurants," SURG owner Omar Shaikh said in a press release.

"Since Ryan joined the Milwaukee Brewers, we’ve had many conversations and discovered our expectations of excellence in hospitality are on the same level. My partner and I look forward to putting our touch on RBWF and delivering a consistent dining experience that will make our customers return again and again."

Braun's restaurant, which opened in April, has been closed for remodeling. Shaikh and partner Mike Polaski expect it to re-open in March. Braun's role will remain the same as it was with the previous ownership group.

"I’m very excited about being a part of the SURG group," Braun said in the release. "Omar and Mike’s track record speaks for itself. Their hospitality expertise and impeccable reputation was the perfect combination for our restaurant. I can’t thank our customers enough for their patience through this process, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the restaurant throughout the upcoming baseball season."
Renovations will be made to the cuisine, patio and private dining area.

"We are expecting the renovations to begin in mid-January and plan to open the doors in March, with the general manager and executive chef being announced over the next couple of weeks," Polaski said. "Like with all of our openings, we take our time to assure every detail has been thought out and addressed. The staff will be put through an extensive training program so we can be confident our guests are receiving the level of service they deserve and can expect at a SURG restaurant."



A feel-good story to end 2010

After spending most of my life in the news business, I'm a bit jaded when it comes to the "feel-good" stories that pop up around this time of year. Many of them seem formulaic and their frequency makes me think "What -- people don't do nice things during the other 11 1/2 months of the year?"

This story from the Boston Globe, however, did strike a chord in my Grinch-like heart. I think you'll enjoy it, too.

My holiday wish is that everyone tries to do something nice. I'm starting by sharing this.

Happy holidays.

Frank Caliendo will end his stint at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas early next year.
Frank Caliendo will end his stint at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas early next year.

Caliendo to end Monte Carlo run

Waukesha native Frank Caliendo will end his stint as a performer at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. Caliendo wants to pursue things that allow him to spend more time with his family.

Here is the official announcement from frankcaliendo.com:

Las Vegas - After a critically and commercially successful run at Monte Carlo, comedian/impressionist Frank Caliendo is leaving the Las Vegas Strip to focus on family and other projects.
The master impressionist became Monte Carlo's headliner in October 2009 and has since been lauded as "the most high-profile impressionist out there," "spot-on," "reinventing the art of impression" and "fall down funny." The show has been called out as "a rare Vegas production that will entertain everyone." Citing the demands of commuting to his home and away from his young family in Phoenix, Caliendo will perform his final show at Monte Carlo this spring
"Performing at Monte Carlo is an experience I won't soon forget. From day one, the support from the staff and fans has been amazing," said Caliendo. "However, the demands of traveling from Phoenix and away from my family have been harder than I anticipated. With this move, I hope to take advantage of opportunities in television and film that will allow me to spend more time as a husband and a father."
"Frank has become a part of the Monte Carlo family over the last year," said Anton Nikodemus, president & COO of Monte Carlo. "We absolutely love having him here, as have our guests, but we understand that family should always come first. We wish Frank every happiness and thank him for the time spent with us."
Known by millions for his dead-on impressions of such celebrities as Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, John Madden, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Dr. Phil, Jay Leno and dozens more, as well as a myriad of television appearances and live stage performances, Caliendo's show is a dynamic mix of high-energy comedy and fast-paced impressions enhance…

Be sure and give your pet an extra scratch behind the ears.
Be sure and give your pet an extra scratch behind the ears.

In appreciation of our furry friends

I was sifting through a pile of the fourth-grader's homework papers last week and came up on Thanksgiving-themed essay in the vein of "Things I'm Thankful For..."

While I was pleased with the handwriting, punctuation, overall execution and mention of our family -- not to mention the grade and teacher's comments written in red at the top of the page -- I was most struck by the Sprout's inclusion of our pets in her essay.

"I am thankful for my dog, because she is always happy to see me come home from school and my cat, who snuggles with me every night."

From the mouths of babes...

In the hustle and bustle of the 24/7, "get it done yesterday" world that adults inhabit, it's easy to overlook the joy that pets bring to a home. Emptying a litter box, silencing a barking dog and removing an ocean of excrement from the lawn aren't particularly thrilling or fulfilling tasks, but they are counterbalanced by the loyalty and unconditional love and affection that pets share with their owners.

In recent weeks, a handful of friends and family members have dealt with the loss of beloved pets and that -- coupled with the child's essay and some Facebook photo of our family pooch playing with friends at Doggy Daycare, reminded me that it's a mistake to take our pets for granted.

Thanksgiving is over, but I think it's appropriate for everyone to thank Fido or Fluffy with an extra scratch behind the ears or a bowl of "special" food tonight.